August 22, 2011

Parental Contact


Cortlen and Kellen are turning eight in a couple of weeks and I promised them that they can have a party with their friends from school.

Contacting said classmates in an age of stringent privacy laws and in a district that won't let you send invitations to school has proven to be a quest worthy of the Hobbit.

Last week during Curriculum Night, I wrote down the names of all of the students in each of my sons' classes. Unfortunately, at least half of these kids' phone numbers and addresses aren't listed in last year's school directory.

This morning, I gave each of my sons an assignment: get the missing child's contact information.

Cortlen never took his paper out of his backpack. Kellen was more diligent. He came back with this:



"This is scary," I said when I looked at the paper. One boy wrote down that his mailing address is "3 Address."

Another second grader wrote down a 15-digit telephone number.

A third little guy wrote down almost the exact same 15-digit number as his friend.

"This doesn't bode well for you," I told him.

I just spent the past hour writing out handwritten notes to 11 parents. The plan is for my sons to give the notes to their friends who, in turn, will give them to their parents.

I might as well just save myself the trouble and flush all the letters down the toilet. The odds of the notes even making it to school are exceptionally slim.

17 comments

BeckyB.West said...

A good excuse for you to forgo the party and save yourself the anguish of having a house full of boys:) Hey, you tried, right?

TracyKM said...

Haaa!
My 8 year old knows her phone number, and her friends'! LOL.
The schools here use a standard agenda book for all the kids, and invitations would be put in the pocket at the front, which the teacher checks each day (or notes from home, money for trips, etc). Then she gets to put the invitation in the agenda of the recipient kids before handing them back at the end of the day when they write their homework in. If I fail to remember to do that, I bring them to school when I pick the kids up and have them give them directly to the other parents, LOL.

Jennifer @ Also Known As...the Wife said...

It's terrifying that these kids don't know their phone number or home address. I thought that was a basic thing covered in kindergarten.

The 'Smarty Pants' Family said...

Oh, I hear ya. It is hard. Sometimes if you can get ahold of the 'room mom' she has the email of all student's parents and could include it in her weekly email to parents. I have the same problem here at my kids school. It is scary that some of them don't know their own phone number or address. Or maybe they have been coached not to give that info out. LOL

Sheelah said...

I've been a follower for a few months now and this is hands-down my favorite post ever. I even showed my husband!

Mom of 12 said...

Here in Utah they are a little more lenient on the invitation thing as long as you either hand them out at recess or invite every child in the class. We have had some very large birthday parties at our house! Hope it works out for you.
Sandy
www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com

The Girl Next Door said...

Wow I'm glad my twins went to school in the age of "we have a printed directory! Aren't we cool!! Privacy laws HUH?!"

Mum on the Run said...

Ha ha ha.
That's classic!
Soon, we will be strangled by all this PC red tape we keep creating.
:-)

Megan said...

When I was in second grade, we had a strict rule on no handing out invitations unless you invite the whole class. Luckily, my mom organized Go-Homes (Folders that went home once a week with school news letters, etc) as a volunteer, so she just slipped the invites into the Go-Homes. :)

vinobaby said...

We have this problem also. Drives me nuts. And I don't know how many times I find a party invite at the bottom of the back pack the night before or a few days after a birthday party.

I'm going to try to avoid the entire 8th b-day party and just do a family day at Legoland this year.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I used to teach 5th grade and one year we were covering writing a letter, addressing an envelope, etc. I had my kids write a letter and address an envelope to themselves. Over half of my class didn't know their addresses. In
5th grade. It is amazing how unprepared some of these kids are.

Donna said...

It might be the best party you're ever had! Have you tried offering your kids money instead of a party? I did, they never took the bait but I always kept trying.

Melissa said...

At my daughter's school, some classes have class lists, some don't... it depends on if everybody in the class has signed a waiver. They are very strict about confidentiality, and while I knew every child in her class by first name this past year, I didn't even know all of their last names. They will let you send in invitations and the teacher will put them in kids' backpacks - but as with a LOT of schools around here - it's everybody or nobody unless you hand them out outside school. And it also doesn't guarantee RSVP....

I think we just have cupcakes in school next year.

Jenn said...

OK, let me get this straight....they won't let you send invitations to school, BUT they have students names and info in a school directory? I'd rather have my kids come home with an invitation than be listed in a school directory.

Emmy said...

Well at least you won't have quite so many kids at the party.

Shana said...

I really don't get the 'won't let you sent invitations to school' thing. A bit like BOg Brother if you ask me, which you didn't!
I love kids parties so that would frustrate me!!

Little Wonders' Days said...

This one left me laughing in tears. Probably because I have a son close to this age and find he and his friends fairly entertaining like this.