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.
Trying Not to Start On the Wrong Foot