Not Liking What School Is Doing

Updated on August 23, 2013
R.P. asks from Salt Lake City, UT
12 answers

My children have a new principal this year. There is a couple things she is doing that don't seem right. How can I find out what the standards for recess, school lunch, etc?

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So What Happened?

All the information the school gave me at the beginning of the year is different from what they are actually doing. It is a new principal but not a new school. The principal got rid of the music program, changed lunch all the way around. The children have to sit down and not move until the class is finished with their lunch then they go back to class. they are not allowed to speak, just eat. I want to find out what the standards for lunch and recess are. I will go to the district office in person and ask the for the information

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answers from New York on

Can you give some details about what is happening? It might be easier to give you advice if you can be more specific.

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answers from Portland on

It's a new year with a new principal. Hold off doing anything for a few weeks to give time for things to settle down. Then, if you're still concerned make an appointment to talk with the principal. In the meantime read the schools handbook to see what the school policy is. Their policies will have been approved by the school board.

If you told us what is concerning you we may be better able to help you.

After your swh: no music program is the result of the budget process last sspring. The principal, alone, doesn't decide what programs to cut. It's likely the new principal wasn't involved. As to lunch room discipline that eas likely decided upon in a staff meeting by all the teachers. I urge you to have lunch with your child to see first hand how it works. Casually in an open manner talk with her teacher about why it's that way before registering a complaint.

The lunch situation is one that will likely change from timr to time depending on the situation.

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answers from Boston on

It would help if you were more specific. It's hard to know from your post if there are drastic changes afoot, or if things are just being communicated in a different way. Is this the same school your children have been in, and the principal is new? It sounds that way from your post, rather than your children are in a new school and dealing with a new principal.

In general, principals don't set standards for recess and lunch - those are set by the district and superintendent. Some policies (usually broader in scale, not pertaining to things like recess) are also set by the school board, still others by the state department of education.

If it's not an emergency that involves safety, I'd give it some time. School either hasn't started, or has just started. Let the principal get the year started and see what happens with communication of policies to parents.

The district office will have written policies for all schools and probably anything that is specific to different grade levels (elementary, middle school, etc.). This is public information and should be available to taxpayers in the town, but you will probably have to be more specific with them about what you are looking for.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

School just started so you have to be a little flexible (I hope) in order for the teachers ad students to get into the routine.

What doesn't seem right to you? A little more detail would be helpful.

I'm a long time substitute and familiar with recess and lunch schedules. We do not allow outdoor recess if the air quality levels are too high or if temperatures are not within an acceptable range. Believe me, we WANT the children to be able to get out and run around but as also WANT the children safe. Lunch is a 30 minutes block. Most children are more than finished being served from the cafeteria and/or finished home meals well before the time limit. If someone is extra slow or if there is a valid reason, they are given a longer time slot to sit with a teacher and finish a meal.

I will tell you that sitting out of recess for a period of time due to behavior is not uncommon nor is sitting out recess to stay inside with a teacher to do work completion because a student is either abusing classtime (using classtime as recess) or a student needs some one on one help from a teacher. At this point, with your school being in session 1 day, I don't think this would be your complaint at the moment.

Most schools have a website and each grade level has a curriculum and schedule listed for daily activities. Most teachers will provide you with a daily schedule and there is one posted in the classroom as well.

My suggestion is to COMMUNICATE with your child's teacher's and administrator's so you understand the process. Don't start out the gate being "that mom" or your child will be known throughout his/her entire school career as "the one with that mom". As a teacher, we know who those mom's are very quickly.

Keep an open mind and communicate. Go volunteer and see for yourself how things work.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If you are looking for the laws that govern recess and lunch, I think you need to look in your state's education code. If you are looking for district policies, then look in the district handbook.

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answers from New York on

More info pls. Remember that if it is a new principal, they need some time to see how things go. There should be a policy book. It seems like it is lunch and recess that you are concerned with. I would definitely not do or say anything at this point. How bad could it be, really.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

School just started YESTERDAY for you.

Have you gotten a school handbook yet? (those usually go out on the first or second day of school). That would be where most policies are.

But more information on what the problem is after ONE DAY might be helpful.

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answers from San Francisco on

All schools have a handbook of policies and procedures. Usually you can find it on the school website but you could probably also get a hard copy from the district office.
I hope you don't expect to agree with EVERY decision and policy of the new principal. When you're dealing with hundreds of students and families there is no way to please every single one.
Don't start off the year being a complainer. Step up, volunteer and work WITH the principal and staff and other parents to make the school the best place it can be. Volunteering at lunch and recess is a great place to start, because you can actually see what is going on and why they do things the way they do them.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Talk to the admin office. If the concerns are valid then at least ask about them.

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answers from San Antonio on

Have you ever volunteered on the first day of school at lunch time?? I have and let me tell you...if they are telling the kids to sit still and eat their lunch it is because they are trying to instill some order and discipline in the cafeteria.

The first day is, allow some time to pass and I bet they will loosen up a bit on the lunch time silence...or start giving classes that behave privileges in the cafeteria that are earned.

Every child in our school stays in their seat with their class during all of lunch and is only allowed to talk in a whisper. How else can you have five hundred kids cycle though a cafeteria in a timely manner??

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answers from Columbus on

Is there a website and/or a handbook with rules written out? If you don't find your answers in either of these places, then I would just go over their head and discuss your concerns with the School Superintendent.

Good luck!!

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answers from Boise on

Check with the school district office. If you are not satisfied then check with the State Office.

1 mom found this helpful
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