Friday, September 05, 2008

Don't make my child stand outside in the cold.

This morning I am a mom on a mission.

The elementary school where my youngest daughter goes to school makes the kids stand outside until 10 minutes before school starts. It doesn't matter whether or not a bus has arrived. The kids still stand outside waiting to get into the building unless they go to the cafeteria for breakfast.

This policy really upsets me. I think that once the first bus arrives, ALL children should be allowed into the building. This morning, that's exactly what I told the principal. He listened and was quick to let me know that when winter comes he'll let them in the building five minutes earlier.

That's not good enough for me.

The way I see it, parents and kids can't control when the bus picks up their kids or drops them off at school. The arrival of the first bus ought to signal that it's time for the children to enter the building. Period.

I didn't stop at just talking with the principal. I also called and talked to someone at the district office to see if there was a district-wide policy. She wasn't sure, but after I expressed my concerns, she said she too would call and talk with the principal.

Next I called all of the other elementary schools in our district to find out what their policies are for allowing children into their buildings in the morning. Not one makes the kids wait outside past when the first bus arrives, and many have much more open and kid-friendly policies.

I spoke with the PTA President at my daughter's school. She is also a crossing guard at the intersection in front of the school. She too has noticed that the stand-in-line policy is causing problems. In fact, this morning the lines got so long that they blocked sidewalk traffic and even reached the road, preventing busses from easily entering the drop off drive. Carrie also told me that she's talked with the principal before about what a problem the lines of children waiting outside are. I told her that today would be a great day to talk to him again, as he heard from me and will also hear from the district office. I told her she could tell him that Christie Hansen won't rest until the policy is changed to allow the kids to enter the building when the first bus arrives.

Don't mess with a mom on a mission.


Suko said...

Good for you, Christie! We have to be advocates for our children.

Riddles said...

Good for you Christie. I think it is a dumb policy, too! In the entry of the North Cache 8-9 Center there is a chart listing the characteristics of a student friendly school. One of the characteristics is that the doors of the school are unlocked so the students can come in when they arrive. It seems so basic! North Cache is a school that has students ages 12-14. It seems even more important that a school serving students ages 8-11 should be unlocked for the students when they arrive. Thanks for working to make this change.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Good girl! I like the first bus policy.

Heidi A. said...

Way to go for you! Most often it takes just one person speaking-up to change things! Perhaps that's why we love 'our' Sarah so well! :)

I think that they need to turn off the sprinklers as they're not currently needed. They seem to run every morning!

Let us know what happens.
Good for you!

Flashlight Girl said...

Yup, you're right. At our old school in Clearfield they had the same policy until we got a new principal. As the school required no bus service, children were asked to not arrive until 10 minutes before school started. They also had a Before and After School program for students whose parents had to be to work early or would be home after school. I think it was paid for by the city and Boys and Girls clubs. Anyway, you keep at it until a better policy is implemented. You may not be the principal's favorite parent when this is over, but he'll certainly respect you. As it is a public school, as a parent you are entitled to help and offer input for policy making. Does your school have a Community Council in place? It is sort of a parents/community involvement team that deals directly with policies, teachers, city liason and such. I think you would be great at that!!!

Christie said...

Yes, we have a community council. They're meeting on Monday, and I'll be there. This morning I told the principal that if it was a problem for his teachers, I'd be happy to come talk with them and give them the perspective of a parent. Also, I got a little teary-eyed at the end of my conversation with the principal because my daughter doesn't always like going to school. Waiting in line doesn't help her want to go. At one point I told him, "This school doesn't belong to the teachers." And I mean it.

Allie's Antics said...

Will you run for president?

Hansen square said...

You go Christie! I 100% agree! Why make them freeze? You are a great mom and every community needs moms like you who will stand up for their kids!
I love reading your blog and I really love reading your comments on mine. You are great!