Late Parents

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by teacherkasey, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. teacherkasey

    teacherkasey Cohort

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    Nov 13, 2002

    I teach full day Kindergarten in a private day care center. We open at 6:45 and close at 5:30. Kids arrive anywhere from 6:45-10... the problem is I start my day at 9am. I wrote a letter to the parents at the beginning of the year with our schedule on it, explaining what everything meant. It specifically said that we are starting KG at 9am (if I don't I can't get everything done that I need to do) and that your child needs to be to school and settled in by that time. All but one of my parents complied to that for the first month. Then some parents would bring their kids in late occassionally, not every day. One parent continuously brings her child in at 9:45.

    The most important part of our day starts at 9. Morning message lets the kids know what we are doing for the entire day and we begin introducing activities soon after that. So the kids that are there late miss all that and are lost when they come in. We have also told the parents that if their child is continually late, the public school may not accept their child into first grade because of the latenesses. Parents don't seem to care!!! The director, head teacher, and one of our administrators has talked the one parent who is extremely late but she keeps coming in at 9:45. There's another parent who brings their child in and the kids love her so they jump up to give her hugs and kisses. Great, but then it takes me another 5 minutes to get the group back on task.

    They have put it on me to talk to the one parent who is extremely late, even though all of my bosses talking to her hasn't helped. And I want to put out a letter to all the parents reminding them of this policy. Is this appropriate? What would ou do in this situation???:mad:
     
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  3. Mimi

    Mimi New Member

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    Nov 13, 2002

    I would talk to the parent that is continually late and just try to find out why they do not bring their child in on time. I think the letter is a great idea; it will be getting to the point but not singling anyone out. I would include in the note the part about the public schools not accepting their children because they are always late.
    Good Luck
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Nov 13, 2002

    Get a grip! Those parents are paying for your service. Isn't it more important for a parent to spend an extra 45 minutes with their child then for that child to be sitting with strangers.

    Maybe the parent needs to learn some manners about entering and leaving quietly, and you need to learn how to be tolerate because not everyone is on your schedule. That parent and child have many years ahead to learn to adhere to a public school's schedule, it is not your responsibility to teach them to be punctual.
     
  5. AngelaS

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    Nov 13, 2002

    How come people don't bother to take two minutes to register with the site but will then make comments like the one above? To unregistered guests: Amanda does NOT send spam, so don't be afraid to give out your email- this site has NEVER emailed me (thank you!). We like to know who you are so that we can understand your background and where you are coming from- please register your name! :)

    My personal opinion is that it is NOT daycare, it is a state-licensed kindergarten program with state mandated attendance policies! This would not be acceptable behavior in the child's local public school, and you should not have any different standards. If you taught 4 year olds, I would agree (unfortunately) that you should focus on less disruptive entrances and leave it up to the parent, but this IS 'real school', no matter what the setting, and morning meeting is incredibly important to the day.

    As I see it, you have several good options. Have snack or free play first so entrances are less of a big deal and the child misses no instruction. I think it would be better to keep your routine, though, and each morning when the parent drops off late, have the children remain sitting with you and tell them, "We will say hello to __'s mom when she picks him up. We do not get up in the middle of our lesson to talk to someone, even if it is a grown-up. " Even if they don't see her later, they'll be okay, and learn the new routine. Teach the kids to smile and wave silently to any visitors to the classroom so that they feel acknowledged but you are able to maintain control.

    Also, explain to the mom that you are afraid of professional repercussions if you allow a child to miss more school than the state allows, and just to make sure you are keeping your own regulations, would she please sign in each morning as she drops her child off and indicate the time? This way you have documentation that the parent is aware of her tardiness and a record of how much time the child missed. Forward it to the public school in June. I beleive that seeing her lateness each day could shame her into prioritizing her child's education. It will be out of your hands in June and you will have done your duty.

    I have been in this situation twice when I taught private preschool and also in a public school HeadStart. In the daycare, I conferenced with the parent and had the sign in. She began coming only 10 to 15 minutes late instead of nearly an hour, which I compromised on and let it go. (This is preschool, no federal mandate).

    In the HeadStart, we did NOT have before or after care, and we started at 9:30. One of my parents STILL came forty-five minutes late each day, saying she couldn't get up in time! I told her it was her responsibitily to have the child at school on time since she had enrolled her in the program, and that if it was a hardship on her, I would look up a daycare center for her with more flexible hours so that another child on the waiting list could have her child's slot!

    Nothing changed, so I locked the classroom door at 9:30, let her bang, and then she had to walk all the way around the school, sign in to the office, and walk her child down to the classroom. After 3 days and one nasty confrontation, she transferred her child to another HeadStart, where she tried the same thing until the teacher told her this is school, you must be here on time, and you may not disrupt my class by coming in late. This teacher has been teaching for 32 years and does not play games with the parents. The child was on time for the rest of the year. ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2002
  6. teacherkasey

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    Nov 13, 2002

    Thank you AngelaS for the suggestions. I am definitely going to try the wave and say hello to the parents in the morning.Great idea!

    To the previous poster... as Angela said, this is a state mandated Kindergarten. The public school will look at the child's attendance record from this year and may deny the children access to fist grade. I understand that a lot of parents don't soend enough time with their children as it is, but isn't this child's education important too? What would have happened if this child went to KG in a public school? The latenesses would not be tolerated so why should I have to tolerate them in my KG class? Is my class not a real KG because I'm in a day care center, not a public school? I'm just trying to get a grasp on where you're coming from. And this child is NOT spending time with strangers when she is at school... I have been at this school for 2 years now and have known this child the whole time. And she has been there since she was a toddler and so have a lot of her friends in my class.

    Just one more thing, this board is the one I go to every day. It is so much more professional than other boards I have been to (not a lot of personal chitchat and very professional and caring and supportive). I would hate to see that change. I understand that we all have different opinions and feel strongly about different issues and I respect that. Just please try to keep things profesional. I think others respond better to that and have more respect for those who are professional. Thank you:rolleyes:
     
  7. CeCe

    CeCe Companion

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    Nov 13, 2002

    Extremely well-said, Angela! I wholeheartedly agree that the children need to arrive on time - this isn't daycare we're talking about - it's real Kindergarten with objectives, expectations, and goals to accomplish. Consistently bringing a child to school late is not only robbing this child of learning time, but it's taking time away from all of the other students as well, as their morning circle time is being interrupted over and over again by this parent. Young children (especially some children) really need structure and routine to have a smooth and productive day. Constantly having the morning circle time interrupted can set the tone for the whole rest of the day!
     
  8. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Nov 21, 2002

    I teach Kdg at a charter school. We stress punctuality. Our handbook says if a child has been tardy 18 xs in a quarter, he/she will receive a 1 day suspension. (I had a child tardy 21 xs & received no suspension, so it is not always followed). Every 6 tardies = 1 unexcused absence. Even so, some parents just can't get their child to school on time. It is SO frustrating, especially those days when three or more children come in late & mine seem to come in late the first 5 or 10 min. & it is very disruptive. We're trying to have a smooth start to our day & there are so many disruptions first thing!

    We remind parents that their job expects them to be on time & we expect their child to be on time also. Punctuality is a life skill, unfortunately it's the parent that needs to learn the skill! We tell the children they can help being on time by getting up in the morning when told & getting dressed, eating breakfast etc. without being "pushed" to get ready for school.

    Sorry, I just had to vent & I know that I will have several late tomorrow a.m. as the weather forecast is calling for snow! I also know that as a parent, my husband has to keep on my children to keep them moving in the a.m.'s so that they are not late!
     
  9. AngelaS

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    Nov 22, 2002

    I like the 6 tardies= 1 unexc. absence. The 21 tardies= suspension makes no sense to me (if the problem is that the kid is missing school, why make them miss more??).

    I have a parent who is very friendly with me but brings her child late 2-4x PER WEEK, with one absence or so a week. It is ridiculous. The child has low C's in all subjects and cannot afford to miss classtime. I told mom this, wrote it on her report card, and sent a note home saying her grades were slipping because of missed school (when the sniper was on the loose in October, she was picked up 20-30 min early EVERYDAY and got E's on all her science classwork because she missed all the experiements!).

    Nothing has changed. I think I am going to ask the office to say something to mom when she asks for (yet another) late slip. I may also start assigning extra homework, clearly labeled as such with the reason, for her to make up for that first 30 minutes of work she misses so many days. That's the only thing I can think of. Like was said above, we can't force parents to be on time. It's just unfortunate that the child is the one who suffers.

    PS. When a child is late, ask them why. I started doing this in the hopes that the stern confrontation with me would get them moving in the morning (we start right at 8:00). Today I asked a different little girl why she was late and she said, "Because I ran away" and burst into tears. I teach 3rd grade. Sometimes there are legitimate concerns going on in the home that take some prying to get out.
     
  10. teacherkasey

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    Nov 22, 2002

    :D Thanks everyone for the advice. I just put the letter out today (had to get approval from a couple different people and we talked about changing our policy book to make the arrival time for KG before 9am). The parent who was always late has started bringing her child in earlier on some days... I guess some progress is better than none. I think the other parent who the kids always got up to hug and kiss finally understood that this was getting disruptive because she told the kids to blow kisses to her from their seats. It was almost as if she had read this post!!! And the other children and parents who arrive late I just ignore and keep going on with my circle time. The kids have also started piking up on this and wait until circle is over to talk to their friends. Thanks again! And hopefully things will get a little better again after parents get this letter!!! Have a great weekend!!! :rolleyes:
     
  11. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    Nov 22, 2002

    We have an attendance referral process that we can use for excessive absenses/tardies. It goes on to the attendance officer who will make contact with the parents to let them know this is unacceptable and could lead to truancy and further actions could be taken against the parent. And when parents come in to pick up children (either early or late) they must sign them out with the time and reason. That way there is always a record handy showing how much school is being missed. Last year, I had the opposite problem of a parent not picking their child up for a good 30 minutes+ after school let out. Administration let the parent know that if she did not start picking up the child on time, she would be reported to the SRO who may them press charges of neglect against this mother. I believe she became more puntual.

    I thought all schools had something like this to aid in attendance problems.
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Nov 23, 2002

    Good grief, where on earth do you people teach?? In our state, VA, we cannot deny children admittance into public schools. I wish we could!! We have to deal with people not sending their kids to school all the time. It is called truancy and it is against the law and considered neglect by Social Services. Parents are written a letter of notification by the school after 7 unexcused absences. After 10, the matter is sent to the School Board for review. At that time, the authorities are advised and the police are called. Parents can lose their children if they do not send them to school or provide homeschooling in accordance with state guidelines. Good luck to all!
     
  13. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Nov 24, 2002

    In Michigan we also have truancy laws. The school I teach in is a charter school & does not have a truancy officer, although if absences become excessive parents are reported to the correct agency. The district that I live in has a different policy that includes verifying why a child was absent after 6 absences and then I don't remember what happens. My son had surgery last year & missed 3 days of school (only because it was done the Monday before Thanksgiving), he missed an additional 1 or 2 days due to the doctor appointments that went with the before and after care of the surgery & his hours were during school. Then he had strep throat. So I had to document all appointments.
    My point is each district does things differently.
     
  14. AngelaS

    AngelaS Cohort

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    Nov 24, 2002

    My problem is, all it takes to make an absence excused is a parent note. Some of my kids are 'sick' once or twice a week! I think there should be a process for verifying excessive absences. The irony is, there are other parents whose kids could come down with pneumonia and they still wouldn't keep them home, even for a day.
     
  15. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Nov 26, 2002

    Here in Alabama we have truancy laws, too, and it includes my preschool special education class in the public school system. 3 tardies = 1 unexcused absence. After the 1st un-X the parents have to sign a counseling sheet saying they have been informed of the attendance policy. 2nd un-X they get a letter from the office. I'm not exactly sure what that letter says but it is something to the tune of HAVE A 3rd un-X and we turn you into the truancy officer. Then there is early warning court and so on. They are only allow 5 parent notes each semester otherwise we need doctor/dentist excuses or such. Even though children aren't require to attend school until they are 7, if they ARE enrolled, then they MUST attend on a regular basis.

    NOW, the only exceptions we have to the tardy rule is for kids with REALLLLLLLLLLLLLY special needs that require them to come in later than the required 8AM. I have one that gets a tube feeding and medicine at 7:30 and there is NO WAY her mom can get her to school by 8AM, so it is written in her IEP that she can come as later. She usually shows up around 8:30.

    My thing I don't understand at my school... parents cannot bring kids in late, but we have at least 3 or 4 buses at our small school that are ALWAYS after 8 AM getting there. MY thoughts, the car riders should not be counted late if the buses can't even get there on time. BUT that is another soap box. :)

    Lori
     

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