I felt compelled to send the following email to our school district's superintendant last night. Can't believe it turned out to be so long! (I left out his name here, as well as the county... so it would be more generic)
The subject line on this letter read:
Saving trees and improving efficiency
(Personal letter from a parent)
I know you are terribly busy, and I will try to be as concise as possible.
I have five kids, and have not always had them enrolled in public schools, but I've noticed a few things over the course of my involvement with the school system, and feel I would be remiss in not mentioning them.
Primarily, as you may have deduced from my subject line, there are far too many papers which are required to be filled out OVER AND OVER AGAIN, AD NAUSEUM every year, even if the information is no different than it was the year before. I do understand the necessity for documentation... however, it stands to reason that there should be a "short form" i.e. a "nothing's changed" form, if you will... to expedite matters. In addition to this (and I would be pleased to assist in its creation if necessary) a database of this information should be easily accessible and updateable by parents online. Trees... hard to replace, and yet we could save so many by striving to streamline the manner in which our documentation is handled, kind sir.
In addition to this, I have noticed that the agenda books, printed at great expense to (I assume) the taxpayers, have calendars which begin when the school year does, yet the students never receive them prior to the school year's start, when they might prove to be the most useful. I propose that these be distributed earlier, so as to assist students in preparing themselves for the next school year in a properly organized manner. Likewise, the ubiquitous "school supply lists" which are not given out until "day one" could be distributed with the planners, or even incorporated *into* them (and/or the website) to help alleviate the "mad rush" of desperate parents who grow ever more sleep-deprived attempting to find all the (sold-out) items on Junior's list. If the lists were given out along with the planners *over the summer*, then the shopping could be done at (the parents')leisure and the aisles of local stores would not be crammed with maniacs searching for that stuff the teacher said their kid MUST have by tomorrow OR ELSE! (You know how it is with kids!) Never mind the fact that we could just keep ourselves stocked up on "the usual" and stay out of the melee.
Finally, just a thought (I looked for it on the School Board's website) does the district help to organize any car pools? I think it would work wonders for the average family if there were school-organized carpool groups.
I work two jobs and could use a third to help make ends meet in this tough economy. I hope you'll take my suggestions in the spirit with which they're offered... and with a smile. I'm really impressed by improvements I've seen in the past few years, and am pleased to currently have three of my children attending the district's Schools (it would be four, but there's no room in pre-K3).
Sincerely, and with the best of wishes,
I forgot to mention the sold-out "gym" attire (which has to be certain colors for each school)