Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First day of School

Well school has begun as of August 18th. It has been quite an adjustment getting used to the way things are done here in Cali. So I am going to vent a little. Sorry, but this has been very frustrating and I don't understand why it is done this way. First thing is we didn't find out who the kids teachers were until Friday MORNING. Which to me was odd because to meet the teacher you had to be there from 9-10 a.m. Now I don't know many people here yet, but guessing by how much houses are and the cost of living is, not to many folks are available from 9-10 a.m. due to oh I don't know WORKING!!! (Some districts don't even allow the students to know who the teacher is till they get to school on the first day!) Matt had to take some time off because we had already scheduled a Dr's. appointment for Erik a month prior (which we would have changed if we had known about the class thing, explanation later.) So Matt took Erin,Mike and Dan to school to find out who the new teachers were and where the classes are. That went well till we found out we needed to buy supplies for each one of the kids!!!! Now in Texas this is normal and we get the lists 1 month prior to school beginning. So we are usually prepared for it and have budgeted for it. This was the WEEKEND prior to school beginning, so EVERY Parent and Child was AT Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Office Depot, Office Max trying to get last minute supplies now required to start school on Monday. (Normally you just bring a backpack and maybe some fun pencils and stuff, the rest is suppose to be provided, at least that is what we were told, and reaffirmed by my mother and sister who are both teachers here.) Anyhow we get that all taken care of, and the first day begins. YIPPEE! Now all summer long we have been watching the website for the district to post a calendar for the school year that lists holiday's, 1/2 days and policies for late start days. Well we finally found it! It was under the student handbook policies, which came home on the first day of school. It informed us to look at the website and sign the last page and send back. Well when reading through in PDF file of the handbook low and behold, there was the district school calendar.(It didn't have the individual school events though,but still it was a calendar) Man and I thought it would be under the CALENDAR link?? Well as I was reading this wonderful piece of information, I looked at the daily schedule of release times. It looked odd so I looked a little closer and realized that each of the grades have a different release times and on Wednesdays 3-6 grades get out at 2 instead of 3. The 1-2 get out at 2 everyday and the Kindergarten afternoon classes get out at 3 everyday. And if they do a half day the afternoon and morning kindergarten classes are combined!! So if you were able to catch all of that, if you have more than one child going to school, say 3-4 kids, you could possibly being dropping off and picking up kids 3-4 times a day. Don't even get me started on the Middle School and High School!! So yes in my mind I did a rush calculation, I go to the school three times a day (this would be really bad if I drove on my gas mileage!) back and forth, and next year depending on if Danny goes to a.m. or p.m. kindergarten I will be at 2 different schools 6 times a day!!! There is one poor lady here who has 5 kids and has to pick up each of her 4 that go to school every hour from 1 to 3! Now mind you she dropped 3 off at 8, then her kindergartner off at 11:35 and has to be back at one to pick up the 1st grader. Then on Wednesdays it changes because of who gets picked up at 2 because of early release! And if you had just moved into the district from out of state, you think the office staff would have thought, we should give a start and release schedule to parents of newly enrolled children. If I hadn't looked at the handbook, (like I usually do because it is usually about discipline, attendance policies, and Internet use, the district calendar is in it, but we also receive the district calendar in the registration papers.) I would have never thougt to look there for the calendar or the early release. Oh and by the way I did ask the office staff about the calendar when I registered the kids and they said they had not updated it yet and it will be available before school started. So don't think I didn't ask.

Oh yeah before I forget about the explanation of why we didn't know when meet the teacher was, is because they didn't know when it was going to be when I went back on the 8th of August to turn in Mikes updated shot record, and there was NO calendar with events to let people know when things are going to happen.(I asked again about the calendar and it wasn't finished yet.) They did finally post something on the Marque on Tuesday, but obviously to late to change the Dr. appointment, because it would be another month before we could get him in again (I asked, just in case) and he needed to get these tests done asap.

So are you confused yet? Welcome to California, and ya wonder why they are having so much trouble understanding anything? No school district is perfect and I know that, but good grief can we have a set schedule of school hours that are from 8:00-3:00, Kindergarten - 8th grade, And high school 7:30-2:30. That way we could save on gas, time, and money? And have calendars available, so parents can be informed of pertinent information. OK done venting.

The kids are glad to be back in school and all of them love their teachers. They are starting to get used to the schedule. Erin has Mr. Kramer, who she says is really funny, and loves teaching. She is sitting in the back of the class and is glad to have a friend from church in her class. Erik has Mrs. Prickett, and Erik says she gives the best hugs. She is very aware of her students and Erik said by the first hour she had every one's names memorized and could name something they liked. (Great memory there is 24 in the class) Michael's teacher is Mrs. Maitia, and boy does she have it together. Michael says his favorite time is the Clifford reading time and playing on the bikes outside. Danny and I are enjoying the POOL :)!! We have also gotten to know the crossing guard Jerry. Him and Danny talk while we wait for the kids to get out of school. Danny just loves playing in the dirt at his feet and telling him stories of Transformers, Superman, and The Sword in the Stone. Jerry just keeps asking him questions and Danny will talk his ear off.

Well it is late. So off to bed, sorry about the long post, but it was nice to get that off my mind!!


Anna said...

Love it...the venting that is.

When I was growing up we never knew who are teacher was or where are classroom was until the first day of school. We would just have to show up and walk through the halls looking for our name on one of the doors. Believe it or not it was one of the most exciting things as a kid. Then, on the first day of school we would get our school supplies list and then go out to buy it all that day. Of course, I grew up in Ephraim so there was only one store to buy it all from and EVERYONE was there buying the same stuff. Good memories.

The school start/stop times sound RIDICULOUS! I do not understand why they would schedule class that way. Crazy. Good luck Dawn! We love you guys!

Cotton Queen said...

You are so funny, I remember the list on the office door the week before and then meeting our teacher on the first day of school. But our school was so small you knew you had one teacher or another. (reminds me of Arthur from PBS) School supplies we never had to get, except for the backpack. We always got pencils and fun school stuff, clothes and thats about it. It was fun.

I guess the expectation was just different because of what we were used to in Texas and Oklahoma and the nostalgia from growing up here, I kinda expected it to be somewhat the same.

Oh well, we adjust and have fun, and I am grateful they all have really good teachers and we live in a pretty safe area. Love ya Anna and blog talk at ya soon.

Kaja said...

that schedule sounds terrible. i would die and then probably home school my kids..haha.