Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I've Turned Into "That Parent" or Have I?

For those of you who know me, or have read my blog at all, know that I admit to being an overprotective almost obsessive parent.  My children are my most precious gems and I don't apologize for knowing where they are, what they are doing, who they are with, how they are being treated, how they are treating others, etc. etc. etc.

This year has been very trying for me.  See here or here or here or here.  Get the picture?  Well, it is no secret that I am not fond of Kanin's school.  I didn't really have a problem with it last year but this year we are just not seeing eye-to-eye.  There are several things wrong with it starting with the day that I walked up to school to pick him up and they couldn't find him.  That's right, you read that right.  They couldn't find him!!  After that day, I have no confidence in that school AT ALL.

I never wanted to be "that parent" but that is exactly what I have turned into.  It seems that if anything is going to go wrong it is going to go wrong with me or him or us.  Today was the latest episode . . .

Kanin missed his school picture taking day back in September while we were at Disney World.  No big deal, I thought, he'll just take it on Picture Re-Take Day, which was today.  I sent a note to school with him on Monday, along with snacks for his birthday, asking for information on Picture Re-Takes.  I didn't get a response but didn't think anything of it since the billboard outside read that it would be today 11/17.  Kanin missed school yesterday but went today.  I actually remembered it was Re-Take Day so I dressed him up and sent him on his way.  I told him that he was supposed to take his picture today.

So, this afternoon when I went to pick him up the first thing out of his mouth was "I didn't take my picture". 
"I told the teacher but she said that I didn't need to take a picture."

Ok, take a deep breath.

I get home and look in his Communications Folder and sure enough the note that I wrote him is still in there, along with a smiley face on his calendar in that same folder, so she did see the note.

I call the school and the response was the following:  (I am not exaggerating)

Me:  Hi, this is April Westerhold.  I am calling about picture re-takes today.

Secretary:  Ok

Me:  Well, my son was supposed to have his picture taken today and he didn't.

Secretary:  Well, picture re-takes are only for those students who either were not here on the first day or their parents didn't like the picture.

Me Thinking:  No Sh**
Me Saying:  Yes, I know that.  My son wasn't here for the original date. 

Secretary:  Oh

Me:  Didn't you have a list or something of all of the kids who were absent on that original date?  If so, my son's name should have been on there.

Secretary:  Well, a list of students was sent out to the teachers and they decided on whether or not to send the kids to picture re-takes. 

Me Thinking:  I hope you meant they were in charge of sending them down and not they decided on whether or not to send them.

Me Saying:  So, are you telling me that my son will not have a 1st grade picture and will not be in the yearbook.

Secretary:  Well, you can always contact the studio and drive him out to take a picture there or they do other schools around here.  You could find out where they are going to be and then take him to that school to get the picture done.  It still probably won't be in the yearbook, though.

Me:  So, you do realize that if I take him to another school that I will have to pull him out of school to do that.

Secretary:  Oh.  Can I get your name?

Me Thinking:  This principal is going to say, "Oh, shi**" when she see that this little episode happened and it happened to me. 

There is more to the whole "go to the studio thing" but that is a whole other issue.

So, back to the original topic . . .

Do these things only happen to me (us)?  Is this stuff normal at most schools?  I asked Scott his question and he said, "No, I think it just stands out more because you pick him up everyday and see the things happening and you pay attention to the stuff that is sent home and activities at the school".  Aren't parents supposed to pay attention?  I understand not everyone can pick their kid up from school everyday but don't most parents pay attention to the day-to-day nuances of their kids' lives?  Wait, I already know the answer to that.  Aren't parents supposed to pay attention to the day-to-day nuances of their kids' lives? 

This whole incident may sound like no big deal and could probably just be written off as an honest mistake but I can name probably 10-15 different mistakes made directly toward Kanin or me this year that it really, really makes me not like the school.  Have you ever been yelled at by a school worker (don't know if she is a teacher or not) because you wouldn't pull out in front of a child trying to walk to her mother?  Well, I have.  God forbid that I actually stop and let the mother and daughter get to each other and ensure the child didn't get hit.   Aaargh!

Ok, so the rant is over but, in all honestly, do these things happen with you and your school?


  1. As a teacher, I thank you for paying attention. It is wonderful to hear that you actually read things sent home.

    I am sorry to hear you have had such problems. Little things do happen, yet these little things are adding up to be a problem!!

  2. I'm right there with ya, Girlie!!! I think we should continue to stay on top of what are kids are doing...wouldn't we rather be called "that parent" than an absent one??

  3. overall we are happy but there are times I get frustrated. My most recent is the drop off time is 9:00 am. We get detailed dropoff info at the beginning of the year.The kids should never be dropped off prior to 9 am since they are not supervised. So me the rule follower parks in front of school in the drop off line waiting for 9 am.One of the Principals who was out front gives me the aren't you going to drop off the kids and go comment.I said no its not 9 and noone is supervising.:( I'm told by him to just drop them off and move out of the line.I'm sorry but to me dropping off a 1st and kgtner to an area of the school not supervised is not ok.Plus why should I get scolded over following the rules while all these other parents are dropping off over 10 minutes early.I also quit volunteering since the office staff is so cranky.I know a friend told me I should not punish the teachers for that but for me to volunteer I have to do some major planning on my end. I don't want to do all this work then be griped at in the office. Overall I do love the school and we do choose to bring them out of district to this school.I know I can always find 100 things to annoy me but I have learned to roll w/ the punches since no school will be perfect.