Scheduling Shake Up

There's been a scheduling shake up at my kids' school. Gym days are no longer gym days. Extra computer days. Music has been moved around... Gah! I can't keep it straight.

At the house, we had to buy - and I'm not kidding - a white board/calendar just for writing the kids' schedules down. And they're in elementary school.

It's insane.

When I was a kid, we didn't have special days. We just went to school. And some days were more exciting than others.

I'm pretty sure that there was a rhythm to when our music teacher came to the classroom (she travelled) or when we had art (also travelled). I'm also reasonably sure that we didn't have an idea what that schedule was.

And while I am glad to have the information about scheduling, I also find it a little intimidating. School is more complicated than work these days. *sigh*



I'll admit it: I am not a fan of the robo-calls.

Trent Cole of the Eagles robo-called me today to leave a message about the free eye exams offered by the School System. I'm enthusiastic about the eye exams but I'm not sure about the effectiveness of the message when calling parents during the "getting ready for school" hour.

Ditto the calls at night. While I'm trying to get the kids ready for bed, taking care of homework and getting baths, I don't need to be rushing to the phone to find out when the next Home and School meeting is going to be.

I realize that this isn't a terribly popular concept but what about email? I know that all parents don't have access to the internet at all hours (apparently less than 50% of Philadelphians have daily internet access) - but why not offer it as an option: email or calls?

And with all due respect to those who rely on the phone, what percentage of parents do you think actually sit through such lengthy messages? I would venture to say less than a handful. I think most hang-up midway through the call. How effective is that in terms of communications?

I do listen when my school principal calls with short messages. But combined with those from the district, there are simply too many calls.

More effective communication needs to be a top priority in the district. There's no question. And robo-calls are not the solution.


Give Kids Sight Day

Get a free eye check and free glasses on "Give Kids Sight Day": Saturday, November 21, from 8am to 2pm. Participating locations are at Wills Eye Institute, 9th & Walnut, Center City and Eye Institute, 12th & Godfrey, Oak Lane.

No appointments necessary and no insurance needed.

For more information about "Give Kids Sight Day" contact PCCY at 215.563.5848 or visit www.pccy.org/sightday

** Information courtesy of flyer sent home with Philadelphia public school students.


November: Month Full of Holidays

November is a funny month. It feels like there's only the one big holiday: Thanksgiving. But in reality, there's practically a holiday from school every week. There's Election Day, Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving - three of the four weeks have days off. The only week without a holiday is the week of the 16th.

I'm lucky in that I have a job which allows me a great deal of flexibility. But I can't imagine how other parents do it. So I'm curious:

How do you manage to take a day off per week to watch your children? Or do you hire additional child care? Or, as some parents do, just go to work and hope for the best?