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Upset with my dd's public school


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Yes, I know. Again :rolleyes:

I know I've discussed the curriculum, but I can't remember if I've discussed everything here.

 

I love Daphne's regular teacher. She's really nice and it's not really her fault that the 3rd grade curriculum at this school totally sucks. But Mrs S is on maternity leave right now, so Daphne has a substitute. From the beginning of January to the end of March, we are stuck with Ms. G.

 

A few weeks ago, when I picked Daphne up from school, she got into the car and started crying. She cried all the way home, and then some. It took her awhile before she could finally calm down enough to tell me what the problem was. I guess Ms. G had started a conversation in the class about Global Warming, and the class discussed it at length. They discussed dead and dying polar bears. They brought up the movie 2012 and some kids in the class said that, in the movie, the end of the world is brought about by global warming. (We haven't seen it yet, so we don't know.) At one point, someone pointed out what a beautiful day it was outside, and even attributed that to global warming.

 

During this time, they also discussed the earthquake in Haiti. They talked about the thousands who had died, thousands more who had crushed limbs that had to be amputated, etc. Basically, all the worst things that those poor people are going through.

 

So between these 2 things, Daphne was understandably upset. I was VERY upset. Not only do we not believe in global warming, but even if we did, who would want their 9 year old hearing all that in school? Or anywhere, for that matter? I waited until very late before writing an email. I sent it to the principal, the sub, and the regular teacher.

 

I hadn't received a response by the late afternoon, so I went in to get Daphne a little early, so I could speak with the principal. She was very apologetic, and assured me that the sub was working on a response. The incident happened on Wednesday, and I spoke with the principal Thursday afternoon. Friday came and went, as did the weekend. By midday on Monday, I was perterbed again that Ms. G hadn't bothered to respond to me, at all.

 

This time I called the principal. She said that she had wanted to look over the letter before Ms. G sent it, and she had seen it Friday morning, so she didn't know what the hold up was. Within an hour or so, I received 2 emails from Ms. G. The first, being a very lame excuse-ridden note about the situation. She said that she didn't hear these things, and would have stopped them if she did. She assured me that this discussion must have occurred out on the playground, out of her earshot. (So basically she is calling Daphne a liar here. Daphne never lies, and she said it occurred during class) The second email was a little note, saying, "Gosh, I sent this on Thursday. I'm not sure why it didn't go through. Sorry you thought I was ignoring you."

 

Um, the prinicipal said she saw it on Friday morning, so here Ms. G was lying again.

 

With the curriculum, it's bad enough that it doesn't drill multiplication. It just taught the concept and moved on. So when the regular teacher, Mrs. S, heard that more than half the class was not yet finished with their math timings, they couldn't figure out why. (and my dd's class isn't the only one this way. I've spoken with parents of other 3rd grade students in other classes at this school). So they moved up the date of when these needed to be done by. They have promised an ice cream party at the end of their math timings session. If you finish them all within the allotted time, you can have your choice of whatever's there. If not, you better hope you finish enough of them to earn some ice cream. So Daphne is stressing about this, and I'm sure she's not the only one.

 

Ms. G doesn't seem to know what to do to fix this. They have now pulled flashcards out twice in class. (These are cards Mrs. S wanted us to supply for our kids, before she went on leave) Daphne has told me that Ms. G has also instituted a new rule - if you get close to finishing, but still have a few problems left unfilled, (up to 4 problems) you can still pass. So she has basically lowered the bar for these kids. Also, they don't work on multiplication problems in the classroom. The homework has always been very easy for Daphne, and usually was centered around spelling words. She has never been sent a worksheet with many math problems on it, and they never do those in the classroom, either. And yet....a couple weeks ago, they had a lot of math problems. There was one sheet of 64 single digit multiplication problems, one sheet of 64 double digit multiplication problems (which they had not learned or discussed in the classroom), and one page of 100 division problems! Daphne was near tears! (Especially considering her teacher had given her the wrong homework, so she didn't receive it until Wednesday).

 

Last week, Ms. G showed the class a movie, Stuart Little. Now, this is a PG movie, and it is our school district's policy that a parent must sign permission before a PG movie can be shown. Ms. G "didn't realize" that this was a PG movie. She told the principal after the fact, but we, the parents, were never notified. Seems like a simple mistake, right? Do you know the storyline of the movie? It's about a mouse, who gets adopted by a human family. Towards the end of the movie, the mouse's "real" parents come back to claim him. Even though they are strangers, the mouse has to go with his "real" parents.

 

Now, as a mom of 3 kids who joined our family through the miracle of adoption, I have BIG problem with this movie! It probably would have been okay, if they had asked ahead of time. It likely would have been okay if they had notified us after. But the only reason I know is because Daphne told me. I have resisted complaining, because I've already been that route, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to bring it up. One or two mistakes can easily be overlooked and forgiven, but they keep stacking up. (And this dingbat substitute teacher makes me want to rip my arm off and start beating people with it! :mad: )

 

Fast forward to today. At 2:40 today, the school automated machine called. (It gives school-wide announcements) It said, "There has been a non-school incident in the parking lot. If you are picking your child up from school, please pick them up in the bus parking lot. Be sure to arrive after 3:30."

 

That was all it said. It didn't say what had happened. Daphne's school lets out at 3:25. So I arrive late, as it states, and pick her up in the bus parking lot. As I pass our regular parking lot, it is blocked off at both entrances, with cones, and a man in a vest at each entrance. There are 2 police cars in the parking lot. And there is a temporary awning, covering something in the parking lot.

 

When I ask Daphne what was going on, she had no idea. She also said that afternoon recess was an inside recess, but they weren't told why. Now, it was a beautiful day today, and this is the school that sent my baby outside in 18 degree weather, and also in the rain. No. matter. what. So if they are kept inside for recess on a beautiful day, that is a "lock-down" situation. Wouldn't you agree?

 

There were a lot of adults outside with the kids when I picked up Daphne. I had a car full of kids and I didn't want to try to get answers out in the parking lot, with all my kids waiting on me. (I had my sister's 2, as well.) I've looked through Daphne's backpack, and there is no announcement of what, exactly, happened.

 

I spoke with my BIL, a police officer, who works in a middle school, and he raised his eyebrows. He says there is no way there should be that heavy a presence there and the parents not to be notified.

 

I am going to be walking Daphne into the school tomorrow, and if they can't tell me what was going on, I don't feel like I can leave her there. I mean, if she were at a friend's house, and the mom called up and said, "Can you pick her up in the alley today? There's something going on out front." And then, when I got there, there were police cars, the yard was taped off, and there was a big awning in the yard, blocking my view, do you really think I would bring my child back the next day? I mean, given that no explanation was given, that is huge to me. If it were a car fire or something, why hide it? Why not mention the words "lock-down" in the phone message, since that's exactly what it was?

 

*sigh* Thanks for listening. I've been trying to be nice, but I think the time for being nice is over. All of this is completely unacceptable to me.

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:grouphug:

 

Wow... just... wow.

 

I can't believe that they didn't inform anyone as to what was going on. Was anything mentioned on the news?

 

Word travels fast here, the whole county knows (practically within the hour) what's going on when there is an "incident" at one of the schools.

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Dawn,

 

I don't know what to tell you about the reason for your post. I agree with your BIL that anything that requires that much should be disclosed. Of course, doing so as it was happening may be difficult. I think you'll get your answers, to the degree possible, in the morning (obviously, they'll be somewhat vague for privacy reasons). And I think you SHOULD.

 

Are you friendly with the sub? There is this WONDERFUL, FUN way to teach EVERY child their math facts in a group situation. It works really fast and really easily. And is non-stressful! The teacher can download the "rules" and materials for it at wholebrainteaching.com.

 

There are so many issues going on at the school that *I* would consider pulling a kid. And yet, at least some of them are temporary (teacher returning in March). Of course, they COULD get a better sub in there.

 

Anyway, just a few thoughts...

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I wouldn't want a teacher discussing those issues in that manner with my nine-year-old either. Nothing like scaring the wits out of children, huh?

 

The lying is inexcusable, but it's her word against your daughter's unless you can prove it otherwise. It seems you can with the late e-mail, but I doubt the principal will do much about that. She is probably just grateful to have an adult in there for the next month or so.

 

It sounds like the next month is going to be a long one for you. At least the other teacher is coming back. That's good.

 

Regarding the possible lock-down, I agree that you should go in and find out what happened. The schools in my area tell parents immediately even if it's relatively minor -- for example, fire trucks showing up because a bag of popcorn caught on fire.

Edited by MBM
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Not trying to invalidate your feelings...but these sound like the Everyday Stories from when our kids were in ps. We also had a "lockdown" because of an armed gunman in the area.

 

As far as going outside during bad weather, apparently there is some stupid law that says the kids have to spend a certain amount of time outdoors except in cases of severe, life-threatening weather (this is what we were told). I looked like an over-protective parent when I told the teacher that I normally wouldn't let my 5 yro go outside when it was 20 degrees out there (just thought it was common sense, not over-parenting). :glare:

 

Good luck with that situation. Maybe things will get better when her regular teacher gets back from leave. I feel for you...we've been there too. :D

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The lockdown situation, and it sure sounds like a lockdown, is out of this teacher's responsibility. The lockdowns I'm familiar with are handled the way you describe, with a school-wide note being sent out the next day. The incidents I'm familiar with have been domestic disputes that erupted at the school. Everyone is safer to handle it the way they did because the police don't need hundreds of extra adults in the area. Your daughter was not upset, so don't make her upset or fearful about the lockdown.

 

Now, you have plenty to be concerned about with this sub. But what action do you want done? Do you want them to get a new sub? Do you want your daughter out of that classroom, meaning she'll also miss having the other teacher when she returns?

I don't think apologies will change anything, they're only as valuable as the paper they're printed on.

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With that many issues, why haven't you pulled your dd yet? Just curious as to why she can't do school at home? It might mean a lot less stress for you and your family.

 

:iagree: I don't know the circumstances that caused her to be in public school, but is it worth it? You have to right for your child to have a worthwhile and happy education. Why settle for less?

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Thanks again for listening. Sometimes I think, "Am I overreacting?". It helps to write it all down like this, and see that it really is quite a lot to be dealing with.

 

I walked in with Daphne this morning, and brought her to the office with me. I told the secretaries, "I need to know why the school was locked down yesterday."

 

They were quick to say, "Oh, we weren't locked down!" Um, my BIL, the police officer who works at a middle school, says that what happened yesterday was the very definition of a lock down. Call it what you will, but a lock down is a lock down.

 

They said I would have to speak with the principal about it. When she came out, she said she would need to speak with me in the confernce room. (This was fine, as I figured they must have been trying to keep the situation from the students)

 

Apparently, over the weekend, a gentleman parked his car in the school parking lot and committed suicide. The windows were very dark tinted and local business often park in the parking lot, so no one noticed this car until sometime after lunch. They had indoor recess for afternoon recess, because you could see the car from one corner of the playground. No one had noticed anything and probably none of the students would have noticed, but, of course, they didn't want to take chances. And they waited until all the students were gone before removing the gentleman and his car.

 

So, really awful circumstances. I'm very sad for the gentleman who did this.

 

But, I feel the school handled the communication part of this very poorly. The did right with the lockdown, and keeping the information from the students. But the parents needed to know something. The principal told me they were telling students who asked questions to discuss it with their parents. And that if their parents have questions, they should contact the town police department.

 

Personally, I feel more information should have been given. They could have sent it on the recorded line that calls to announce things. (Like it called to tell me to pick Daphne up in the bus parking lot). If they didn't want to put the full information there, they could have sent a reassuring message that the "situation" has been resolved, and if any parent had any questions, they should call blah blah blah #.

 

Going back to what I said yesterday, if that were a friend's house, and something similar had occurred, would you just drop your child off? And most of the school takes the bus, so most of the parents are likely not even aware that their child's school was in lockdown yesterday. I'm sorry, but that just feels really wrong to me. Every parent should know everything that is going on in their child's school.

 

As I finished this quick converstion with the principal, I mentioned about the Stuart Little movie, as well. She simply said that she was aware of the situation and had spoken with Ms. G, and that it wouldn't happen again. Um, hello? What about not notifying me of this, even after the fact? What if Daphne had come home crying again, because of this movie? Is that what it takes to get some communication going?

 

When I spoke with my BIL tonight, he was amazed at the lack of information being shared. The principal is nice, but I do not feel like the best interests of my daughter are being met. I am seriously considering writing the superintendant. Do I think it will do any good? Probably not. But, at least I will know that I am looking out for my daughter and her classmates.

 

I guess it comes down to, should I make waves? Or should I keep quiet at the expense of my daughter?

 

I had planned on pulling her at the end of 5th grade, so she could avoid all the middle and high school mess. But I've been thinking now that I may pull her at the end of the year. She is happy in her class, and doesn't realize what a dingbat the sub is. And we do love her regular teacher. I guess we will have to see what happens, and how big the waves I make actually become.

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My dh has a terrible job right now, w/ low, unpredictable pay. I'm a certified teacher w/ a BA & an MEd. Do you know what I'd make as a sub? About $70/day, max. Now I know it's not a full day, so we'll say that works out to about $10/hr. Maid services in the area pay the same rate.

 

Long-term subs make more--maybe $120/day--but you have to already be in the system to get that position.

 

But wait, it gets worse. They've passed new laws requiring things like fingerprinting for subs. (This was already a requirement for teachers.) The cost of fingerprinting...hm, I can't remember...seems like it was about $75. So basically, you take one of the worst jobs possible & work a day for free. After going down to the local police dept & being fingerprinted like a criminal.

 

But wait, there's more. To be a sub in most areas (here), you have to have at least 2 yrs of college. W/ my credentials, I could make up to $80/ day in *some* districts. Most pay $55/day.

 

Several districts require 2 days of unpaid training, whether you're already certified or not, & you have to buy their training materials ($30).

 

My point is not at all that you should feel sorry for the sub or that any of this excuses her behavior. My point is...most people who have *anything* to offer *at all* in the way of skills/intelligence/moral compass will not be working as substitutes. They are simply going to be treated too badly & way too underpaid, even if they adore children.

 

So who does that leave to substitute? You could get really lucky & get some grad student who brings his reading & checks out. Kids wouldn't learn their math facts, & the student might get carried away in a global warming discussion that's entirely inappropriate for the age level involved...

 

Well, that wasn't my point, but suddenly I'm thinking maybe you *have* gotten really lucky! :lol: Sorry.

 

I'm not saying all subs are bad or that good people never choose to sub, just that the system has stacked the odds against that. I know you've said you want to hs your dd for middle & highschool, but honestly, elem hs'ing has been some of the most fun I've ever had in my life! :001_smile: And what are you going to do when her teacher next yr goes on maternity leave or something similar? One of the things that blows apart the whole argument of "experts" teaching at ps is the percentage of time the avg kid spends under the tutelage of substitutes.

 

GL!

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They've passed new laws requiring things like fingerprinting for subs. (This was already a requirement for teachers.) The cost of fingerprinting...hm, I can't remember...seems like it was about $75. So basically, you take one of the worst jobs possible & work a day for free. After going down to the local police dept & being fingerprinted like a criminal.

 

You have to pay for fingerprinting? What a racket. In our school, teachers, subs, and volunteers all get criminal background checks and fingerprinted, but we don't pay for it ourselves.

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Personally, I feel more information should have been given. They could have sent it on the recorded line that calls to announce things. (Like it called to tell me to pick Daphne up in the bus parking lot). If they didn't want to put the full information there, they could have sent a reassuring message that the "situation" has been resolved, and if any parent had any questions, they should call blah blah blah #.

 

Have you talked about this with other parents? Could you gather a group of other parents to discuss it further at a school board meeting?

 

The parents in our school would have been up in arms if they weren't informed sooner. We are told things soon after an event occurs so as to prevent misunderstandings.

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But, I feel the school handled the communication part of this very poorly. The did right with the lockdown, and keeping the information from the students. But the parents needed to know something.

 

 

:iagree: And if administration (or parents, for that matter) think they can keep the actual event from kids in the school, they are so very wrong. You will be amazed at how quickly the story gets spread through the student body. Information like that is capital in a student population; don't believe for a second that students possessing it won't spend it!

 

That's a tough situation for a school administration. They can't just blurt the information out to the kids, but they do have to get information to the parents in a timely fashion so that they can have first crack at letting their kids know before they hear it on the playground. But then letting the kids know ensures that it will be repeated on the playground!

 

It's really a d***ed if you do & d***ed if you don't situation. I don't envy the school leadership a bit.

 

So I guess we're back to homeschooling! (All roads lead to...) Which I do understand isn't feasible for absolutely everyone, but it's the answer to situations like this, isn't it?

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As far as going outside during bad weather, apparently there is some stupid law that says the kids have to spend a certain amount of time outdoors except in cases of severe, life-threatening weather (this is what we were told). I looked like an over-protective parent when I told the teacher that I normally wouldn't let my 5 yro go outside when it was 20 degrees out there (just thought it was common sense, not over-parenting). :glare:

 

 

This would be a non-issue around here. The standard policy is no outdoor recess when the temp is under 0. It's 20 or less most of the school year.

 

They had a lock-down "drill" in the local high school, and it was mentioned in the weekly Principal's newsletter, and then in another email about two minutes before it happened. No attempt at secrecy at all.

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:iagree: I don't know the circumstances that caused her to be in public school, but is it worth it? You have to right for your child to have a worthwhile and happy education. Why settle for less?

:iagree: This was very similar to the kinds of things that happened when my dc were in ps. Kids deserve so much more than all of that.

Edited by babysparkler
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When I read stories like these I am so thankful that we do home school our children. Mine are all teens now. They are older than yours but we still hear/read all kinds of public school terrible stories. I even know of private school horrible stories. And Christian private school terrible stories.

 

(OK , I've got to be fair... I also hear of wonderful experiences in classrooms! My own cousin was a great public school teacher and prinicpal before she retired. I've heard great stories from her. But, I also heard some terrible stories as well. )

 

Even with all the illness and uncertainity in our life right now, even if we're not "doing" classical education right now, even with all the problems we do face..... My children are getting QUALITY lessons, with real UNDERSTANDING. They are reading good books, watching some great documentaries, having lots of ah ha , "hey Mom, this is so cool" moments, and moving along with math.

 

Why aren't your homeschooling this child? (not judging your decision, just asking in the light of your posts)

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As far as what your kids are being taught in school-the public schools are not going to adhere to your personal beliefs. That's not what they are there for. If you want your kids taught according to your beliefs then you need to teach them yourself or send them to a private school that aligns with your beliefs. This isn't a battle worth fighting because you'll ultimately lose.

 

That's a tough situation for a school administration. They can't just blurt the information out to the kids, but they do have to get information to the parents in a timely fashion so that they can have first crack at letting their kids know before they hear it on the playground. But then letting the kids know ensures that it will be repeated on the playground!

 

It's really a d***ed if you do & d***ed if you don't situation. I don't envy the school leadership a bit.

 

 

I agree. What do you want the school to do? The kids weren't in danger, they were just being kept away from the scene. How many kids are in this school? They have automatic calling so that they don't have to call each and every parent, personally. They probably don't have the staff to handle those sorts of calls. As far as putting it in a recorded message-that might not be allowed for an ongoing police investigation. Not every bit of information gets released to the general public (which is what you are in this case).

 

I've known parents (who now homeschool or use an online charter school) who have fought battles like this-calling the superintendent, writing the mayor, etc. They eventually get labeled "that crazy parent" and their kids suffer for it. Once the child has been ostracized by the teacher, they will be ostracized by the other kids.

 

JMO, YMMV and so forth.

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As far as what your kids are being taught in school-the public schools are not going to adhere to your personal beliefs. That's not what they are there for. If you want your kids taught according to your beliefs then you need to teach them yourself or send them to a private school that aligns with your beliefs. This isn't a battle worth fighting because you'll ultimately lose.

 

 

 

I agree. What do you want the school to do? The kids weren't in danger, they were just being kept away from the scene. How many kids are in this school? They have automatic calling so that they don't have to call each and every parent, personally. They probably don't have the staff to handle those sorts of calls. As far as putting it in a recorded message-that might not be allowed for an ongoing police investigation. Not every bit of information gets released to the general public (which is what you are in this case).

 

I've known parents (who now homeschool or use an online charter school) who have fought battles like this-calling the superintendent, writing the mayor, etc. They eventually get labeled "that crazy parent" and their kids suffer for it. Once the child has been ostracized by the teacher, they will be ostracized by the other kids.

 

JMO, YMMV and so forth.

 

I have to agree with this. You don't want to be the crazy parent, the one that makes everyone roll their eyes and say, "It's just so-and-so complaining again." It becomes too easy for them to ignore you, which is a disaster when you have a serious situation that requires their help. It's not fair, but it's reality.

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You should check with your state on the science curriculum. My state (KANSAS) teaches global warming. The curriculum for the whole state is not up to you. The last time my state (KANSAS) tried to include religion in Science we ended up with the religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. That is embarrassing. The people that make those decisions were promptly voted out. As a parent if someone tried to make a "no global warming" curriculum in my child's school (If my child went to public school) then I would raise a stink and I would be calling the state education board. I don't want their jobs if people are going to be calling me like that all the time. :lol:

 

If you do not agree with the curriculum you are just going to have to homeschool or switch to a private school. I know you probably have reasons for not homeschooling and I am not trying to judge you but the science curriculum is not decided by a single parent. It would not be appropriate. That decision is made by people who are elected to those positions and educators who are appointed by elected individuals. If I vote for someone to make a decision I would be NOT happy to have their decisions undermined by a single parent. This is a democratic process. The principal of the school doesn't make those decisions and it isn't really fair to her to call her to voice objections to state curriculum. If she is having the teachers go outside of the state curriculum she could lose her job, people would absolutely object. (I would)

 

 

 

To me that situation would not be a "lockdown" a "lockdown" would consist of things being "locked down" and no one would be able to leave or enter the school because it would be locked. Classrooms are locked and the windows are locked and the blinds are closed.

 

There are a lot of movies that would be particularly bothersome depending on a person's background. I wouldn't object to Stuart Little just as you might not necessarily object to Peter Pan but I do mind Peter Pan. I did not complain when they showed my NA dd Peter Pan. But of course she came home imitating that "war cry" I did let her know "real Indians do not do that, only fake Indians"

Edited by Sis
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To me that situation would not be a "lockdown" a "lockdown" would consist of things being "locked down" and no one would be able to leave or enter the school because it would be locked. Classrooms are locked and the windows are locked and the blinds are closed.

 

 

:iagree: Many years ago the private school my DD attended had a lock down. It was scary. All interior and exterior doors were closed and locked. The windows were closed and locked and blinds/curtains were drawn. The students were not allowed to leave their respective classrooms for any reason. No one was allowed into or out of the school. The police presence was obvious; officers were staged at every exit, in the driveway and at the nearest intersections. Parents were made to stand across the street and were not allowed to approach the building.

 

To me having the kids stay inside for recess is nothing. They were still able to go about their normal day. They simply were kept from playing outside for one recess.

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As far as what your kids are being taught in school-the public schools are not going to adhere to your personal beliefs. That's not what they are there for. If you want your kids taught according to your beliefs then you need to teach them yourself or send them to a private school that aligns with your beliefs. This isn't a battle worth fighting because you'll ultimately lose.

 

I've known parents (who now homeschool or use an online charter school) who have fought battles like this-calling the superintendent, writing the mayor, etc. They eventually get labeled "that crazy parent" and their kids suffer for it. Once the child has been ostracized by the teacher, they will be ostracized by the other kids.

 

I agree.

 

Dawn, I know you're concerned about your dd, but I think you're over-reacting, and as other have already posted, you probably don't want to be known throughout your school district as a wacko or a troublemaker. (I'm not suggesting that you are either of those things; I'm just saying that if you complain about every little thing, pretty soon the teacher, principal, and school administration will dismiss everything you say.)

 

I can't imagine being so upset over Stuart Little, and I honestly always assumed it was rated G. Had the kids already read the book in school?

 

As for the global warming situation, I wouldn't doubt that many public schools are teaching it as part of the science curriculum, and while your family doesn't believe in it, other families do. Certainly, you can teach your dd whatever you'd like, but you probably don't stand a chance at changing your public school's policies. Compared with many of the other topics being covered in public schools, global warming actually seems pretty tame.

 

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but I think you have to tolerate this sort of thing if you plan to keep your dd in public school this year. If something absolutely heinous happens, it's another story, but the things you've described don't seem to be worth fighting about. You seem to be very angry with the substitute teacher -- and if she lied to you, I don't blame you at all! -- but you're stuck with her, and being friendly with her will make things a lot easier on your dd than if it seems like you're trying to get her fired.

 

Personally, if I felt as strongly as you do about the way things are done in your dd's school, I would just remove her from school and begin homeschooling immediately. Maybe all of these problems are a sign that it's time to bring your dd home with you.

 

One last thing -- are you sure you aren't subconsciously making a big deal about the school situation so that you can better justify bringing your dd home next year? (I only ask because it sounds like something I would do... :))

 

Sorry you have to deal with this stuff. I know I'd always be ready to complain about one thing or another if my ds went to school, and it's one of the reasons we homeschool! :)

 

Cat

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One last thing -- are you sure you aren't subconsciously making a big deal about the school situation so that you can better justify bringing your dd home next year? (I only ask because it sounds like something I would do... :))

 

 

I do think I did that a bit during dd's last months of school :lol: We weren't planning on public school the next year but it was like I was looking to justify it.

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Apparently, over the weekend, a gentleman parked his car in the school parking lot and committed suicide. The windows were very dark tinted and local business often park in the parking lot, so no one noticed this car until sometime after lunch. They had indoor recess for afternoon recess, because you could see the car from one corner of the playground. No one had noticed anything and probably none of the students would have noticed, but, of course, they didn't want to take chances. And they waited until all the students were gone before removing the gentleman and his car.

 

So, really awful circumstances. I'm very sad for the gentleman who did this.

 

But, I feel the school handled the communication part of this very poorly. The did right with the lockdown, and keeping the information from the students. But the parents needed to know something. The principal told me they were telling students who asked questions to discuss it with their parents. And that if their parents have questions, they should contact the town police department.

 

Personally, I feel more information should have been given. They could have sent it on the recorded line that calls to announce things. (Like it called to tell me to pick Daphne up in the bus parking lot). If they didn't want to put the full information there, they could have sent a reassuring message that the "situation" has been resolved, and if any parent had any questions, they should call blah blah blah #.

 

 

I completely understand wanting to know what was going on, but I think the school might have been unable to give additional information for legal reasons. A reassuring message would have raised more questions that the school is simply unable to answer.

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I completely understand wanting to know what was going on, but I think the school might have been unable to give additional information for legal reasons. A reassuring message would have raised more questions that the school is simply unable to answer.

 

:iagree:

 

And 18 degrees? I took my kids to the city with no winter coats the other day because it hit a balmy 40 degrees! 39...probably would have kept the coats. I don't understand how it is hurting (properly dressed) kids to be out in 20 degree weather. Mine would have to stay inside most of October to March.

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I appreciate all the replies.

 

The global warming thing wasn't part of the curriculum. It was a "general discussion". My dd knows our beliefs, so it wouldn't be a big deal. The big deal was the emphasis on dead and dying polar bears, and how the children were referring to a fictional, end-of-the world movie that was supposed to be caused by global warming, and that a typical warm day was attributed to global warming. Whethere anyone believes in it or not, that should never happen. The teacher lost control of the class and the conversation took a bad turn. THAT is what was upsetting.

 

THEN they carried it further, by talking about the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Of course we want our kids to hear about world events like this, but when the children are allowed to carry on about thousands dead, amputations in the street, etc. All of this is WAY too graphic for any child this age. Especially in the context of a classroom of 20+ kids.

 

It isn't the fact that they discussed global warming or the earthquake in Haiti. It was that the sub allowed such graphic conversation to take place, unchecked, and including fictional things like, "The end of the world in the movie 2012 was supposed to have been caused by global warming." That's definitely not "science" and has no place in any classroom.

 

As for the lockdown, even my BIL, the police officer who works in a middle school and has to initiate these things from time to time, this was, indeed, a lockdown. I"m sure they shielded the children as much as they could (as well they should have). The library and several classrooms overlook that parking lot, and you better believe all the blinds and windows were locked down, and that no one was allowed to wander around out of their classroom.

 

I spoke with a few other parents during RE at church tonight, and I'm not the only one who was extremely upset at the lack of communication. I waited until the next morning before demanding answers of the school, but one mother called and badgered the secretaries until she was given a straight answer. If the school is taking responsibility for people's children during the school day, they have an obligation to be upfront and truthful of things that go on during the school day. And parents should not have to go there in person and demand answers. I was glad to hear from other parents tonight that I was not the only one upset at the lack of communication from the school.

 

About the movie, it's district policy that ANY movie with a PG rating MUST get parental approval before it is shown in class. Stuart Little is a PG movie, and not only did they not get parental approval beforehand, but they didn't notify parents after the sub realized her mistake. The school is not holding their employees accountable for their actions. That is very wrong. Why should the students be expected to follow the rules, but not the staff?

 

I brought the movie Stuart Little up because it is offensive to adoptive families, and my family IS an adoptive family. I wanted the principal to see how not following the school district policy in any way can hurt students. For what it's worth, if they actually HAD sent home a permission slip, I certainly would have given permission to see the movie. We don't own it, but we've seen bits and pieces of it enough times that my kids shouldn't be shocked by the adoptive mouse-boy being carted away by strangers, who claim to be his "real" parents. But the principal and sub not following district policy needs to be addressed.

 

When talking with other parents tonight, many have similar circumstances in the other classrooms. They were encouraging me to address all of these things with the principal, and letting her know that if my concerns are not resolved, that I will notifiy the school board. At this point, the way I see it, there is very little curriculum, no accountability, and no communication. The school has the benefit of my daughter's test scores and the tax money they receive for her attendance. But where is the benefit for my daughter? I would like to ask them that, and also, "Why should I send my daughter to your school next year?"

 

I would like to keep her home next year. I've been praying for God to speak plainly and let me know His wishes, because sometimes I don't think I am listening hard enough. I think He is telling me to keep her home, and convicting my heart that this is best for her. I am going to be working on dh, because we haven't decided anything. I am also praying that we are on the same page.

 

I do appreciate everyone's input. It is helping me, even just writing it all out.

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Dawn,

 

Are you friendly with the sub? There is this WONDERFUL, FUN way to teach EVERY child their math facts in a group situation. It works really fast and really easily. And is non-stressful! The teacher can download the "rules" and materials for it at wholebrainteaching.com.

 

 

 

Thanks so much for posting this! I went to the website, and this game looks like a fun way to learn math facts. I was so glad to see that it doesn't involve writing (my ADHD son has a lot of trouble with his handwriting).

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I don't know what else the school could have done in regards to the incident in the parking lot. It may have been that no information was supposed to be given out yet if the relatives of the person who had died had not been notified. Of course the students will find out, but at least the school was doing what they could to keep the children away from the scene. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be surprised if the school had notified all of the parents by voice mail , if there would have been a few adults try to get a look in the car, which in turn would have attracted some children over to the car. I think it's best that they just kept the information from everyone, since no one was in any danger of physical harm and too many people are way too nosey. I think we are sometimes in too big of a hurry to want everything addressed instantly.

 

Honestly, the best way to keep your child from being exposed to these types of situations is to homeschool her. But I don't think the school did anything wrong by keeping EVERYONE, including parents, away from this incident.

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I appreciate all the replies.

 

 

.......

 

When talking with other parents tonight, many have similar circumstances in the other classrooms. They were encouraging me to address all of these things with the principal, and letting her know that if my concerns are not resolved, that I will notifiy the school board. At this point, the way I see it, there is very little curriculum, no accountability, and no communication. The school has the benefit of my daughter's test scores and the tax money they receive for her attendance. But where is the benefit for my daughter? I would like to ask them that, and also, "Why should I send my daughter to your school next year?"

 

I would like to keep her home next year. I've been praying for God to speak plainly and let me know His wishes, because sometimes I don't think I am listening hard enough. I think He is telling me to keep her home, and convicting my heart that this is best for her. I am going to be working on dh, because we haven't decided anything. I am also praying that we are on the same page.

 

I do appreciate everyone's input. It is helping me, even just writing it all out.

Honestly, I think some of your expectations of what the p.s. can be for your child are unreasonable and are just not going to happen. You seem to want it to be a home like environment, which is only going to happen in YOUR home. I don't care for the p.s. environment and the best solution I have found for my children is to just not have them there. :001_smile:

Regardless of how reasonable it seems to be to discuss these issues with the school I highly doubt that it will result in an improved educational experience for your child. It is more likely to result in resentment towards you and your child and even the possibility of the resentment being taken out on your child. I don't think you will be doing your child a service by complaining about these things to the school. Instead of asking the school " Why should I send my daughter to your school next year ?" I think you should ask yourself that question and ask yourself who cares more about all aspects of the well being of your child, you or the school ? Really, the school is NOT your child's parent, and they simply cannot and never will be. It seems you are wanting them to be what only you can be for your child. I think you will do well to channel the energy you are wasting by being angry at the school for not being what they cannot be, and instead focus that energy by providing your child with what you as a parent CAN provide for your child by homeschooling her.

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After homeschooling dd for K-2, I sent her to the local elementary for 3rd--it's a good school, and both my boys went there, so it was pretty familiar.

I found myself constantly comparing what I would do at home with what she was getting there--and so I understand about your mulitiplication concerns and other curriculum concerns.

It's hard, but I think you have to either homeschool or let that go.

 

As far as the discussions, how can a teacher know what is going to be said by 9yo children, ahead of time? When discussions occur in the classroom, very often someone will pipe up with some tidbit from a movie or TV show that may not be appropriate, in someone's opinion, but that they are allowed to see. The teacher doesn't just shut it down, but works with what was contributed. Even if she does say, "ok, I think that's enough," or whatever, the "damage" is already done.

 

We have experienced lockdowns and a whole month of near-lockdown when the sniper (Malvo) was prowling around this area the year after 9-11. You are right, I think, that parents should be notified. They can't always notify right then, tho.

 

I really do understand what you are saying--I realized just how much of a "turn-over" sending dd to public school was--that I had to trust these people to take care of her, almost as if I was not her parent during the hours she was in school! There really is a feeling like that--and it's fostered by the schools. I never really understood that until I sent a child to school that I was used to homeschooling.

 

I hope you can bring her home next year. It does sound like that's where your heart is.

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.When talking with other parents tonight, many have similar circumstances in the other classrooms. They were encouraging me to address all of these things with the principal, and letting her know that if my concerns are not resolved, that I will notifiy the school board.

 

I think talking about these things with the principal is a good idea especially since she sounds like a kind person. Keep in mind that her job is not a bed of roses. She has the difficult job of trying to keep everyone happy while running the school at the same time.

 

I would like to keep her home next year. I've been praying for God to speak plainly and let me know His wishes, because sometimes I don't think I am listening hard enough. I think He is telling me to keep her home, and convicting my heart that this is best for her. I am going to be working on dh, because we haven't decided anything. I am also praying that we are on the same page.

 

I think God is speaking to you, don't you? :D

 

Good luck. It's not fun to deal with these kinds of problems.

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I would like to keep her home next year. I've been praying for God to speak plainly and let me know His wishes, because sometimes I don't think I am listening hard enough. I think He is telling me to keep her home, and convicting my heart that this is best for her. I am going to be working on dh, because we haven't decided anything. I am also praying that we are on the same page.

 

I think the paragraph I quoted says it all.

 

You want to keep your dd home. You don't want her in school. As such, you're looking for ammunition and excuses that will justify your wishes to homeschool. Perhaps you need to convince your dh, or maybe you're simply trying to convince yourself 100% that it's the right decision for your family.

 

Realistically, after reading your posts, I don't think you will ever be satisfied with the public school system. Your complaints certainly reinforce the idea that you should be homeschooling, but honestly, I think most parents of public school kids would be happy to have your "problems" with your dd's teacher and principal. You're upset about a one-time classroom discussion that, while it certainly seems to have gone too far, doesn't seem to be the norm in your dd's class. You're upset about Stuart Little, even though you admitted that you would have allowed your dd to view it if you'd been notified in advance. These are not exactly life and death issues.

 

I hate to say it, but from a neutral third-party standpoint, you're over-reacting. I don't think you're doing it because you're a pain in the neck; I am absolutely convinced that it's because you are clutching at straws to find a definitive reason to bring your dd home so you can homeschool her. Perhaps you're worried that your dh won't be on-board with your decision? If that's the case, now is the time to have a long discussion with him about it. Outline your reasons for wanting to homeschool and show him that you're prepared with curriculum options. You may also want to find local homeschool groups or identify other ways your dd will have contact with other kids, so your dh won't worry that your dd won't have any "socialization" at home.

 

As I said in my last post, I know I sound a little harsh, but I can read in your posts that you really want to homeschool your dd, and it seems to me that you've prayed about it and thought about it a lot, so I think you should just go for it!

 

Cat

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