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Old 04-23-2013, 05:20 PM   #31
NaLisa
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Originally Posted by taitai View Post
What if some random guy starts following your group around as you are chaperoning the field trip? Turns out, random guy is some kids uncle and was told the kids were going there for the day and wanted to tag along as an unofficial chaperone? You can see how this could snowball.

In our school, the kids go on about 4 or 5 field trips a year. There are often lotteries to pick who gets to go as chaperoning is so popular. EVERY parent who volunteers or goes on a field trip must have a completed background check.

It seems really petty to fight this one. If you want to go to the zoo with your kindergartener, take him or her this weekend.
That's how it is in our school. Must be background checked to work directly with the kids (mentoring/tutoring or chaperoning), and only two parents per field trip. For most grades, though, there is at least one field trip where they let all parents go who want to go as long as they're background checked and pay the price of the field trip.

Having additional parents is a distraction to the entire class. This is a field trip meant to be a learning experience for the children, not a bonding experience for parent and child.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:24 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
Background check for a Chaperone (who is a parent of one of the kids going) to go on a field trip?

That is one of the biggest wastes of tax payer money I have ever heard of. I understand background checks for those who don't have kids in the school (i.e. Teachers, Teacher's Aides, etc.), that makes sense to me, but if you have a kid on the trip, you should be able to go.

I am the type of person who would probably show up, just because they said they didn't want me to, as I would wonder why they don't want me to show up and figure that they are doing something that they shouldn't be doing.

Now, factor in that this is Kindergarten and likely these kids first field trip, most parents will want to be there for that, so I think the school is way out of line here.

If they are worried about parents taking their kids elsewhere, enact a policy that if a child is missing, the police will be called immediately, no exceptions made.

You do anything with the schools here are you are required to complete a background check (your expense) and complete a short (30 minute) online session regarding student safety.

The OP's school is not out of line at all. Hovering over your kids on a field trip when you are not a chaperone undermines the authority of the teachers and chaperones who are suppose to be there.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:30 PM   #33
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I don't really get what the big deal is. Why is it such a huge issue for you? If it makes it easier, and honestly probably safer if only the chaperones go along on the field trip, why is it a problem for you? I can completely see why it would only be appropriate for teachers and the assigned chaperone's to go on the field trip. Did you not sign up to be the chaperone? If it's that important to you, I'd be sure to sign up as soon as you get the permission slip. Otherwise, if it really bothers you, I suppose you could just take your kid to the zoo on your own???

Honestly, I've never heard of other parents (not assigned chaperones) going on field trips. I actually just went on a field trip with my dd's kindergarten class to the zoo today. Let's say some parents show up...so then who's responsible for the child??? I completely understand how it would be a hassle for the teachers to deal with.

There's no way I'd make an issue out of this. I prefer to cooperate with my kids teachers/schools etc.
Oh I'm not going to make an.issue of it. I called, asked about.it and that's that.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:32 PM   #34
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I am shocked that a school district would allow any parent to tag along. We'd wind up with 50 chaperones....I could just see it now...grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, etc..all going to the zoo for the day!

In the k-5 schools, the kids usually had about 5 field trips. Chaperones were picked by lottery. I was able to attend 1 or 2 a year.

Many were not in public places. For example, when they went to the aquarium they only did the private boat ride. They didn't spend any time in the aquarium itself.

5th graders go on a 3 day 2 night trip. There was 1 chaperone for 4 kids.

Chaperones do not pay for the trip. Sometimes, especially the last few years with budget cuts, they may be asked to take their own car.

If the schools had a policy that I truly did not believe in, I would start by writing a letter. Both my boys are in middle school and it hasn't happened yet. This would not be something that would bother me, though!
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:35 PM   #35
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I have to say I am the extreme opposite of going along with the school, especially when it comes to my children. I believe I have final say as to what happens with my kids and take very unkindly to someone that tells me other wise. I don't understand why anyone would think someone knows what is best or could love them more than me. This particular policy isn't even about what is best for the kids but what is more convienent for the teachers. Besides we pay our taxes which pays the teachers salaries to do what we want in our schools not the other way around.
Seriously? I would think a parent would WANT it to be convenient for a teacher to keep their kids safe. Why would you want to make it hard for them?
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:39 PM   #36
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No background checks for parent volunteers at my son's school, or in our district.

Field trips are handled on a case by case basis. Some have limited volunteers, and sometimes they request extra who specifically follow the bus, because they don't have room on the bus but they want a lower ratio of adult to students.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:40 PM   #37
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I understand why the school feels the need to enact this policy, I think its sad that parents just cannot behave and follow rules while on a field trip but I've seen it happen, I know it happens and I just shake my head.

Personally, I hate field trips, they make me nuts, I would have loved a school with way tooooooo many copter parents ready and willing to volunteer but alas, that was never the case and I have been to the pumpkin patch and the local museum more times than I care to count.

However, that said.
I for one, as a parent, don't like when schools enact "new" policies regardless of the where/how or why. I would be questioning this "new" policy, not because I think its a bad thing but because I get very leery when schools and/or teachers/administrators start to make stuff up and create rules as they go along. I think admin needs to know someone is paying attention
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:41 PM   #38
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Well, as a former kindergarten teacher, security aside, it's extremely hard to maintain control & authority of your class when there as many parents as there are students. While most are wonderful, helpful parents, some parents have a way of doing whatever they want to do, no matter what the teacher has said. And it just makes the logistics of field trip harder to manage.

Watching the educational movie at the Train Museum --

Bobby & his friends Timmy & Tommy are giggling, & Bobby is standing in the seat.

Teacher: "Bobby, you need to sit down."

Bobby's Mom: "I told him it was okay because he can't see the movie."

Teacher: "Well, the sign says to remain seated, so we have to follow instructions. And, boys, we also need to be quiet, so everyone can hear."

Teacher walks away; Bobby's mom & the other moms gossip about how horrible the teacher is.

After the tour --

"We're not stopping in the gift shop after the tour. We're going back to the bus."

"Oh, but I promised Little Johnny we could stop & get a train whistle. It won't take a minute. And I'm going to take his little friend w/ me."

On the bus --

Teacher #1, counting the students: "Wait a minute... we're supposed to have 23 students. We only have 21."

Teacher #2: "Susie went in the car w/ her mother, & she wanted her friend Cindy to go with her."

Teacher #1: "Do we have Cindy's mom permission to let her ride w/ Susie's mom?"

Teacher #2:
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:44 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
Background check for a Chaperone (who is a parent of one of the kids going) to go on a field trip?

That is one of the biggest wastes of tax payer money I have ever heard of. I understand background checks for those who don't have kids in the school (i.e. Teachers, Teacher's Aides, etc.), that makes sense to me, but if you have a kid on the trip, you should be able to go.

I am the type of person who would probably show up, just because they said they didn't want me to, as I would wonder why they don't want me to show up and figure that they are doing something that they shouldn't be doing.

Now, factor in that this is Kindergarten and likely these kids first field trip, most parents will want to be there for that, so I think the school is way out of line here.

If they are worried about parents taking their kids elsewhere, enact a policy that if a child is missing, the police will be called immediately, no exceptions made.
I've never come across a background check that was paid for by the taxes of others.

We do background checks on anyone who will have direct contact with the kids. There is obviously a reason the teachers have collaborated and asked for this policy. Let them do their jobs. Take the kids to the zoo yourself if you want to enjoy it with your child.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:48 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by mamacatnv View Post

However, that said.
I for one, as a parent, don't like when schools enact "new" policies regardless of the where/how or why. I would be questioning this "new" policy, not because I think its a bad thing but because I get very leery when schools and/or teachers/administrators start to make stuff up and create rules as they go along. I think admin needs to know someone is paying attention
The OP stated the policy has been in effect since the beginning of the year but let each grade's parent know when it applied to them. Each grade gets one field trip per year and it is now the their turn.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:50 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Tpiejg View Post
I have to say I am the extreme opposite of going along with the school, especially when it comes to my children. I believe I have final say as to what happens with my kids and take very unkindly to someone that tells me other wise. I don't understand why anyone would think someone knows what is best or could love them more than me. This particular policy isn't even about what is best for the kids but what is more convienent for the teachers. Besides we pay our taxes which pays the teachers salaries to do what we want in our schools not the other way around.
Unbelievable as it may seem, no teacher will love your child more than you will.

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If you're not a chaperone, what is the point of going on the field trip?
So you can hover over them, like any good helicopter parent would.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:53 PM   #42
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What a great problem for a school to have: too many parents wanting to go on field trips.

It is hard on teachers to try and have any authority whatsoever with too many parents around. At least that's what I hear. I've never experienced that problem myself, as we were begging people to come along on our trips.
Yep....and then you have the kid over there crying because mom/dad is leaving and they want to go with them (or parents saying "I'm going to take my kid home") so now you have a big mess!!!

Even in High School sports the rule was the kids ride the BUS to the event and they come home ON the bus!

Our middle school was a little more relaxed on it but you had to sign a waiver stating you were taking your child so they could be accounted for.

I guess I'm just too old and never had my parents following us along on field trips so it never occurred to me to do so with my kids! We used to go to the zoo in 3rd grade and that was the only field trip they asked for lots of volunteers. I volunteered for that one since I knew the ratio was basically 1-2 adults for every 2-3 kids!

Now they don't even go to the zoo anymore and most field trips are gone except for walking ones to the historical center or the nearby nature center.

I do know they usually draw names for field trips here.

I'm betting someone caused an issue on one of the other trips.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:54 PM   #43
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Our school used to let whoever wanted to follow come along. I was even allowed to drive someone elses child home from Philly to NJ one trip. He was crying and they said "you take him"

Same trip different year a parent smacked someone else's child.

That was the end pf anyone coming. Now it's a "random" pick. Which is always the same 3.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:00 PM   #44
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Well, I have several students whose parents have criminal records and a few who are not to have contact with any children under age 16, including their own kid. You can bet we require a volunteer profile and background check! Parents can volunteer to chaperone an event but we have the final say whether or not that parent is "needed" on the trip.

I work with big kids, and sometimes their parents think that because they're middle schoolers the kids are able to make good decisions and don't need to be supervised. Ummm....nope. They need supervision, too. Like the time the 7th grader thought it would be a good idea to try to climb a statue in a cemetery in Boston....Mom thought it was "cute". We teachers thought it was pretty disrespectful to climb someone's tomb!
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:01 PM   #45
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I am a parent and I see nothing wrong with this policy.

And just because you are a tax payer does not mean the people whose salaries you pay have to do everything you want.
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