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Main Forums => General Issues => Topic started by: jilly on Aug 04, 2004, 07:36:56 AM

Title: Meet the Teacher Night
Post by: jilly on Aug 04, 2004, 07:36:56 AM
My SD starts back to school August 9th. There is a Meet the Teacher at her school tomorrow night form 5:00 - 7:00. DH and I plan on attending and bringing SASEs to give to the teacher for forwarding report cards, daily reports and other school realted info. to DH. (DH and PBFH have joint legal custody so he's entitled to all medical/school records).
Last year PBFH had stepfather listed as father, which my DH corrected. I fully expect to see the same thing this year.
Also last year, after meeting the teacher, DH sent a FERPA letter. The "tone" of the letter was very friendly ("I've met the teacher and look forward to working together...blah blah blah") and we had no problems receiving any and all information from SDs teacher. (Royally pissed off the PBFH!!! LOL)  Some time sensitive information didn't get to us in time but I kept in contact with the teacher via e-mail so that wasn't too big of a deal.
I'm fully aware that SDs teacher this year may have different views regarding providing information to DH as he is the NCP. So, my questions are:

1) Should we take a copy of the parenting plan to show the teacher that DH has legal rights to this information? Or should we just wait and see how well teacher will do keeping DH informed and then present the parenting plan should she not want to compy?

2) Should we take a copy of the FERPA letter sent last year? This should be in SD's records but who's to say the teacher would even bother looking at the file (or if they ever do)?

3) Should DH request to see SDs file while we are there to make sure our contact information has been included and that the FERPA letter is in there?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions/opinions!

Title: RE: Meet the Teacher Night
Post by: wendl on Aug 04, 2004, 12:46:28 PM
The school should have a copy of the parenting plan showing dh has joint legal in SD's school file, then if the new teacher fails, simply ask her to review court docs in SD's file and provide you with the info you have requested.


PS Have fun at the Meet the Teacher Night

**These are my opinions, they are not legal advice**
Title: RE: Meet the Teacher Night
Post by: jilly on Aug 04, 2004, 01:26:53 PM
We didn't provide a copy of the parenting plan last year. I just sent the FERPA letter. I figured if it was going to be a problem then I could always send the parenting plan to prove DH had legal right to the information.

Looking forward to a new shcool year!

Thanks for your imput :)
Title: Cover all the bases.....
Post by: msme on Aug 05, 2004, 06:11:10 AM
My son has a copy of all pertinent documents in his children's school files, including the final decree. I would bring a copy of the custody order & the letter, & sweetly, touch on the important points. Then ask if she would like her own copy or would the ones in the file suffice. If she balks about anything, then whip out your copy & again, sweetly, point out the info.

Also, are you tight with the school counselor? They can be your best allies. They can mediate with teachers on your behalf if the other parent tries to cause problems. They can alert you to trouble brewing. They can testify about your participation in the child's education, & the list goes on.

Are you involved in the school? Try to volunteer for something. You do not have to be available during the day to volunteer. I am the official make-up person for all the school plays. I am also on the standby list. Because of medical problems, I can not always make long term or advance commitments but they know that if they are short handed for something, they can call at the last minute & if I am able I will pitch in.

Being well known at school carries many priceless benefits, not including the extra hug or kiss you get when your kid sees you in the hall & the pride they feel when their friends see you doing something.

Good luck & God bless

You never get a second chance to make a first impression!
Title: As a teacher who's hosted the "Meet the teacher" night....
Post by: speciallady on Aug 05, 2004, 07:00:02 AM
Honestly, I don't think this is the time to whip out any court papers or parenting plans and here's why...
that night is usually really really busy and odds are, there will be many more parents (hopefully) attending----time is limited to really have an in depth-type discussion about these things.
I'd go and just introduce yourselves and offer any help you might be able to give during the school year (we love parent volunteers!). Then I'd set up an appointment to discuss/show any paperwork but I'd also request the admin be present. That would be the time to view any files too.

Just some thoughts....
Title: RE: As a teacher who's hosted the
Post by: jilly on Aug 05, 2004, 07:59:53 AM
Thanks for your input! You're is a very busy night and really don't want (or need) to get into all the bullfeathers between DH and PBFH. Plus, it's really not the teacher's or school's problem and they don't need to know (or want to know) all the gory details. I'm sure it will become apparent soon enough when they have to deal with PBFH!
We are taking SASE envelopes to give to the teacher so she can send us all pertinent information. There will be another opportunity on August 19th (Parent's Night) to talk to the teacher in depth if needed.
Last year my DH did go as a chaperone on one field trip and he had lunch with SD on her birthday. In his current job it's hard for him to get any time off from work because he does maintenance on machines. He's starting a new job on the 16th and he'll be working 3rd shift.  This will free up a little more time for him. As the step-mom I've been hesitant to insert myself in any type of volunteer work (other than to offer providing needed classroom supplies).  Don't want to incur the wrath of the PBFH. It's also a hassle for me to get time off from work.
Thanks again for your insight!

Title: RE: Cover all the bases.....
Post by: jilly on Aug 05, 2004, 08:09:55 AM
We've never met with the school counselor. There really hasn't been any need to involve the counselor.
I do have a copy of the parenting plan with me. Thinking about having DH take it in to the office and request that it be put in his DDs file just so it's there should questions arise now or in the future. Of course it wouldn't surprise me if PBFH removes it. But, that's the beauty of DH being able to see the file. If it's removed he can find out. :D
Since I'm the stepmother I have tried not to step on the PBFHs toes in that area. I do like your idea of being an "on call" volunteer. That may be something I could do without overstepping my bounds...and keep my employer happy at the same time! LOL
We did have a very good relationship with the teacher last year and hopefully will have the same this school year.
Thanks for your input!

Title: RE: Cover all the bases.....
Post by: msme on Aug 05, 2004, 08:38:09 AM
I agree with SpecialLady but I meant that you should be prepared, just in case the teacher refuses your SASE's or Dad's involvement.  Perhaps it would be better to have a copy with the pertinent facts highlighted & in an envelope. If necessary, just hand them to the teacher & ask her to review them & Dad will set up an appointment with her & the principle to resolve it.

I personally believe that you are wrong in not utilizing the school counselors. You don't need to wait for a problem to show itself. It is good for a child to know that there is a person in school who is there to talk to them about anything. A refuge, so to speak. All kids need to know that.

You would be amazed about some of the information that we got from the counselor. When serious things came up, she gently told the child that she knew that she had to talk to Dad about this. Then she got hold of Dad & he & the counselor helped the child work things out.

The Counselor also came to court to testify for a change in custody. She was the one who checked the kids every morning to see if they were clean & dressed for the weather. BM lost DD coat & was letting her wear her heavy sweat jacket to school. Child was 9, coat was womans large.

Then one day, one of BM's friends was staying with her & the woman's kid couldn't find his coat so BM gave him the sweat jacket to wear & gave DD a thin denim jacket to wear. DD arrived at school after riding her bike, 1/2 mile, in 15 degree weather, ice cold to the bone.

Her Dad & I happened to be in the office, for another reason, when she arrived, 1 hour late. Her whole body was red from the cold. It was awful but typical from BM.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression!
Title: Update
Post by: jilly on Aug 05, 2004, 06:40:43 PM
PBFH got there early so DH didn't get to see his DD. No surprise there. Met the teacher and the teacher's assistant. Both were very nice ladies and didn't seem to have a problem with sending copies to us. Teacher was very excited to hear DH say that he works 3rd shift and would be able to help on field trips! LOL  We have SD this weekend and will be taking her shopping for a couple of back to school outfits and some school supplies. I'm sure PBFH has already bought what she needs but it can't hurt to have extras!
Title: RE: As a teacher who's hosted the
Post by: FLMom on Aug 08, 2004, 12:18:30 PM
I learned a lot last school year.

Ex enrolled our kids in the district he moved to.
When I called the school to find out about what
time class started and when the open house was
I was told that they were not allowed to release
any info to me. I showed up at the school the next
day with a copy of the divorce decree. . . the
principal was standing there and told the secretary
to "show me everything". Ex had left anything
regarding me blank. Not even an emergency #'s
in case one of our kids got hurt. I left with copies
of that.

The open house was a fiasco. Ex showed up 30 mins.
late with new wife, and they introduced themselves to
the teachers as our kids' parents. I had our kids with
me cause as soon as they saw me they went the other
way. I just explained to the teachers out of earshot of
our kids that they would need two copies of everything
sent home with them, and all teachers were very agreeable.

Fast forward a few months. I'm the NCP, remember. For
our first custody hearing (that didn't go anywhere with
admonishments from the judge to "go work it out") ex
had supeanas (sp) called for all of the teachers. They
showed up in the hallway late when we were already inside.
My DH overheard the conversation they had with ex's
lawyer. They wanted to know who they were showing up
FOR----lol. "Yeah, we know Mrs. XXX, she's the PTA advisory
council advocate for our class. She also went on 4 field trips
with us this year. She comes in and grades papers when she
gets off of work early. Him?? I think we met him at open
house night, but I haven't seen or talked to him since."

Don't worry, it'll work itself out. Pretty soon the teachers will
be asking you if you received ie: the mid term report, the
latest school newsletter, etc. Just be there for them and it's
all good in the long run.