Is anyone else DROWNING in paperwork right now?
The first week of school my kids brought home enough paper to power Burning Man seven times over. I get it: allergies, bus policies, safe dismissal procedures, PA days, there’s lots of important information to be communicated. But let’s be honest, most of us aren’t going to summon the strength to read a 29-page document that’s political correctness on steroids.
Us busy mamas need something we can skim quickly, something that makes us go “Roger that” before carrying on with our day. If school welcome packages got real, they’d probably get read.
If I were a principal, my start of the year message would look a little something like this:
Dear parents and guardians,
Welcome to a new academic year!
What follows is a brief outline of school policies and procedures. Please send me an email with any comments or questions as this will help me determine in advance how much of a pain in the ass you and your child(ren) are going to be.
AGENDAS: We encourage all students to use an agenda to track homework and parent-teacher communication. Agendas will be sent home on the first day, and no, you cannot have an extra one for your child (or your husband) when he loses it.
ALLERGIES: Providing a safe, peanut-free environment is a top priority. Please note that nuts and nut products are not permitted at school. And no, they cannot be sent “just for recess” and no, picking the nuts off the salad/cake/cheese ball is not an acceptable means of prevention. If you call and ask me about chocolate spreads I swear to God I will quit on the spot (it’s called NUTella for a reason, you simpleton.)
ILLNESS and INJURY: Shit happens and kids get hurt. It is our policy to call you only in the event of blood (lots of it), bones (broken) or barf (projectile). It is also our policy to text you a photo of the injury so you can evaluate its severity before calling us back, and so you don’t blow up your entire afternoon of meetings for a scraped knee. To be added to our “DON’T CONTACT ME DURING THE DAY EVER” list, please see the school secretary.
BULLYING and BAD BEHAVIOUR: Kids can be dicks sometimes, and dealing with their drama is a real time-suck. As such, I promise to only contact you in the event your child receives or inflicts a serious injury, or if s/he launches a surface-to-air missile on the playground. I will not call you to report the use of the language used in the movie his father let him watch last weekend. I will, however, judge you—and judge you hard.
BITING: Oral assault is a common occurrence among younger students. Please know that we do not disclose the name of the offender, despite your threats to “take a flame thrower to the school and track down Chopper’s entire family.”
TECHNOLOGY: As per Board policy, students cannot use their cell phones, laptops or tablets on school property for any of the following purposes: sexting, ordering pizza to class, pornography, cyber-bullying or updating a parent’s online dating profile.
DRESS CODE: Blah blah blah blah blah …. no bra straps, short shorts, gang colours or t-shirts with nudity or profanity.
PARENT CONDUCT: Please be reminded that teachers should not be interrupted during class or paged to the office when you want to discuss little Charlotte’s academic progress. It is also not acceptable to:
- Ask a teacher to babysit
- Purchase a teacher’s address off the dark web and wait outside his home
- Hack her cell phone
- Chase him across the parking lot
PARENT COUNCIL: Most of us would rather give birth to a baby rhino whilst lying on a bed of hot coals than attend regular parent council meetings. But since those math aids aren’t going to buy themselves, please consider becoming a member. Yes, there will be donuts and yes you can shamelessly push your own agenda.
FUNDRAISING: Please indicate below your preferred donation amount for this school year. Note that anything under $50 means you will be harassed without mercy for field trip and bake sale volunteering. $75 gets you a free pass on poinsettias and cheese sales, and for $100+ we will erase all evidence of your existence.
AMOUNT: $ ________________
LATES and ABSENCES: Mornings can be a real bitch and it would save us hella time and aggravation trying to track your ass down if you would kindly inform the school of any absences. And if your child is late, please refrain from leaving skid marks when you peal out of the parking lot. We had to repaint it seven times last year.
Thank you for your help in making our school a great place. Here’s to a wonderful year of learning together!