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Ogdensburg City School considers regulation preventing parents from requesting specific teachers

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The Ogdensburg City School Board of Education is considering revising its regulations that currently allow parents to request their children are placed in specific classes under specific teachers.

According to Assistant Superintendent David J. Valois, the proposed regulation was introduced in response to the new teacher and principal evaluation laws known as the Annual Professional Performance Review.

The new teacher evaluations will only be publicly available in their aggregate, preventing just anyone from seeing how individual teachers stack up.

State law also prevents the evaluations from being subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law. However parents and guardians will be able to view the ranking of the teacher overseeing the education of their children.

Mr. Valois said, “Now parents are all going to want the best teacher [according to the APPR rankings].”

Under the current regulation, parents “could make their wishes [for teachers] known but it wouldn’t necessarily mean they were honored.”

But with the new disclosure laws the district is concerned about being overwhelmed with requests by parents, Mr. Valois said, and so they’re looking to nip it in the bud.

Under the new regulation, which will be approved or rejected at the June 17 board meeting, parents will still be able to make requests about the type of teacher they want for their children, but any requests that specifically name a teacher will be returned.

The new regulations stress that principals have the final say in student placement.

At Wednesday’s meeting the board of education also decided to hold the 2013-2014 organization meeting on July 1 at 6 p.m. James P. King, who won a five-year term on the board in Tuesday’s election, will be sworn in at that meeting.

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