Welcome to Daniel Bagley!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Your questions, answered!

One of the kindergarten parents emailed me with SIX questions (thank you!), so I thought I'd post for all to see.  Please excuse any weird formatting.  I'm not even going to bother to try to fix it.

Scrip:  Can we pay for scrip with a credit card? 

The PTA isn't totally set up for electronic payments yet (looking into smartphone payments such as Square, but no action at this time), and the old-school credit card swiper is pretty cumbersome, so in-person scrip must be purchased cash or check only.
However, Brooke, PTA volunteer and mom of a Bagley Bee *and* two preschoolers, is hard at work setting up an online purchase program through our scrip provider, and you will be able to pay using direct debit.  Either your cards will be mailed to you, or you can get an online gift certificate code (depends on retailer, I think).  More news on that very soon.

Visitor Check-in:  What exactly is the Check-in policy for the school? It says All Visitors, but every time I've entered and signed in, there seem to be only a few parents signing in ahead of me, yet lots more in the building. Monday Morning Meetings (MMMs) and the Principal coffee for example.

The visitor check-in policy has been a bit loosey-goosey in the past, but this year they are trying to crack down.  ANY parent visiting for ANY school day reason should sign in at the front office and get a visitor badge.  This includes lunch with your student, principal coffee, MMMs, and volunteering in the classroom.

So - if you're at school during the day, make sure you sign in.  It keeps our students safe!

Privacy/class lists:  We opted out of the directory before reading that perhaps that is the only way to get a list of parents/names/kids that are in your own classroom.  Is there a separate class list available to get to know parents and kids in your own class?

--> If you are talking about the PTA directory:  The directory is really the only mechanism through which all Daniel Bagley families communicate. Teachers will have their own parent contact info but will not distribute.  Even if you opted out, you can backtrack and opt back in at any level - there will be forms at Curriculum Night, or you can email Dan Cory or Chris Potter with your info.  For example, you might not want to post your address publicly, BUT it would be very helpful to have your email and cell phone numbers listed.  

I would say that around 90% of families listed all their info including addresses last year.  It's only distributed in hard copy to Bagley families, and everyone involved is extremely safety conscious.  Also, you do not have to be a PTA member to be in the directory (although it is ultra-hip to be a PTA member)

--> If you are talking about the form that came home in that big packet, the FERPA one:  yeah, I totally opted out too.  That sounded creepy to me.  I don't want my kid's info released to random telemarketers.

Volunteering in class: Is this something that parents do and/or how is it usually done?

At Curriculum Night, you'll get the chance to sign up for classroom-related volunteer activities beyond just snack provisioning.  If you are interested in helping out in the classroom, talk to your teacher about opportunities.

Usually teachers aim to keep parents out of the classroom for the first 6-8 weeks, so the students can adjust to school life without parental 'interference'.

Class Snacks:  I signed up for a few weeks but have no idea what to bring and/or how to get it to the classroom/teacher?

Last year we had an official snack list, which was based on avoiding foods that could trigger serious allergies (anaphylactic).  Haven't seen this yet, so maybe it is being revised on a class-by-class basis.  The teacher or a snack coordinator/parent volunteer will contact you the week before to remind you, and they might have a list.

Usually I bring enough for 26 kids each day of one non-sugary, non-oily grain (no cheese or peanut oil or sesame seeds or tree nuts or anything like that) plus one fruit or veggie (no mango or strawberries or anything else commonly allergenic).  I try to include some gluten-free crackers or rice cakes too, and keeping crackers/pretzels in boxes with ingredient lists is helpful.  I think some teachers are okay with cheese sticks or yogurt tubes, but it depends on the class and the kids.  Vegan is probably a safer bet.

You can bring several days' worth of supplies at a time, or send each day's snack individually if the fruit is super fresh.  Package it up and have your kid take it to class in the morning to give to his/her teacher.  Send stuff that isn't goopy or messy.

The snacks my son brought this week:  

* 'trail mix' of cheerios, banana chips and raisins; 
* 'trail mix' of gluten-free corn chex, dried cranberries and golden raisins; *
* pretzels and carrot sticks; 
* rice cakes, rice crackers and fresh plums from our garden; 
* wheat thins, gluten-free pretzels, grapes cut into bunches of 4-5, and golden raspberries that are in season and on sale.

One time I made mini-bagels with sunbutter and organic strawberry jam but that was way too OCD.  We also had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes last year, and those were actually a big hit - several students tried them for the very first time and liked them!

Testing - MAP etc.: Are there resources beyond trying google searches?

I'm stumped on this one.  There are all sorts of political issues here.  We'll find out the scoop at Curriculum Night.  Rumor has it that we are only testing twice a year, as opposed to the three times we went through this in its pilot phase last year.  It takes away a lot of teaching time, but my son loved it, and I found MAP scores useful.

1 comment:

  1. Directory:

    On the Daniel Bagley directory, you are welcome to list as much or as little information as you want. Just your kids name and a phone number is totally fine. Whatever you write on the form is what we print in the directory. You can get the form at http://danielbagley.com/pdf_content/2011-12%20Family%20Information%20Form.pdf or just send us an email.

    We will release a draft in each classroom in about two weeks so you'll have a list of who is in your child's class. This is also the chance to send in an corrections. We try to get the entire printed directory done by the end of October.