Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If I was in charge at my child's school.

This is a vent with some thoughts/ideas running through my mind.
It is not directed towards Teachers ( I love and appreciate teachers), PTA Presidents (I have a great friend who is our PTA pres) or any one person in is just me getting some thoughts out so I can stop hearing myself scream in my own head. 
I have felt some frustration this week with the way things run at our elementary.   The list isn't long ..just a few items I have wondered about and wished things run a bit differently.   I am not in charge and I know my wishes or ideas end here on my blog but I can dream right?  So this is me just letting off a little steam so I can move forward and feel happy about most things at my child's school. 

If I was in charge at my child's school....
  • I would have class lists ready to go before the end of the school year so each child will leave with the name of their next years teacher written inside of their last report card.
  • I would ask each teacher to write up a request list or wish list of the items they need donated at the beginning of the next school year along with items each child needs to bring with them for a successful beginning.   (Why would I do this?:   To allow parents to obtain a few "wish list" items and the "needed" items BEFORE they have to shop for clothes and shoes for their child or children.   It is hard to afford everything all at the same time.)  This list would be included in last report card as well.
  • I would have price list included in a note home letting parents know how much it costs to join the PTA and how much it costs to buy school spirit items.   (Why?:  So parents can plan accordingly weeks before they are faced with spending the money.) .   I would also have the PTA put together a list of what their budget went to in the current school year so parents can see if they even want to put their money towards the organization.  (  Having more information about what the budget is spent on would allow for less assuming and more knowledge on the part of the parent.   Yes a parent can attend the budget meeting but in order to have a say in the budget I already have had to paid my "fee" this doesn't help the parent at the "paying the fee time".  Parents need information before the meeting.)
Sometimes the beginning of school feels like when you just got through paying for Christmas and then are asked to pay taxes.   Not as drastic I realize but still.. :(  
I have decided that rather than writing a post like this next year I will make a note to myself to collect a few items teachers always need and put in on my Google calendar so I am set to buy them in June and put a little away for anything else that comes up school year 2012-2013.
And for the record....No I am not poor or a cheapskate...just a Mom with a budget to keep who didn't remember all of the extras at the beginning of school.
I guess I am learning that remembering is part of my job.


The Loves said...

I wholeheartedly agreed with every word!! You made my day as I was having the same thoughts "screaming in my head"! Thank you for your voice in this matter and for so many children in need! You're awesome!

Becky Jones said...

I understand your frustration. After working closely with the school administration for 6 years now on School Community Council I can give you a little reasoning behind some of the madness. We live in a very volatile area with tons of move in and move outs. For some reason many of them don't tell the school of the changes until right before school starts. Class lists are changed up to the 2nd week of school. Also NO supplies are required to be sent in Utah Elementary Schools. The teachers can have a wish list but teachers can't ask children to have to bring anything. Now with Junior High comes the real costly school fees. Be prepared for $100 or more of REQUIRED fees. I got the letter the month before school started. Beware that band, dance and sports are really expensive. I have put nearly $500 into my 8th grade son because of fees, band rental and Ballroom Dance Company fees and required uniforms. WOW! Thank goodness the rest of the kids don't have fees yet! I will bring your concerns to our SCC meeting and we can discuss them. I sure wish I had the JR High lists before school started because they are required and can be expensive items such as thumb drives.

Mary said...

Okay- I guess I'm kind of naive- you have to PAY to join the PTA? I thought it was a "voluntary" organization?

Becky Jones said...

PTA dues are set by each PTA. Most of the dues stay at the school (I think. Some of it goes to the National PTA if I remember right.) Our school is $5 to be a voting member. The JR HIGH is $6 to vote. Everyone benefits form the PTA it just means that you can have a say in how money is spent if you are a paying member.

SmallAdventures said...

Becky, thank you so much for the information. I knew there would be fees in the upper grades and I dread it. lol Sounds like they just keep climbing. I appreciate the heads up.

I understand our area has some special issues. I realize there are no easy answers. Yesterday my child came home and told me she was told she has to donate something to the class (which I had already planned to do some Clorox wipes etc on my next grocery shopping). I think my child felt a little awkward because I hadn't sent anything in yet. So I felt pressure and felt bad for my child who is trying hard to show her teacher she is excited to be in their class. So it all kind of came to a head for me and that is what brought on the post. :)

Also thanks for the clarification on the whole PTA thing. I would like to understand PTA I will head to the meeting. Is there any other place I can get PTA info??

Becky Jones said... this is the PTA website. It doesn't seem to have been updated since last year but it does have basic answers of what is PTA and how to get involved. I don't do too much with PTA other than I am in charge of Room Mother's Tea and overseeing the Room Moms. I don't attend the meetings like I probably should. I prefer to spend more of my time and effort with the School Community Council. Your Area is actually in need of a representative right now. I'd love to nominate you if you are interested. It is an elected position for 2 years. Ballots will be sent out next week for SCC. The SCC decides how the Trust Lands funds are spent. (Usually about %30,000.)We have 4-6 meeting a year usually 60-90 min long. That's too bad that youy daughter feels bad about not bringing anything into the classroom. To be honest I haven't even thought about sending anything. With all the Jr High fees I just might not send anything till after Christmas.

SmallAdventures said...

Thanks Becky...I will check out the website. Can you email me with more information regarding the council? Am I even qualified for something like that?? What days and time do they usually meet? What would all the of responsibilities be?
cutefamilyof5 at gmail dot com Thank you so have been a wealth of information.

the Villamor's said...

great list. we did get class supply lists with the last report card of the previous year. I don't know how some larger families afford all the supplies that are required each year (we have to buy all of them) Sophia just started middle school and the supplies are more advanced....if that is the right word. No 10 cent folders anymore. Middle school fees are a little more but nothing like High School will be. I think it is dumb to make people join the PTO(we aren't PTA here in Ga.)...we join to volunteer? It is only $1 here($5 for middle school) but you don't have to join to be a part of it. The middle school was $5. I just made a $20 donation to the schools since I don't participate in any of the fundraisers.