or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › School trips and supervision for 1st graders
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

School trips and supervision for 1st graders - Page 3

post #41 of 67
Also, most public places where I do take children have their own requirements. The museum we went to last year required one adult for every 8 kids. A play required one adult per 10 kids.
post #42 of 67
This is a public school?

Gah, actually it doesn't matter. However, even disregarding (just for the sake of argument of course) the SAFETY issues which are quite horrifying to contemplate -- how about the liability issues? All you have to do is whisper 'lawsuit' to a principal and/or school board and you bet your bottom dollar they should see the light real fast. It's not very nice, but it should be effective.

That aside, though, mama -- if you're homeschooling her next year, and they're killing time for two weeks -- pull her out for heaven's sake. It sounds like the teachers are being irresponsible and deflecting their own lack of accountability onto your so-called pathology. This isn't good for you, and it isn't good for your daughter. Nothing is to be gained by setting up a confrontational environment for the last two weeks of school, over fundamental issues of safety that they simply refuse to acknowledge.

This whole scenario is quite frankly, mind-boggling. I teach in a private girls' high school -- and even then, we NEVER would allow this kind of situation. Field trips are always chaperoned with AT LEAST two teachers per class, and preferably more. It's simply a safety issue for all concerned -- the students, the teachers, and the venue to which we are travelling. There has to be someone to be in charge should an unexpected problem arise. No brainer.

They are most certainly putting your child and the other children at risk, here. If they won't play ball and stop harrassing you, pull her.
post #43 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmmie View Post
Another thing that really bugs me about this whole thing is that my child will be marked "absent" if I take her out of school early to avoid the poorly supervised field trip.
Why does this bother you? If she isn't there, for whatever reason, she IS absent. They can't take away her birthday because she didn't attend a field trip to the DAIRY QUEEN...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmmie View Post
Never have parents been asked to assist as chaperones. I always thought parent chaperones were a given on school field trips.
I think this is a little odd, but when you are paying for a private school you generally don't get asked to "help" as much as you do in public.

You openly admit that you are overprotective, and I agree that you are. Going on EVERY field trip your child attends IS overprotective. Either you trust the people you are PAYING to educate her, or you don't. If you don't then why is she there?

Some examples you give are things that our school does. We have one adult take up to 25 kids from school to our off site location for specialists, crossing the busiest intersection in town, which currently happens to be all torn up due to construction. We do this (down and back) twice a week. We are multi-age, so some of the oldest and most mature kids (middle school age) lead the way, and the adult walks in the back of the line so you can see everyone. These kids are buddied up (an older kid with a younger kid) and KNOW the rules of where we walk, stopping at each street to wait for the adult to give the ok to continue, stopping if anyone has a shoe to tie or falls down, etc. The adult has a cell phone and a first aid kit in the backpack. There are people at both the school and the off site location who know when we leave and when we arrive, and would call the other location if we were off by more than a few minutes. People at both of these sites have cell phones and cars. I feel completely safe with my dd2 doing this both when it is me leading and when it isn't. She started at this school at barely six years old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmmie
The other problem is that this particular store's bathrooms are located OUTSIDE, so if one of the children needs to use the bathroom the teacher will either have to leave the other 16 students alone in the store to escort the one child to the bathroom, or let the one child go outside the building to the bathroom alone.
This is the only thing you've said that would bother me. And my school wouldn't do this for exactly this reason. We try very hard to take at least one of each gender chaperone for bathroom reasons specifically. I would NEVER let a child go to an unsupervised location to use the bathroom. Asking for trouble, and I'm surprised your dd's school allows it. This is the one point I'd stick to when talking to the school, as it is really the only one that you will make headway with IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmmie
She says I'm causing my child to be fearful (not true, my child thinks I come along for fun!), and she says all the other parents trust her, so why can't I?
I think you absolutely will make your child fearful if you haven't already. Going EVERYWHERE with your child insinuates that she is only safe if you are there. That is what it SAYS regardless of the words that come out of your mouth. I had a friend like that; she'd take her dd into the bathroom with her at MY HOUSE. Even if her dd was in diapers, even if she had JUST used the bathroom five minutes before. I was one of her best friends; I do believe she trusted me, and no one else was there but the two of us and our two dds who were very good friends.

And the trust thing is a great point - either you trust her or you don't. If you don't then you shouldn't be sending your child and your money to that school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmmie View Post
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.
I am with you on the bathroom issue, but this part just screams overprotective.

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).
One or BOTH?? parents on every field trip at every age???? That much fear will make it really hard to hear your instincts as many of the signs of danger are less than obvious. Gavin de Becker discusses this in his brilliant book, The Gift of Fear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmmie View Post
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.
Are any of these field trips going to have more than one adult? Would you let your child go without you if there was the teacher and another staff person going? If this is the case for any of the upcoming trips, will you let your child go? I agree that it will be a positive opportunity for your child to go without you - assuming the bathroom issue is covered by two adults attending.
post #44 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post
You openly admit that you are overprotective, and I agree that you are. Going on EVERY field trip your child attends IS overprotective. Either you trust the people you are PAYING to educate her, or you don't. If you don't then why is she there?.
I don't agree. First of, I think it's clear that Sahmmie isn't completely comfortable with this teacher, she's addressing the issue by homeschooling next year.

I agree that if a family never lets their kid go anywhere without a parent, that would probably be too overprotective, but I don't see any evidence of that. I know that when he was six, I let my kid go to school, I let him go to soccer practice, I let him play in the yard, I let him go to birthday parties, I let him go to friends houses etc . . . , all at Sahmmie's, but I'd draw the line at walking down a busy street with lots of first graders, one adult, and no sidewalks for no other purpose than having an excuse not to do academics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post
Some examples you give are things that our school does. We have one adult take up to 25 kids from school to our off site location for specialists, crossing the busiest intersection in town, which currently happens to be all torn up due to construction. We do this (down and back) twice a week. We are multi-age, so some of the oldest and most mature kids (middle school age) lead the way, and the adult walks in the back of the line so you can see everyone. These kids are buddied up (an older kid with a younger kid) and KNOW the rules of where we walk, stopping at each street to wait for the adult to give the ok to continue, stopping if anyone has a shoe to tie or falls down, etc. The adult has a cell phone and a first aid kit in the backpack. There are people at both the school and the off site location who know when we leave and when we arrive, and would call the other location if we were off by more than a few minutes. People at both of these sites have cell phones and cars. I feel completely safe with my dd2 doing this both when it is me leading and when it isn't. She started at this school at barely six years old..
Right but what you're describing is entirely different from what Sahmmie -- I assume you're walking a few blocks instead of miles. Some of the kids are older, assuming that a 5th grader will remember to stop is different than assuming the same thing of a 6 year old. It's familiar territory. There are no bathroom issues. There are other staff members moments away.

We do something similar with our kids every day for recess, although we insist on 2 adults. I'm glad we do because we have had issues come up on the walk including one where I ended up riding in an ambulance with a child.


[QUOTE=Kirsten;13748952]One or BOTH?? parents on every field trip at every age???? That much fear will make it really hard to hear your instincts as many of the signs of danger are less than obvious. Gavin de Becker discusses this in his brilliant book, The Gift of Fear.
QUOTE]

I agree with you that that comment was overprotective, I asked questions about it too, but just wanted to point out that it wasn't the OP who said it.

The OP is making a good call, IMO.
post #45 of 67
Wow. I have a 1st grader. There are 23 kids in her class, the teacher and 2 TA's. The last field trip we had, there were so many parent volunteers that carpooled and caravan'd down the freeway (more than 25 miles away), it almost seemed like a massive funeral procession. There were so many parent volunteers in her class that no parent had more than 2 children to supervise, and most parents only had their own. We're in a somewhat wealthy district, tons of SAHM's and D's, so that's very fortunate.

I'm not surprised you've decided to homeschool next year, I can't imagine being comfortable w/ the system your dd's school has - its just a lawsuit waiting to happen.
post #46 of 67
One thing I'm not sure we've discussed, since I've glanced through most of the threads, is the idea of insurance. Insurance for field trips is getting trickier and the question is becoming one of what rules the insurance company puts down.

On one hand, there's a liability of having too few adults. On the other hand, there's the liability of having a parent volunteer and what happens if something goes wrong? Is the parent volunteer responsible, too?

I wonder if they have some strange problem with their insurance company that does not allow them to have supervising parents on these sorts of field trips. Either way, it's unsafe to have that many children outside with one adult. We're not just talking about children making a mistake. If a driver makes a mistake and hits a child, the teacher might have a cell phone handy to call for help, but in the meantime has to help both that one child and still have crowd control going on for the rest of them.
post #47 of 67
My kids' school is desperate for parent volunteers and never turns anyone away who wants to help with field trips. I think there's something fishy (which is probably just some big egos) with the gym teacher and your DD's teacher that they don't want you to come and are even sabotaging your presence.

My dds have gone on field trips with me and without me. I try to go on as many as possible, but sometimes can't. There are times when a class of 3, 4, 5th graders have gone on a public bus for a field trip with only their teacher...and the teacher would have loved another adult to come along!

You certainly won't harm your child by going on every field trip. I think that's fine and wish more parents at our school would step up and help out.
post #48 of 67
I worked as a teacher in a private middle school and we never, ever had just one adult on a field trip and typically planned to have about one adult for ever 8-10 kids. Children were never allowed to go to the bathroom (or anywhere else) alone, they always had a buddy system. I think something is very wrong with your child's school policy regarding field trip safety. What happens if a child gets lost or hurt? How is one teacher supposed to take care of the situation AND look after the rest of the kids? I think you are right in insisting on going along. Just let your skin "grow thick" and be confident in knowing that you are doing the right thing. Have you spoken with any other parents? Are they aware of the situation? If not, I would at least touch base with parents whose kids are friends with your child and you have met at some point.
post #49 of 67
I chaperoned on every field trip that my ds went on when that involved driving when he was in preschool. I was strapping one girl into her carseat in my car, and when I put her in, the way the straps were preadjusted were practically hanging off of her. When I went to tighten them she complained that her mom never makes her tighten them. And this is what I worry about with someone else driving my kids around. Plus, I have no idea what kind of driver they are.

We homeschool now, and he is almost 8. The teacher we've hired for our little co-op sometimes drives them short distances, and I've been okay with that. However, when she has mentioned taking them on longer, twisty cliff type drives out to the beach, I would prefer to be the one driving.

The preschool took a few walking field trips that I did not accompany them on, but it was 3 teachers for 15 kids in a safe neighborhood to the library, and parents were always welcome to join in.

I would not be comfortable with the scenario you described, and if the hassle of chaperoning wasn't worth it, I would gladly take the absence.
post #50 of 67
Ds is in public school with 13 kids in his class. Each field trip has had at least 3 parents, plus the teacher. They are always asking for help - like this Friday is the class party and it's happening across the school parking lot at a really cool park. I'm sure there will end up being at least 5-6 parents, if not more.

I personally wouldn't be comfortable with the set up you described, and could care less if ds got an "absent" mark that day. Who needs DQ ice cream anyway?

I do think there is a happy medium though - I remember growing up with a kid who's Mom went on every single field trip and was super overprotective. It was just odd and it did make her kid fearful and unsure of herself.
post #51 of 67
I'm amazed at how different schools can be. My sons go to a small, parochial school. Last year, my older DS was in Kindergarten. When the first field trip came up (to the pumpkin patch), I asked the teacher if she needed chaperones. She said she had plenty. I found out later that EVERY OTHER CHILD had a parent there. My son was the only one without a parent present.

I thought that was overkill, but myself or my husband went on every other field trip after that. Any and all were welcome.

If it were a case where there were limited chaperone spots available, I would be comfortable not going as long as there was adequate adult supervision. I would think 1 adult per 4-5 children would be appropriate.

Also, at our school, anyone going on field trips or helping/working with kids at the school has to take a training class. Ours is called Virtus: Protecting God's children, or something like that, but they also do background/criminal checks on anyone who is going to be involved with the children. You are not allowed to attend a field trip without the training.
post #52 of 67
Like so many PPs have said, this is a safety issue. But, it's also a liability issue for the school. It's naive for them to not require at least two adults on a field trip, much less decline help.
post #53 of 67
Thread Starter 
KRISTEN, just to address some of your points....

1. I wouldn't feel the need to go on every field trip if the school was more proactive about supervision and safety on these trips. I've been on enough to see that they are not.

2. My main problem with the whole situation is that the teachers consistently allow children to go to bathrooms (which are out of teacher's site) alone in public buildings. I don't think first graders should EVER be allowed to go anywhere ALONE.

3. I call myself "overprotective" only because I am considered that by others.

4. My child is the complete opposite of "fearful." I have definitely not frightened her in any way, shape, or form. She thinks I go on all of her trips because I enjoy it and like to see her have fun. She is a fearless child and that's part of why I think I need to be with her for now (or have her in situations where she is properly supervised).

5. The teachers at this school NEVER ask for any parents to chaperone or assist on any field trips unless rides are needed, then they ask for drivers. That's why I go on all trips. If there were other parents going on these trips, and I knew that they had a policy that prevented children from being allowed to go to the restroom alone, I would not go on all of them because many times there are conflicts in my schedule and it would be a lot easier to not have to go.

6. Being marked "absent" bothers me because it is considered "unexcused" (she's not sick) and there are 8 of these trips planned for the last two weeks. I wonder if the teacher may accuse me of making my child "truant."

Thanks for you comments. I appreciate your interest and concerns.
post #54 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickarolaberry View Post
This is a public school?

Gah, actually it doesn't matter. However, even disregarding (just for the sake of argument of course) the SAFETY issues which are quite horrifying to contemplate -- how about the liability issues? All you have to do is whisper 'lawsuit' to a principal and/or school board and you bet your bottom dollar they should see the light real fast. It's not very nice, but it should be effective.

That aside, though, mama -- if you're homeschooling her next year, and they're killing time for two weeks -- pull her out for heaven's sake. It sounds like the teachers are being irresponsible and deflecting their own lack of accountability onto your so-called pathology. This isn't good for you, and it isn't good for your daughter. Nothing is to be gained by setting up a confrontational environment for the last two weeks of school, over fundamental issues of safety that they simply refuse to acknowledge.

This whole scenario is quite frankly, mind-boggling. I teach in a private girls' high school -- and even then, we NEVER would allow this kind of situation. Field trips are always chaperoned with AT LEAST two teachers per class, and preferably more. It's simply a safety issue for all concerned -- the students, the teachers, and the venue to which we are travelling. There has to be someone to be in charge should an unexpected problem arise. No brainer.

They are most certainly putting your child and the other children at risk, here. If they won't play ball and stop harrassing you, pull her.
I don't think they are worried about liability, and I don't think I can mention or threaten a lawsuit unless or until something bad happened, at which point it would be too late. But you are correct, if they were worried about any liability issues they'd be more careful.

As for pulling her out two weeks early, I've very seriously considered it. I'm just afraid they will report me for truancy.
post #55 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBronsil View Post
One thing I'm not sure we've discussed, since I've glanced through most of the threads, is the idea of insurance. Insurance for field trips is getting trickier and the question is becoming one of what rules the insurance company puts down.

On one hand, there's a liability of having too few adults. On the other hand, there's the liability of having a parent volunteer and what happens if something goes wrong? Is the parent volunteer responsible, too?

I wonder if they have some strange problem with their insurance company that does not allow them to have supervising parents on these sorts of field trips. Either way, it's unsafe to have that many children outside with one adult. We're not just talking about children making a mistake. If a driver makes a mistake and hits a child, the teacher might have a cell phone handy to call for help, but in the meantime has to help both that one child and still have crowd control going on for the rest of them.

Hmmm...I never thought about the insurance side of it, but they do ask for parent drivers when a bus is not available, so insurance probably isn't part of the equation.
post #56 of 67
It's a private school, right? So why worry about truancy? My son goes to a private school so I feel free to pull him out for any reason, where as my older dss is in public school and we just have to be careful about excused/unexcused absences. We also (public school) have kids who are present but do not have permission (either in trouble or parent won't allow) to go on the field trip and I have to make arrangements for their supervision.

Anyway, as a parent, I let my child go on field trips because there is enough supervision. If I didn't feel there was enough supervision, I wouldn't allow him to go. When they ask my permission, they mention X teacher and X aide are going, so I know what the situation is.

As a public school teacher, we can have parents along on trips, but they can't break off and supervise a group, they are in charge of students, but go along with teacher's group. Other staff members that we bring along (aides, translators, nurses) can break away from teacher because they have Dept. of Justice clearance as school employees.
post #57 of 67
Thread Starter 
Flor,

yes it's a Private School. Don't truancy laws pertain to Private schools as well as Public schools?
post #58 of 67
I can see letting kids go to the bathroom as long as it's nearby. I don't understand not wanting chaperones along.
post #59 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmmie View Post
Flor,

yes it's a Private School. Don't truancy laws pertain to Private schools as well as Public schools?
I seriously doubt that a truancy officer would care that you took your child out of school to avoid a field trip where there was one adult and 17 children and you felt that there wasn't adequate supervision.
post #60 of 67
Quote:
Going on EVERY field trip your child attends IS overprotective.
No it isn't. Not at this age. I go on the preschool field trips because they're fun and I'd really rather drive my own children when they're that young. I go on the school field trips again, because they're fun and its something I get to do with my kid. I see no reason why a parent shouldn't go along.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at School
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › School trips and supervision for 1st graders