Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Starting on the wrong foot...

I took the kids to school today so they could see where their rooms, desks and lockers are. My kids like to know what is going to happen before it happens so it is always good to prepare for the first day of school. It eliminates anxiety and those little things us parents hate called "breakdowns in public". Unfortunately I was the one that almost had a breakdown in public today because the school garbage is already starting and is evidenced in the letter I wrote upon arriving home:




Dear Mr. Principal:

It was brought to my attention today that two of my children will be expected to ride a bus to the local elementary school 2 days a week to receive physical education. As a parent that selected Our Catholic School for very specific reasons I am extremely disappointed that my children will be directly placed into an educational environment that I do not approve of. Busing our children to the public school for any type of education is not how I envisioned the curriculum obligations being fulfilled by the school we have been supporting. Furthermore, the message that Our Catholic School is sending to parents and the community is that they cannot adequately educate the children they have been entrusted with.

Per the information I was provided today, as soon the children arrive at school 2 days a week they will immediately board a bus to go the elementary school, some of these children will just have gotten off that bus and will be going right back to where they came from. On most days this shuttle bus is late so the expectation that the bus will be loaded and ready to transport the students to gym class by 9:00am is ludicrous. Furthermore, the idea is that gym class will end at 9:45am and that the students will be snuggled comfortably back into their seats at Our Lady School by 10:00am to learn. How do you expect children at these ages to transition from building to bus to building like adults? I was also informed that the teacher of the first and second grade students will accompany her students to this gym class. I am presuming this is so the Our Catholic School teacher can watch another teacher educate her students? This is obviously a poor use of the already sacred mentoring time that our teachers have with their students.

I will not disagree that children need more physical activity especially with the alarming obesity rates in our nation, but wouldn't every one's time and resources be put to better use if we keep these children at the school their parents have selected for them? It is ridiculous to spend 40+ minutes of travel time each week to get to a physical education class when we have a large playground area and sufficient room in the parish hall to provide our students exercise twice a week. In fact, gym class at the local elementary school will take 110 minutes out of the student week with only 60 minutes of that being actual "class" time. If we provide the same services at Our Catholic School the students could have 3 opportunities a week to exercise their bodies.

The time and planning it has taken to schedule this endeavor into two school schedules cannot be ignored. Why have none of the parents of the students that are involved been informed of the decision being made on their behalf sooner than the week before school is scheduled to start?

I am angry at the lack of communication between yourself and the families of Our Catholic School. At this point I will not allow my children to board the bus to attend physical education classes at the local elementary and I need to know what kind of accommodations will be made for any children that will not be participating.


Sincerely,

Trying Not to Start On the Wrong Foot

8 comments:

Carol said...

Incredibly shoddy school-home communication is my number one, rage-inducing beef with one of my children's schools.

I too am trying to start the new year off with a positive attitude but it's really difficult sometimes. You have my sympathies.

meredith said...

I have no comment..................

Erin the Librarian said...

Are you sending the letter? Or quietly fuming?

abby said...

I'm asking the same question as Erin. Are you sending it? That would totally enrage me. What do the other parents think? They can't all be ok with that. The transition thing is going to be horrible for those kids. Horrible.

Mechelle said...

I have sent a very similar letter to someone at the Saginaw Diocese to see if she had any recommendations and as soon as I see fit the one here will go to the principal. I don't typically fume quietly and that is what gets me in trouble. I just don't want my kids to pay for it the of their years there or until Mr. Principal is gone. I guess my kids will get extra reading time twice a week-think of how many AR points they will earn!

Lisa Greenfelder said...

As another, not happy parent, I'm sending my support your way. Hopefully we can reason with the person who made this decision because I hate starting the year out with a stomach ache. There has to be a better way.

meredith said...

ok - I have to comment on Lisa's "reason with the person".....But that's all I'm saying.

Mechelle said...

This whole stomach ache thing at the beginning of the year makes me ill for my kids. And when a school springs something on you with the office closed for the next 4 days and the next day school starts that is just simply bullshit. I am anxious to see how this is all going to play out and I hope it is in the best interest of the children.