This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 30, 2010 10:11 AM. The previous post in this blog was Our readers called it early. The next post in this blog is Bad company. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Playground flap gets cleared up

We blogged last week about a complaint we received from a Portland mom who was displeased about her pre-teen child and her teenage friends being kicked off the playground adjacent to their public school immediately after the bell rang at the end of the day. Now comes word from the principal that it was all just a mistake in the school office. The mom has copied us on his e-mail message to her:

It looks like there was a miscommunication and misunderstanding between my secretary and myself on Thursday morning last week. I was told that there were students who were unsupervised after school last week and I assumed she meant that they were under the age of 10 years old. Typically, when we have students this young left unsupervised here at school, we call home to let the parents/guardians know and we arrange to have them either picked up or someone comes to supervise them. I did not know my secretary was talking about older students, so when I repeated that we call home to let parents know, she took that as she needed to call the parents of the children who were on campus the previous day and let them know that they could not remain on campus unsupervised. When I got back to school on Monday (I was out on Friday), I realized what had happened and I gave you a call to try and clear up this misunderstanding. The district does not have a policy concerning supervision for students before and after school. The district wants all schools to let parents/guardians know when supervision is provided, but that before and after this time, the school is not responsible for students who arrive on campus. For our school, we begin supervision at 8:15 am and we end at 3:15 pm. Students who are in grades 1-4 should have adult supervision. If they have an older sibling with them, in grades 5-8, they can also remain on campus as long as their sibling is supervising them. Students who are in grades 5-8 can remain on campus without adult supervision. If there are issues with the students outside of the supervised times, we do contact parents to let them know what is happening with their student.

I hope this clears things up, but if not, please do not hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I know as the weather gets better, students will want to stay on campus to socialize with their friends and we want to make sure they are safe.

Comments (3)

This is a breath of common sense, and I applaud the principal. However, I stand by my previous criticism of the school secretary. As relayed by the parent, it sounded as though the secretary really didn't know what the policy was, if it was the District or the school (gee, turns out there is no District policy on this...) and instead of bothering to find out accurate information for a parent,she just said whatever was expedient. It's that sort of cavalierness that many PPS staff engage in (not necessarily secretaries) which I find infuriating. Case closed.

Woodmere Elementary started a policy of charging parents late fees if children were picked up late from school earlier this year. I saw it on the news, but I'm not sure how they could enforce payment. And some people didn't like that the policy was being tested at a lower-income outer SE school.

My guess is these policies vary from school to school.

Kudos to the principal (Andrew Dauch) for dealing with this appropriately.

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