..One for the believe it or not file!
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|Tue, 08-12-2003 - 1:24pm|
DS was to be moving to a new school this yr., our own parish school, in our own rather affluent parish. We waited to send him there until after K because they don't offer full-day K, and with our work situations, we needed full-day. The school has a good reputation, and it has been undergoing renovations all summer to update the wiring and add a lot of new space for enrichment activities, renovations, btw, which are being funded by $7M in voluntary contributions by parishioners. We felt we could move him there now because he would be in class until 3 and then at on-site aftercare until one of us could pick him up, sometime between 5 and 6 pm. To ensure that he could enter as a 1st grader, we prepaid the entire year's tuition in cash, which was a bit of a stretch for us. We were even willing to put up with the hardship of having one of us forced to take 2 weeks off because the school's work won't be done until Sept. 8th, and all the summer camps stop at the end of next week.
We had been trying to reach the staff for a while to ask a few questions, but it was difficult because the phones had been disrupted by the construction. Yesterday, we got an update letter from the principal, and there, in small print in amongst the announcements about soccer leagues, was this bombshell: "I was informed in June that our contractor will no longer be able to provide on-site afterschool childcare. If demand warrants it, they have offered to provide a van for up to 8 students to be taken to another school for aftercare, but they will not be able to pick up until 3:25. We will allow children to wait quietly in the office until the van arrives. We will not find out until later this month what school will have room for them."
WHAT? She was informed in JUNE and she sat on this news for 6 weeks? Furthermore, why was no effort made to find another onsite childcare contractor? This school has over 300 children. I called a neighbor who is a school board member and asked if he knew about it.
"Oh yeah, she told us. We didn't like offering childcare anyway; the younger kids are better off at home with their moms after school." I was nearly speechless, but I managed to choke out a couple of indignant questions, "Didn't you think about how hard it would be for working parents to find alternate childcare this close to the start of the school year? Why didn't you announce it as soon as you found out?" He came back with, "Perhaps this would be a good time to reexamine your priorities. Most of our mothers do not work full time." At that point, DH had to take the phone away from me; I was about to rip it off the wall. (DH is calmer than I am about these things, but then, he's not the one being told he's a poor parent.)
Over $3.5K for 33 weeks' tuition and my 6 yo *might* find room on a van going to some other unidentified school? He won't be able to participate in after-school clubs, because he will be going somewhere else after school? And it is MY fault? How dare they! Good reputation and resources be d*mned! He is going back to his previous school, in a working-class neighborhood where no one puts his mother down for having a job. There have been little digs directed at me in the past, but this absolutely tears it. I can't believe that this sort of complacency still happens in this day and age.