Don't parents read school notices???

@much2say (40878)
United States
January 31, 2011 9:09am CST
The other day was sports day at my daughter's school. Everyone could wear a sports cap or a sports shirt. I said bye to my daughter as she walked away telling her friends about her ice skating shirt . . . and then I caught one of her friends' father outside the classroom just staring at the dry erase board. He tells me "I feel so guilty . . . we always miss these days . . . I don't know how I never know about these dress up days . . . poor S would love it, but we just miss it - I'm going to talk to my wife to see if she knew". This didn't exactly surprise me. A while back we had a crazy hat day - and I overheard some parents asking the teacher why the kids had hats on that morning. Even at the holiday program, I heard many parents whisper they JUST found out that morning that there would be a program. How did these parents "not know"? At the beginning of the school year, a "schedule" was mailed out. On Mondays, at least for the K kids, there is a homework instruction sheet for the parents which tells us about the week. On Wednesdays, there are parent letters from the school that are put in the homework folders. Outside the classrooms, there is a dry erase board in which the teacher writes reminders. The school has a marquee that has the month's schedule on it. I am a PTA contact parent for the class - and I email all our parents whatever dates I can. I also talk with my daughter - and she reminds me "Oh mommy, tomorrow is _______ day, don't forget!" and she tells daddy about what's coming too. I know parents can be "too busy", but it's sad that kids (and parents) miss out on these rare fun days at school. Forget the fun things, I have to wonder what other things the parents are unaware of - at least regarding school. We even got a warning notice earlier in the year that they were going to add another K classroom, so some parents would be getting a letter stating they would be pulled out of their current class to fill the new one. Well, apparently a few of those parents say they didn't know about the "move" until THAT morning - oh, their poor kids were not emotional prepared to be in a new classroom so suddenly!! I don't think the school can communicate things any more than what they're doing . . . isn't it up to the parents to know what's going on when it is all spelled out for them? How can parents just "not know"???
14 responses
@uath13 (8207)
• United States
31 Jan 11
Well if I don't know it's because my daughter didn't bother to give us the notice. She rides the bus so we don't go by the school to see any billboards or notice boards. They send stuff home with her & she conveniently "forgets" it.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
31 Jan 11
I don't know how old your daughter is, but I can understand you not getting papers if she is supposed to give it to you and "she" forgets. In our school, the parents expect these parent letters on Wednesdays . . . so in our case, we're supposed to ask the kids about them, in case we don't get them. Does your school deal with emails?
@uath13 (8207)
• United States
1 Feb 11
She's 13. The school does use emails for individual students but we haven't really received anything in a while.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
1 Feb 11
I think emailing is a great way to communicate to the parents at this day and age . . . but still, I don't think people bother to read the emails from school (not meaning you . . . I just noticed that in conversation with some of the parents in our class).
@minnie15 (146)
• United States
1 Feb 11
I think life is just crazy busy. Many people don't see signs that are posted in front of their face. I encourage my daughter that if she has something that she needs for school the next day to let me know the night before. Also, when the school/teachers send email reminders it is always helpfull.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
1 Feb 11
I'm sure it's the fact that life gets crazy and parents can forget the "details". You're right that they don't see things that are in front of their faces - oh man do I know so many people who wouldn't see snake if it were in front of them. I try to talk to my daughter about school everyday after school - while it's still fresh in her mind. And these days, yes, emailing is so good - the parents can read emails at work if they have to!!!
@minnie15 (146)
• United States
1 Feb 11
I agree. I always make sure I ask my daughter first thing when I get home from work. It is always best before they start doing their homework, playing, etc...because they tend to get busy and forget too.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
2 Feb 11
Exactly. And then they will get too tired to even remember - hee hee.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
3 Feb 11
In addition to all of the things that you've mentioned about ways that the school keeps in contact with parents at your daughter's school, my daughter's school also did something really neat with the K students when she was in kindergarten. They would use sticky tags and have the kids put them on their shirts to wear home as reminders for the parents as well. Her school sends out a weekly newsletter of what is going on, and there has honestly only been once special day that I've missed for Kathryn in the past three years.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
4 Feb 11
Ha ha - I love that! Sticky notes on the kids shirts - great idea! But with some of these parents, these sticky notes need to be plastered on their foreheads!! We get a newsletter type thing on Wednesdays, but obviously they're not getting read!!
@lisa0502 (1726)
• Canada
2 Feb 11
I really try to keep close track of my kids school days. I have 5 kids in 3 different schools right now but I think I do a good job of it. There are newsletters that come home once a month. They also post it on their website. The younger kids bring home homebooks that they write in every day to let the parents know about upcomming events and any homework due. So here they keep in touch in with parents as well as the parents keeping in touch with the school.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
2 Feb 11
Wow - 5 kids!! I applaud you for keeping track of them all - hee hee!! You sound like an organized parent! Now a website . . . that's one thing our school has not done well with . . . it hasn't been updated in 2 years - very bad. Now THAT may help out some parents - maybe - I'll have to suggest that because I totally forgot about their website. It's nice when schools have a great communication system.
@Strovek (870)
• Malaysia
1 Feb 11
The school my children go to has a system. The parents are required to sign on the notice acknowledging that they have read the notice. This ensures that the children at least pass the notice to their parents. Even then, we may forget on the actual day. But at least there is a close loop - guaranteed delivery.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
1 Feb 11
That's a GOOD system. My daughter's teacher does that with some of the things that are done within the classroom . . . but the required signature would be a great system for the school on the whole to pick up. Exactly, guaranteed delivery . . . the rest is the responsibility of the students and parents!!
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
31 Jan 11
I understand a lot of parents are busy, so are my hubby and I but we made a point of asking them every day if they had something they needed to give us. we still ask them because now they are teenagers and always forget!!
@much2say (40878)
• United States
31 Jan 11
Hee hee! Well it's good that you ask them everyday . . . at least you are getting involved so you don't miss anything!! Our daughter gets homework folders, but I'm sure when you're older, especially in high school, it's the kids responsibility to take care of their own papers. But yah, I'm sure they still forget!
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
31 Jan 11
I can understand not seeing the chalkboard (white board) bulletins. I know by the time my kids get picked up from after school day care, their classrooms are long closed. But the teachers do a great job of keeping us updated with bulletins, etc., and if we don't catch something, the kids let us know too.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
31 Jan 11
Our teachers put the white boards at the top of the ramp when you walk towards the room and it's right by the door - you can't miss!! But with the hustle and bustle of morning and after school - it's possible it isn't even read by some of the parents (though I make it routine to look at it each time). There are some parents who never get to the classroom - so I can understand them not seeing it at all (there are quite a few in my daughter's class who get picked up by the Y, our afterschool daycare).
@RULizzie (101)
• United States
31 Jan 11
I think that some parents become dismissive of school notice because they feel overwhelemed, similar to facing a full email inbox. I do get all of my sons notices and have to check and sign his assignment book everyday. Some day, however there are at least ten notices, having to do with fundraiser, rec teams, and general info. It could be easy to be overwhelmed. I also had a problem earlier this year when it was wear you school shirt to school day, my son did not have a school shirt, and they could only be bought through the PTO, no way to get one for the next day. My son was disappointed about not having the proper shirt for school. While school spirit and pride are important, so are finances and children's feelings. One of the days that my son enjoyed the most at his old school and was easy to do was backwards day, everyone wore their clothes backwards, this way if the child did not come dressed backwards the teacher gave him time to reverse his clothes, and not extra cost was involved.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
31 Jan 11
Interesting! I guess I don't feel "overwhelmed" - I like taking the time to go through this stuff (which really doesn't take that much time) . . . whatever doesn't apply to us I chuck in the trash - but the rest I post up and mark the calendars so we don't forget. All of our notices come on Wednesdays . . . the school tells the parents to expect a parent packet on those days. I can understand about costs . . . but as far as what I've seen, these little fun days don't require buying anything (but it may rely on the parent's creativity). On our crazy hat day, some of the kids wore hats that were obviously store-bought - and they were nice. But my daughter and I actually made a paper hat . . . a hat with 3 fake cupcakes on top . . . we made an art project together out of it - we did it with the materials we had and had loads of fun . . . oh and she had the greatest reactions from everyone!! Well, maybe I put that extra effort in . . . but I know not every parent has the time or energy to do so.
31 Jan 11
I always no whats going on and i dont feel there is any excuse really as my childrens school said all info by email and by letter well in advance so i just set up a folder for the school name in my emails so i no it wont go in spam and be deleted.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
31 Jan 11
See, now you sound like a responsible parent (which is what all parents should be, right?) . . . and like you said there is no excuse. When I get these letters, I will post them on the fridge til the dates are over, write them in my kitchen calendar as well as my personal calendar. I make sure I don't forget (for my kids sake - it's for "her" school for goodness sake!).
@curtangel (109)
• United States
31 Jan 11
My daughter had a teacher that didn't always remember to give her the notices to give us. We sometimes got notices LATER - thankfully my older daughter got notices as well, so I still kept up with most things. I mentioned this to her current year teacher in passing and she knew immediately who i was talking about. Unfortunately at my daughters' school these "fun days" are only if you make a donation. I appreciate that they are tryhng to raise money for charities and instill this value - but at the same time it kind of teaches that if you have the money you can bypass the normal rules (often the fun days allow the kids to wear things they normally aren't allowed to).
@much2say (40878)
• United States
31 Jan 11
Ok, now THAT's really bad. A teacher who forgets - oh brother!! And fun days for a donation? Hmmmmm. Yah, I don't know if I "agree" with that one . . . that's just rewarding those with money - instead of rewarding the students for working so hard in school. I can understand fundraisers for school - but that should be outside school hours!!!
@rowantree (1190)
• United States
31 Jan 11
To give the parents the benefit of the doubt, it is possible that the kids aren't bringing home the reminders. I know there have been several times when my son hasn't brought home the weekly news sheet and when I ask him about it, he tells me he forgot it in his mailbox. If a parent forgets to ask for the papers, the child won't mention it. If both parents are working outside the home, they have so much pressure and so little time. When you're working outside the home, you REALLY have to make a big effort in order to stay involved with your child's activities at school. It's not always easy and sometimes there are parents who just don't bother. Sometimes there's a parent who stays at home, their child brings home the papers, and yet the parent doesn't consider it important enough to warrant their time. It really is a shame. At my son's elementary school, no less than 4 papers came home with him throughout one month, all reminding parents that it is WINTER and their child needs to come to school with a freaking coat. Twice my son's class had to forgo recess simply because there were too many kids coming to school unprepared for the weather. As for that dad you mentioned, why didn't he make the effort to find out what's going on in his child's class? He openly admitted that they always miss the special days, why isn't he making a better effort to be aware? I agree with you, it is such a shame.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
31 Jan 11
I can understand if the older kids are not bringing home the notices . . . but in my case I'm talking about the K level. All the kids are given their homework folders at the end of the day - so they don't have a chance to look through them. Parents are also expecting some kind of letter on Wednesdays - no matter what grade - or at least they should know to ask the kids on that day about the notice/paper. Yah, I know it's hard when both parents are "too busy". But I guess I am of the opinion that if you have kids, you make the effort. No, if, ands or buts about that - but that's me - not everyone does. Oh - the teacher also has a little table easel at the front table so everyone can see certain notices. Loud and clear in big letters. But I guess they still overlook it. Our teacher will also send home personal notes if she has to . . . she'll hand it to the parent personally so there are no excuses. And exactly about that dad . . . I don't know. The response above said "lesson learned" - but not necessarily, as it's happened multiple times with them already. Maybe some people just never learn.
@edb225112 (125)
• United States
31 Jan 11
At what point does the child have the responsibility to give notes to their parents or let the parent know what is important to them? If we are talking about kids under 10, parents should be more in involved in the choices their children make. Once the child begins school s/he needs to be given more and more responsibility about his own life. If the shirt day is really important to the child, they will remember it. Perhaps the parents view that their child would really enjoy silly hat day, is not accurate. I suggest that if it was important to the child, they would have remembered to say something about it at home. Then again, there may not be enough money or caring at home to do silly hat day or sport shirt day. You don't get to make that choice or denigrate parents for making choices which you don't understand or agree with. Kids find their way and must find how they relate to the others in their group. The school makes the offer. Parents and children make choices. If they forget, don't respond or do it, perhaps they will not the next time - lesson learned. Some of the things you have "heard" can be those little white lies we tell to make ourselves look better. Sometimes it is better to say you didn't know than it wasn't important enough to you to remember.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
31 Jan 11
In my case, these kids are under 10 - kindergarteners. The teachers know kids won't tell them everything, so that's why we are given the paper notices (and I send out the emails). Also, in our school, parents should know that Wednesdays are the days the kids are sent home with the parent's packet - with notices or whatever . . . so our parents should be expecting it on that day every week. You make a good point that not all kids would enjoy something like a silly hat day. But in our class, there were some kids who were obviously bummed they didn't get to partake in this "fun day" - but, like you mentioned, we don't know the whole story behind it. Older kids can deal, but the littler ones can't necessarily deal with it. Lesson learned - true - we at least hope. And I know what you mean by the white lies . . . I thought of that too. It's just hard for me to believe that parents could forget about a holiday program when the kids talk about it all time and practice at home (or maybe they don't). But yep, the school offers, the rest is up to the parents - and children. I just feel for the K class - simply because they are younger and still need that guidance.
@Shar19 (8236)
• United States
31 Jan 11
I can understand the parents not knowing if only the kids are told about the days. Then maybe the parents were never told by the kids. If there are notices being sent out to the parents then they should maybe keep those notices on their refrigerators with a magnet so they don't forget those days. Of course it could be possible that the parents just read the notices and throw away the papers.
@much2say (40878)
• United States
31 Jan 11
That's exactly what I do . . . I post those notices on the fridge . . . and then I mark it on the big kitchen calendar . . . AND I mark it in my personal calendar (ok, maybe I am a bit anal about making reminders to self - ha ha). In any case, the parents are given the dates, so it's their responsibility to "remember" no matter how they need to do it. I don't doubt many of them just throw out the papers and forget. And yah, the teachers know kids don't tell the parents "everything" - so that's why they use the avenues of communication - but obviously it's not getting through to some of the parents.
@sminut13 (1786)
• Singapore
7 Feb 11
i know what you mean there. there are sometimes events at my son's school and the parents won't even know about it until i tell them. of course at times, they don't really understand what's written so they ask, but they usually don't really participate in activities even knowing. but i agree that parents should really be alert or i guess vigilant? what i'm trying to say is, if they check the bags, they might be able to come across the papers given to the children and they should have the sense not to throw it away until after the event is over. that's what i do here. same as you, i put the notices on the fridge so that i won't forget. of course there are times where the children themselves forget to bring notices and all and they never write down important things they are told to write. this still happens with my soon to be 8 yr old son. he usually brings papers home but recently, he forgot to bring one i guess, and that time, i was waiting for papers as it was soon to be holiday but there was nothing from the school. so i called the school up and spoke with his teacher who said that she had given the papers and she filled me up on the important things. i let her know that my son sometimes never writes down what's supposed to be written so she came up with a solution to get his buddy to remind him and all. and in my case, i don't even get and letter weekly; it's monthly. but usually, the most important events in school like parent teacher meetings and all, i roughly know when they'll happen so i usually wait for any notice of some kind. we should remind our children to be alert and give notices to us but at the same time, we ourselves should be alert. we can sometimes talk with other children's parents and give updates and all. that would help a lot; well it has helped my neighbours a lot anyway. not that i'm bragging :P