Written School Plan Not Adhered to for Field Trip

Posted on: Thu, 12/02/2004 - 1:17am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Okay, still sorting out in my head if this is a big deal or not. I have one of those no noise, no light migraines that I fell ill with last night at 4:30 p.m. with. I get up this morning and I am still not well, but both of my children had field trips, so I take some medication and figure it's not as severe and I can attend and will hopefully have fun.

When my son received paperwork home for both field trips, beside the part where you check whether or not you want to volunteer for the field trip or not, I have checked that I want to volunteer but also say that I am going, as per Jesse's written school plan as his parent designated supervisor.

So, basically, I'm telling the school that I'm going. I am always given a group of children despite going because of Jesse's PA and I'm totally okay with that.

This morning, I pack a couple of extra food items in Jesse's lunch box and medication in my purse and off we go. The trip was to The Ontario Science Center and in a risk assessment of the trip re PA (which Deb O. taught me how to do here), I would consider the trip low risk re PA.

I simply wanted to go.

Just as I simply want to go to The Paper Bag Princess play next week and have volunteered to go with both children's classes (they go on different days). I also assess Jesse's attendance at a play at The University of Toronto "low risk" re PA.

I go into the class this morning and ask his teacher if I am going. I had written her a note a couple of days ago because I hadn't heard anything but she was off yesterday.

She says no. I said, okay, is Jesse in your group (knowing that she is Epi-pen trained). No, he's in someone else's group.
I said, okay, does the other person know how to administer the Epi-pen? No, but I will show them how. Okay.

I said, (which is also written on his field trip permission forms very clearly - that his emergency medical bag is to be taken from the office on the trip with him), would you like me to go and get his emergency medical bag? Oh, sure, that would be great. But when she said it, it was like if I hadn't mentioned it, it wouldn't have been done, even though it is clearly written on the form.

I understand that the teacher is dealing with 34 students. I understand how overwhelming it can be.

She said that how the volunteer thing works is that the first three permission forms that come back with a parent wanting to volunteer, those parents automatically are chosen. I did try to say, but yes, I understand that, but I'm supposed to be going because of Jesse's allergy.

Now, the school doesn't know that I assess the risk of different field trips. What they do know is that they have a written school plan, which they have agreed to adhere to (and thought was quite wonderful), and it says that Jesse is to have a parent designated supervisor on his trips with him.

I explained to my SIL as we were coming back from the school that it can be something as simple as it being the teacher. It could be that if I wasn't available, I could say it was my SIL if she was going.

This is Jesse's second field trip with the school and for the first one, his Father went with him.

Right now, until I've checked out places I haven't been to in years, I'm assessing them a bit differently than I would had I been there recently. For example, I haven't been to the Science Center in seven years when we took my step-son during March break.

I feel as though I should say something, but I'm not clear what I should say. I don't want to come across "over the top" because quite frankly, I'm not a bit concerned about Jesse and where he is going to-day (touch wood). But what if it had been a field trip that was really "high risk" in my assessment?
I guess, at that point, this morning, I would have had to say, well, either I go, or my son doesn't.

Always long winded, I'm sorry.

I went into my daughter's class because she was also going on a field trip and I gave her a kiss good-bye and told her that Mama wasn't going with Jesse either (she is very upset, and I guess rightfully so, that I tend to go on more field trips with Jess).

So, how should I word it so that it sounds really really nice but still makes the point that I should have really gone on the trip to-day?

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 12/02/2004 - 1:51am
DebO's picture
Joined: 03/15/1999 - 09:00

Hi Cindy
I just thought it might be useful to share my experiences with you here.
As soon as a field trip note comes home, I phone the teacher to discuss the trip and I explain how I have assessed the risk for that particular trip. We then decide whether or not I "need" to go. Since I am lucky and my kids have been at the same school for 3 years now, the teachers are getting to know me and actually expect me to call. Sometimes they will say, "well, this trip is low risk but we are going to go on another trip in the winter that will be higher risk so you should really go on that one". Then, once the other trip rolls around I am automatically on the list, although I do still fill in the form.
This fall, we had the trip to the experimental farm that I considered to be a very high risk. In this case, I actually phoned the farm myself, explained the situation and asked if they can permit the group to have an extra volunteer because of my son's allergies. Since I thought that trip was risky and knew we had to leave early so my son wouldn't go in the barn, I did not have an assigned group of kids, as I normally would.
Considering it is parent/teacher interview time, I would make it a point to bring up with their teachers this year. Tell them that some trips are riskier than others and if they know what is planned maybe you can decide which ones you absolutely need to go to now. Depending on the school, sometimes there are lots of volunteers and the teachers sometimes want to spread around the trips between different parents. I think you need to make it clear that there are some trips that you really need to go on.
Anyways, good luck and I hope they both have fun today!

Posted on: Thu, 12/02/2004 - 2:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Deb O., thank-you, you are such a sweetheart. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I cannot tell you how much I have learned about things, such as field trips, from you. As I mentioned in the thread starter, it was you that taught me how to assess the risk of a field trip and really, when you think about that, I think it takes the weight off of a lot of PA parents' shoulders - do the risk assessment and then decide if you truly need to attend the field trip or not rather than thinking that you have to go on every field trip your child has until they finish school.
I am not saying that it's not okay for parents to say that they'll always go with their children, but for me, you taught me how to assess a field trip when perhaps I'm personally not in the position to go with my son and I do think that that was quite helpful and not only to me but to many PA parents.
So, now, a huge thank-you for mentioning the parent/teacher interview thingee [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] I actually have mine with both teachers (BAD MOMMY did not fill out the form) tomorrow morning. And since it would still be fresh with the teacher from our conversation this morning, just perfect timing.
And with the other stuff I have going on with Jess right now, I probably would have brought it up somehow, but unclear what to say. Now much clearer, thank-you.
(I really wanted to go to the Science Center).
Thank-you, so much, Deb O. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Now, I need another Canadian to call McNeill Canada for us! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 12/02/2004 - 3:22am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Quoted from Cindy:
[b]in a risk assessment of the trip re PA (which Deb O. taught me how to do here), [/b]
Is this information in a thread on the board?
Even though my situation is a bit different, I would like to see it in case some of the information might be adaptable to my son's situation.
Deb, thanks for mentioning interviews. Mine is tomorrow as well, and I've been thinking about a few other things I want to discuss with the teacher, and I actually forgot all about the problem I had recently WRT a field trip. Thanks for the reminder. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 12/02/2004 - 7:05am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Anna Marie, it's on here somewhere. It may be in a thread about what happens if you're NOT able to go with your PA child on field trips, i.e., if you're a single working-outside-of-the-home parent, what do you do?
I'll try to find it later for you. I'm still trying to beat this gosh darn migraine - I want to go to hospital for a shot of demerol it's that bad, but I can't.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 12/02/2004 - 1:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Anna Marie, did a search, finally found it:-
I think this is the first time Deb O. explained how she assesses field trips and I do know I have referred back, not necessarily to this post, but to her way of thinking, and started to assess trips myself.
For example, even though I consider the trip to-day to the Science Center to have been of "low risk", I really don't know because I haven't been there in 7 years.
It was different in Belleville where we went on the same field trips year after year after year and I could basically say, okay, we've been to Glanmore House, it's extremely low risk, I don't have to go (I just kept going so I could see the chaperone chair).
But also something like the trip to the play next week at the University of Toronto, I consider that low risk even though I haven't been to Hart House in probably 25 years.
Does that make sense?
I have found Deb O.'s way of assessing the risk to be really beneficial to me, especially when often times I am alone with the kids and may or may not have to sort out child care arrangements, etc. if I do go with one.
Both kids had a great day to-day! I'm really upset I missed the Science Center.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 12/03/2004 - 4:10am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks Cindy. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
You know, the science centre is open to the public. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Don't remember the price - but I think worth the cost if you go for the full day.
Deb - I again have to thank you for the reminder about interviews. Had a great talk with the teacher re my son's allergy today, and now I'm off to search for the thread I started about the field trip I had problems with - gotta add some info there.

Posted on: Mon, 12/06/2004 - 7:51am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Two years ago, when dd was is K, we had a wonderful teacher who let me volunteer as much as I wanted. Unfortunately, she left the school right after spring break and we ended up with a 'brand new', "straight out of the classroom" teacher.
She wanted to exert her independance and asked all volunteers to stop. (There were about 5 of us)
When it came to the 'year end farm trip' (40 minutes outside the city), I inquired about the voulunteering.
She said it would be 'first come first picked'.
I said, OK, consider this me being first.
Then she said, oh I should wait to see who wants to go.
I said "I want to go"
Then she said, I'll put all the names into a hat and pick 3 of them.
Without blowing up, like I really really wanted to do, I finally said, "I don't think you understand my situation. My dd will NOT be going on ANY field trips without me. I will take my own car if necessary, but I WILL be there.
I then went into the office, TOLD the principal that I did not want to cause waves, or step on anybody's toes, but because of the PA, this was MY RULE and it would be my rule for the next 7 years.
Bottom line: I was one of the three volunteers picked.
Sometimes you just gotta stand your ground. And it wasn't easy the first time. I had butterflies in my stomach, but it gets easier each time I have to exert MY independance. he he he

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