At the beginning of each year we often have our new parents wonder why we operate the way that we do in certain areas. Perhaps we are not doing something that was done at their old school or perhaps something just doesn’t make sense to them and they are simply trying to understand why we do what we do.
Here are some of the questions we have been asked:
We want the teachers to apply mosquito repellant and sunscreen to our child before snack and lunchtime. Why is the school not prepared to do this?
There are several reasons but the main reason is that we are not legally allowed to. We cannot apply any substance to a child in case they have an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, in the past, schools have had legal action taken against them regarding this issue and as a result insurance companies make it very clear what we can and cannot do.
Solution – children can bring their own ROLL ON mosquito repellant or sunscreen and apply it themselves. Countries where sun burn is a major concern e.g. Australia and New Zealand, have developed a culture where the children can apply it themselves from a very early age.
Obviously both mosquito repellant (including patches and wraps) and sunscreen can be applied at home before the children come to school.
Why are workshops mainly during the day and not at night, so all our parents can attend?
We have done surveys and we have also learned first hand, that early morning workshops are more popular with our parents than ones at night. In the 2017/18 academic year, for example, we had to cancel 2 workshops, planned for the evening, owing to poor numbers and two other evening workshops had 6-7 participants despite the fact that 25 parents indicated they would attend. This is very frustrating for the teachers and staff involved.
The other main reason is that some of our workshops involve you visiting the classrooms and seeing your children learning first hand or the workshop involves children sharing their experiences. The 3 reading workshops in October have all the parents visiting their child’s class.
Also, don’t forget we offer You Tell Us sessions in the evening as well as offering evening sessions for the 3 way conferences (child, parent and teacher) and the parent teacher conferences. You might think this is standard practice but most schools now only offer these during the day. I should know, as I am having to release my teachers during the day so that they can attend such conferences at their child’s school. This does not include the other evening events throughout the year that we offer for our children and families.
Finally, we do actually offer a small number of workshops in the evening but these are predominately in the 2nd term.
Why are dogs no longer allowed on the school grounds?
Ultimately its for the safety of our children but also for insurance purposes. This year is the first year that the ESF Insurance company has stipulated that we are not covered if a dog is allowed onto the premises and an incident occurs (dog bites a student). Trained dogs, that have certificates etc, e.g guide dog are allowed to visit but we have to get clearance from the Insurance company before the actual visit.
The insurance rule does not just apply to dogs. It actually applies to all animals. Despite telling the wild boars this, they still occasionally visit the school grounds.
Do I have to pay the PTA fees?
Yes, these are compulsory and form part of the ESF ordinance. All parents have to be affiliated with the PTA by paying the PTA fee. We have had a terrific response to the fees with almost all parents now members.
Do I have to pay the Bus Fees?
If you child catches the bus then the answer is yes. Yes, you do. If your child does not take the bus then no, you do not.