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Thread: Our School "Reconfiguration"

  1. #121
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    Yeah, the assembly was great.
    I congratulated Jim on how nicely it went.

    I continue to hear examples - lots of examples - of kids who come home with their lunch uneaten or half eaten. You can blame it on the kids if you want, but it's the adults that set up this crazy schedule and this expectation that given the choice between lunch and recess, they'll choose sitting and quietly eating a leisurely lunch while their friends go out to play. It's unrealistic.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Yeah, the assembly was great.
    I congratulated Jim on how nicely it went..
    Yes, Jim is amazing, but really it is the kids who should also be very proud. They are moving forward together despite the many challenges and adjustments.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    I continue to hear examples - lots of examples - of kids who come home with their lunch uneaten or half eaten. You can blame it on the kids if you want, but it's the adults that set up this crazy schedule and this expectation that given the choice between lunch and recess, they'll choose sitting and quietly eating a leisurely lunch while their friends go out to play. It's unrealistic.
    So it sounds as if your specific issue is with the lunch first, then recess? I agree, it might be worth taking a look at the feasibility of swapping it in the future--honestly, I didn't know other schools even did it differently!

    What troubles me John is that you call it "crazy", innappropriately blame it on reconfiguration, and incorrectly state the kids are "given the choice between lunch and recess". Somehow kids at HH have done this for years and I've not heard of any of them being any less healthy than others their age. There are always going to be lunches un/half eaten, and of course that parent should address it with their child (and teacher if truly a chronic issue). At every turn, kids should be encouraged to make good decisions, and most I've seen, do.

    Please don't be so quick to blame things all on reconfiguration. So many people are doing so much to help and spreading such blame (esp. when unwarranted) does not help anyone.

  3. #123
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    John and Tracy, Claypit has switched this year to recess first, then lunch. It does seems to be working well.

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by TracyScheidemantel View Post
    Somehow kids at HH have done this for years and I've not heard of any of them being any less healthy than others their age. There are always going to be lunches un/half eaten, and of course that parent should address it with their child (and teacher if truly a chronic issue).
    No.
    Do NOT blame this on the kids.
    If this worked for years at HH, maybe it's because there were 100 fewer kids.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but other than the 5 minutes extra they just added on to lunch time, they have the same number of lunch periods spanning the same number of hours (11:15 - 1pm?) this year that they had last year.
    If this is they case, how do you feed 100 additional kids in that amount of time without overcrowding, rushing or both?

    Of course there will always be half eaten lunches. But when a parent who never had that experience before is having it now, I pay attention to that. And when I hear it from many different people, that indicates a problem, doesn't it?


    Quote Originally Posted by TracyScheidemantel View Post
    So it sounds as if your specific issue is with the lunch first, then recess?
    No.
    My issue is that they are trying to put a square peg in a round hole by running 400 kids through the lunch room in 2 hours. But we don't need to go on about this. I understand that it has gotten marginally better, and yes, I have every intention of coming in to observe, as well as to volunteer.


    Quote Originally Posted by TracyScheidemantel View Post
    ...incorrectly state the kids are "given the choice between lunch and recess"
    Isn't this what Gary said?
    Wasn't this his explanation of why there's a problem?
    Again, blaming the kids - didn't he say they have 30 minutes, they're supposed to eat first, but there is not a lunch police there to make sure they finish their lunch before joining their friends on the playground.

    Given the choice, how many will sit and eat a healthy lunch if their friends are all going outside? This is a choice they shouldn't have to make, because they are too young to see the downside of making the wrong choice. As their advocates, it is up to us.

    30 minutes is not enough time to have lunch AND recess, unless the recess is limited to 10 minutes, so they have time to eat a proper lunch in a reasonable amount of time, without binging.
    This is really unhealthy - both in the short term AND in the life-long eating habits we are instilling in them at this early stage of their life.

    Quote Originally Posted by TracyScheidemantel View Post
    Please don't be so quick to blame things all on reconfiguration. So many people are doing so much to help and spreading such blame (esp. when unwarranted) does not help anyone.
    This isn't about blame.
    It's about the unspun truth.

    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    This isn't about blame.
    It's about the unspun truth.
    You mean what appears true to you? Others may have a differing opinion from you, but that does not mean they are spinning anything. We all have differing opinions and none are right or wrong.

    Glad to hear that you think things are improving-

  6. #126
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    You're right, of course.
    Opinions are never right or wrong.

    But there are certain truths that exist that are irrefutable.

    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  7. #127
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    Default Some thoughts on HH

    Kim I agree things have gotten better but my big issue is the terrible situation which our community had to endure for 4 weeks because of a lack of planning by the administration.

    The bus routes were never going to work with the time table of 2:20 at the MS and 2:45 at ES. Yes I think many of the routes have gotten better but at HH our kids are still being held for 15 minutes because the buses can't fit and then have a bus ride home. My kids get home around 50 mins after school and they aren't the last stop. Better yes BUT not acceptable. They should not have to wait 15 minutes for the buses they don't do this at any other school in town.

    A correction on the K buses there still is no BASE bus for those who live within 1 1/2 mile even though we have been told over and over that we will receive that service. My 5 year old has had no less than 6 bus drivers and buses. Not easy to teach a routine when there has been no stability with the buses.

    Yes lunch at HH has gotten better because they added time. But still it is very crowded and I believe many families have adjusted to sending lunch because if your child waits in line its difficult to get a sit and still have time to eat. Also my 2nd grader has snack at 10:10 and lunch around 11:15.

    Yes things are getting better because people are just accepting the situation and do what they need for their kids. Driving, packing lunches, hiring sitters and quitting BASE, getting tutors, and looking at private schools.

    I know what's going on in the schools first hand because I am on the HH PTO, I have helped or been at pretty much every event at both Loker and HH so far this year. I have been part of the solution but there are many issues still to be addressed. I have been in both schools during business hours and there are problems.

    We did this because of enrollment and the override. Since enrollment barely went down and it could go up next year these issues aren't going away. We need to direct our administers and School Committee to really investigate other solutions for our schools. They claimed there was no fat but the bus routes have been the same for 10 years. So I think we need to really address the issue of priorities for our schools.

  8. #128
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    Thanks for that assessment, Alexia. It sounds like there's some work to do to make things right. Quitting BASE, hiring tutors and looking at private schools are unacceptable answers. I hope that solutions are being sought to continue to improve things.

  9. #129
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    I know of a mom who is planning to pull her two kids out of BASE because the difference between when they got home from school on the bus on their non-BASE days is so close to the time they get home on the BASE days, that she feels like she's wasting money.

    I wonder if others are doing this, too.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  10. #130
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    John, I must be misunderstanding. Because the way you're describing it, it sounds like BASE is working just right, but someone would be happier to have their kids take a long bus ride? There's something kind of backwards about that...

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    John, I must be misunderstanding. Because the way you're describing it, it sounds like BASE is working just right, but someone would be happier to have their kids take a long bus ride? There's something kind of backwards about that...
    No, she's not happy that they're taking a long bus ride.

    She just accepts the fact that they are, and realizes that she's wasting her money on the days she sends them to BASE so that she can work, because they already get home so late from school on non-BASE days, that she has more time to work already.

    I would not say that she's happy about it, but yes, she will save money, and yes the schools will make less money when they are no longer in BASE.
    Yet another unintended consequence of an idea made in haste.

    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    I know of a mom who is planning to pull her two kids out of BASE because the difference between when they got home from school on the bus on their non-BASE days is so close to the time they get home on the BASE days, that she feels like she's wasting money.
    That mom surely does not see the value of BASE as a play-based enrichment program. Sounds to me like she is simply focused on not having her kids home for a given ammt of time and is not concerned with what they are actually doing. Otherwise, one would think she might value BASE all the more, knowing that her kids are not spending some of the time waiting for and taking the bus home. If she would rather have them spend the time on a busride home, then maybe she is wasting her money.

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by TracyScheidemantel View Post
    That mom surely does not see the value of BASE as a play-based enrichment program. .
    Well that's a rather presumptuous statement.
    I'm quite sure my friend recognizes the value of what BASE provides.
    But there are two other possibilities - the economic realities of paying for it, and the fact that, like many families I know, she may just see the value of having her kids home with her.

    Another thing I forgot to mention is that the amount of time it takes for her kids to arrive at BASE from Happy Hollow is lengthy enough that she wonders what she's paying for - BASE or the bus ride to get there.

    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  14. #134
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    That mom surely does not see the value of BASE as a play-based enrichment program.
    Piling on to this particular statement...

    Here is one observation in particular to the situation my wife and I realized this year with our kindergarten-age son: the K BASE program itself is more expensive than private full-day (9-3) kindergarten -- with 20 students and 2 teachers, and with lunch, snacks, and full teacher coverage at the center from 7:30 AM to 6 PM. To repeat, the K BASE program is more expensive than that. That is simply ridiculous. We don't have experience with BASE for older students so I can't comment on it. I do hope that it is more reasonable, though.

    I realize that BASE is outside the scope of the SC and this thread in particular, but for families with two working parents it is the reality we have to accept. To expand the opportunities for parents Wayland should look at the example of other towns like Natick and Sudbury that offer after-school programs with busing (also play-based enrichment) at the Longfellow Clubs in Natick and...Wayland.

  15. #135
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    Question

    A few days ago I posted to this board looking for some direction. There were several issues raised at the school meeting on September 15th and I was unclear on which group, the School Committee or the Administration, is responsible for planning, expense savings, what the plan is to fix the issues and the timeline to get them resolved. Does anyone know which group is responsible for each of these fundamental components of the plan?

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