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School trips and supervision for 1st graders - Page 2

post #21 of 67
Thread Starter 
Oh, and did I mention that the route to Dairy Queen takes the children over a bridge that crosses a flooded river while at the same time winding through the busiest intersection in town? I assume that the teacher doesn't have eyes behind her head and she can't walk backwards all the way to DQ, so how she will know if one of these children is overcome with curiousity and decides to get too close to the river and falls in?

And after the bridge the sidewalk ends and the ground has been torn up for sandbagging so it is uneven and full of holes and happens to be very high traffic area with parking lots for three local businesses. I wouldn't walk my own three children down this route, much less 17 children not my own who are entrusted to my care.
post #22 of 67
HAve you discussed this with the principal? What does he/she have to say? I would have some pretty serious concerns about the school in general if the principal thought there was nothing wrong with this.
post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmmie View Post
Yeah, I've seen one too many "instances" as well. One time I saw a child nearly hit by a car at the YMCA parking lot due to lack of supervison. Another time I saw a kid disappear in a outdoor bathroom for fifteen minutes. (I was not there to chaperone, only to supervise my own child). I finally went in and checked on him myself. Another time I went to the public library to find my dauther's Kindergarten class scattered around the library, upstairs, downstairs, on the stairs, in the elevator and in the bathroom. I asked the teacher where my daughter was and she had no idea! Another time I was walking back to school from a park with my daughter and two children lagged behind with me. One girl had to tie her shoe 3 times so we were way behind the others. The teachers never looked back and got back to school a full five minutes before us without the two students who were with me. They had no idea which kids were with me and just assumed all the children were accounted for!

What really enfuriates me about this whole thing is that the teacher is treating me like a crazy, neglectful or abusive parent. She keeps saying things like, "I'm concerned about your daugther" and "I feel sorry for your daugther", and "You're teaching your daugther to be afraid of the world." and "Every other parent trusts (the school), why can't you"?
I think you need to start looking for a new school for your DD. The teacher's disregard for her students' safety and her disrespect towards you as a parent are HUGE red flags If her attitude is shared by the other teachers in the school, I would not send your DD back next year.
post #24 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by suebee79 View Post
HAve you discussed this with the principal? What does he/she have to say? I would have some pretty serious concerns about the school in general if the principal thought there was nothing wrong with this.
Yes, I have and he has no problem with me accompany my daughter whenever she leaves the school grounds. However, I don't think he's willing to "rock the boat" and make any policy changes right now because he just started this year. I may speak with him again.
post #25 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by notneb View Post
I think you need to start looking for a new school for your DD. The teacher's disregard for her students' safety and her disrespect towards you as a parent are HUGE red flags If her attitude is shared by the other teachers in the school, I would not send your DD back next year.
Her attitude is definitely shared by one other teacher, the gym teacher.

I've already decided to homeschool next year. I was seriously considering it before all this started but my decision is solid now. I have to get through these next two weeks though and it's really stressing me out.
post #26 of 67
I have a K and a 1st grader this year and our rule is and has always been (and will always BE) that my children cannot leave the school for a field trip without me or dh (often both of us).

I can't imagine a school that doesn;t have to abide by rules concerning childcher rations... Our classes are small (less than 24 students) and we have the teacher, and aide and at least 4 parent chaperones per class, per field trip. We always have more parents to volunteer...

I don;t think you;re overreacting at all. My job is to make sure that MY kids are safe and secure in whatever environment they're in. At school, in school, they;re safe and supervised. Out of school there is too much possibility of "something' hapening or someone wandering off or getting lost - nope. I'd not risk it.
post #27 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by InstinctiveMom View Post
I have a K and a 1st grader this year and our rule is and has always been (and will always BE) that my children cannot leave the school for a field trip without me or dh (often both of us).
I'm glad to hear that I am not alone in the way I feel about my children being taken off of school grounds. I wish my feelings were being respected by the teachers in this school.
post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by InstinctiveMom View Post
I have a K and a 1st grader this year and our rule is and has always been (and will always BE) that my children cannot leave the school for a field trip without me or dh (often both of us).
OK, I have to ask about this. Our school takes all kinds of different field trips. We often take field trips to shows (e.g. a play of a folktale of the culture we're studying). This field trips are paid for by a grant which pays for only a handful of extra tickets.

So, if say 5th grade went, we might have 56 tickets -- 50 for kids, 4 for the classroom teachers and two extra. The two extra usually goes to the special educator and the ELL teacher. It's not possible to get extra tickets, even if a parent paid for them. We usually have to beg for the special educator ticket and the ELL teacher because we feel like those kids sometimes need support.

The kids walk out the front door of school and onto the bus. They walk off the bus and into the front door of the theater, go inside sit on the lobby floor with classes from other schools, until they call classes one by one. Then they sit on the seats and watch the show. They they walk out and straight to their bus for the trip back to school.

I guess I'm describing this because while I think the OP is absolutely right not to allow what sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, I can't see banning all field trips. Would you really feel unsafe in a situation like I describe?

If not, would you ride the bus (if there was a seat) and then be willing to sit in the lobby? Would you follow the bus in your car? Or just tell your 5th grader not to go?
post #29 of 67
Thread Starter 
MOMILY, The situation you described sounds reasonable to me, especially since you are talking about 5th graders. My daughter is only 7 and she goes on frequent "walking" trips with just one teacher to supervise the whole class. Also in the situation you describe I'd be worried about first graders being sent to use the bathroom by themselves, which is exactly what the teachers at my child's school do.
post #30 of 67
The situation in the OP I would have a huge problem with. But a regular school trip with the teacher and one or two other adults? I don't need to be there too. When dd1 was in sk, they had a trip to an apple orchard.

They were using parent volunteer drivers, and I wasn't picked as one. I insisted on driving my dd there and back, as she was still harnessed, and would be lucky to get a booster seat in someone else's car. But I didn't join the class on the actual visit.
post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmmie View Post
MOMILY, The situation you described sounds reasonable to me, especially since you are talking about 5th graders. My daughter is only 7 and she goes on frequent "walking" trips with just one teacher to supervise the whole class. Also in the situation you describe I'd be worried about first graders being sent to use the bathroom by themselves, which is exactly what the teachers at my child's school do.
Hi Sahmmie,

I posted what I thought was a reasonable situation because I thought it was weird that someone would NEVER allow their kids to go without them. It's also the only kind of field trip on which we allow no parents whatsoever -- if we're walking or taking public transportation, or going to be in a very public place like a museum, then we'd want as many parents as we possibly could get. I can't imagine turning them away, unless it was a situation like I describe where the organization who buys the tickets (they buy out the whole theater and give the tickets to different schools) limits how

We're really lucky that we have male staff at every grade level except 2nd. So, we generally have someone to go to the bathroom with them (we have female staff too, but I've never worked in a school that didn't have female staff). In the situation I describe where the only people in the building are theater staff, teachers and children we would probably send maybe first grade and up in alone with a buddy, with an adult in eyeshot of the door, but not inside the bathroom. In the church you described I'd do the same thing -- check that it's empty, and then have one teacher stand where they could watch both bathrooms doors but not go inside unless they were really little kids who might not be able to reach the sink. On the other hand for something like a musuem bathroom an adult would go inside the bathroom with them.

I'm just telling this because I do think you are being incredibly sensible to say no, but I also think that "my child would never ever go on a field trip without me" is overprotective. So, I wanted to point out that some schools actually do keep our kids pretty safe.
post #32 of 67
There is no way I'd take my class on a field trip by myself. When I did child care, I was taught that disasters happen when you are distracted by a minor accident. You stop to help a child who has scrapped her knee, and another child runs into the street. You stop to help two arguing kids and other runs off. You go to investigate the one kid who went to the bathroom 20 minutes ago, and someone pushes someone else who hits their head. . . .

As a teacher, no way I'd be the only one responsible for all those kids in an open space!

From my experience with child care and as a teacher, two adults minimum. What would they do if something happened to the teacher? What if she gets hurt or sick?
post #33 of 67
I totally agree with you.

My son's in first grade and they've only done 2 field trips since he's been in school. This year his class has 14 kids and the teacher sent home a note saying she had room for 7 parents. Last year there was about the same number of parents. I would be livid if I was asked not to go along.

I've done all the field trips in preschool as well and plan to go along with my younger son's preschool class too. I would be really uncomfortable with that situation.
post #34 of 67
The other thing I'd want to know is why on earth does she not want parents there.

Even if it was a situation where there were no safety concerns, I don't understand why one wouldn't let parents come along for fun?

If there are a limited number of tickets, or a limited number of seats on the bus, or if the parent wants to bring a younger child and it's a setting where that would be a distraction -- yes I can see that. We also have a policy at our school that parents who physically discipline their kids on trips can't go on future trips. But in general it's DQ, so there's no education for you to distract them from, there's no tickets, there's no bus seats. Even if she had a crystal ball and could guarantee they'd all be safe, why couldn't you come for no other reason than you like DQ and like being with your kid?
post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
The other thing I'd want to know is why on earth does she not want parents there.

Even if it was a situation where there were no safety concerns, I don't understand why one wouldn't let parents come along for fun?

If there are a limited number of tickets, or a limited number of seats on the bus, or if the parent wants to bring a younger child and it's a setting where that would be a distraction -- yes I can see that. We also have a policy at our school that parents who physically discipline their kids on trips can't go on future trips. But in general it's DQ, so there's no education for you to distract them from, there's no tickets, there's no bus seats. Even if she had a crystal ball and could guarantee they'd all be safe, why couldn't you come for no other reason than you like DQ and like being with your kid?
:

I go on every field trip.
post #36 of 67
I cannot even imagine any adult, much less a trained educator thinking that the situation you are describing (in the OP) is okay.

My older child is in 5th grade and I can't imagine her teacher thinking that was okay for *her* class (full of fairly behaved 10 & 11 year olds!).

Independent of the number of children (so, even for very small classes) I would expect at least two adults in that type of situation. Generally, the field trips my kids have gone on have a bare minimum of one adult for every 5-6 kids. One of the field trips had the teacher, four other adults and the 25 kids. And that would be for something like a play, where the kids don't "move" around a lot.

I would definately keep going and I would have brought the issue of up with other parents as well.
post #37 of 67
Thread Starter 
Well, the teacher stopped short of actually telling me I couldn't go on the upcoming 8 field trips, but she expressed her very authoritative opinion that my going on said trips was harming my child.

Now, the gym teacher actually told me I couldn't go with my daughter when they have gym class off the school grounds in a public building (a KC Hall) where she admits letting children go downstairs by themselves (the gym is upstairs) to use the restroom. Just a few feet from the ladies room there is a BAR, yes a BAR!!!!! in this KC building. The gym teacher lied and said I couldn't go because the gym was "too small." I went and checked one day after school and the gym is huge and there is an L shaped hallway right outside the gym where I could sit and wait for my daughter. I never asked to be in the gym, just in the building. She didn't like this and said I couldn't go and when I said that my child could not go to gym unless I accompanied her to this public building (with bar inside), I got a "talking to" the next day by my daugther's teacher about how I was depriving my child of gym (among other things). That's when I went to the Principal and told him how I felt about these children being escorted to this public building with only one teacher and no one to monitor them when they needed to use the restroom. He told the gym teacher to let me go and she's just fuming mad at me. My theory is that the gym teacher swayed my daughter's teacher into thinking I'm a looney toon and they then decided they were going to "fix" the problem by trying to intimidate me.

As for why the school has no policy or even inclination to ask parents along to assist with field trips, I am stumped. I would like to take it to the school board but I am trying to find facts to support my position first. Does anyone out there know where I can find state regulations on such things. I've tried finding out via phone calls to the Superintendent of Schools and the Department of Public Instruction, but have had no luck thus far.

Thanks for all of your interest and comments.
post #38 of 67
My daughter is at a co-op school, so parent participation is part of the requirement for all families to attend. That being said:

This year we did a field trip to the high school NEXT DOOR. Because we were leaving school property (even though it was all district property) we were required to have chaperones, even though all the kids had to do was walk through two parking lots which get very little use during the school day. We only took about 3 parents, but we had one adult at the front of the group, one in the middle, and one at the very end to keep everyone moving. Even with our older kids and short distance, we had kids who stopped to tie shoes, wandered off to look at something, got distracted, started goofing around, etc. They are kids!

I am our class field trip coordinator and our ratio when we leave the building is always no more than 6 kids to 1 adult. That is mandated by either the district or the state, not sure which, but it's in our school regulations manual. I can't believe they don't have rules about this!
post #39 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

I would definately keep going and I would have brought the issue of up with other parents as well.
Thanks. I've thought about taking it up with the other parents. I think most of them assume that proper supervision is a given.
post #40 of 67
[QUOTE=memiles;13746738]
I am our class field trip coordinator and our ratio when we leave the building is always no more than 6 kids to 1 adult. QUOTE]

I like 4 to 1 for very little kids or situations like the OP describes, because I can either hold 4 hands (have kids hold hands, then put your hand over their joined hands), or if it's narrow, hold 2 hands on the non-street side and then have 2 in front of me, and a free hand to grab them. In an ideal world the lead teacher has noone "assigned" to her so that she can float to whoever needs help.

For something more relaxed like a trip on the bus, or someplace where there are no cars, I think 6 to 1 for K and 1st and maybe 8 to 1 above that, with a minimum of 2 adults regardless of group size works out OK, although as I've said for field trips that are almost all bus and sitting still someplace I'm OK with maybe 10 to 1.
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