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Author Topic: Access to school records  (Read 4095 times)

mango

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Access to school records
« on: Apr 16, 2004, 07:52:28 AM »
Does this include graded homework and teacher letters for parents?

We have 50/50 custody of my step-daughter and the mother has the school district. We do have an obligation to school-work as well as the mother. However the mother purposfully obstructs teh fathers ability to keep informed of school projects, events, and assignments by removing stuff from the childs school-bag.

A Friday Folder is sent home every Friday with parent information, graded homework, and school handouts. The father has 3 Friday's per month and should be seeing 3 of these folders per month. However he is scheduled to begin his parenting time one hour after school is out he picks up the child at the mothers home.  The mother removes the Friday Folder, and the daily planner which tells what homework assignments are due for the week.

The child will play dumb with homework if she can, and we have no idea what is due, or even how it is to be done. Usually the handouts explain what the kids are working on, and what is expected.

We have sent an envelope back with the book bag requesting that she put copies of school info it it. (Forwarding stuff between parents.) But she says it's up to us to get the info from the school ourselves by making arrangements with her teachers.

We tried that and the teacher sent duplicates of stuff home it teh Friday Folder, and we still never got it.

The teachers do not have time to duplicate every handout and provide separate "folders" for "mom" and "dad". It's quite embarassing, to say the least.

I think she just wants the father to miss assignments that are due, so she can set him up for being incompetent, or miss a school play and say, "see daddy doesn't care about you".

What can we do?

Can she be in contempt of anything?


Kitty C.

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RE: Access to school records
« Reply #1 on: Apr 16, 2004, 08:33:29 AM »
Bypass her and go directly to the school.  Many schools have web sites, where you can get a listing of all staff e-mail addresses.  E-mail her teacher and ask her to e-mail the assignment list to you every Friday, because no matter what you do, you still don't get it from the mom.  If the teacher balks and says something like they don't want to be 'caught in the middle', tell them you are NOT putting them in the middle, you are only asking for information that you aren't getting/can't get, so that you can help your SD.

I have been e-mailing DS's teachers for many years now, and we're local!  I started e-mailing SS's teachers when he was in first grade, with DH's approval (since he works out of town all week) and he's now in 4th.  As a matter of fact, I just got the spelling list for next week this am., since we have SS this weekend.  The PBFH got her panties in a bunch when she found out I was doing this, but the school put their foot down and basically told her we (DH thru me) are just as entitled to all the information she gets and this is the most convenient way to get it. Shut her up really fast and she ain't said a peep about it since!

The school's website will also have a calendar of events, so that you can get prior notice of all functions.  You need to be on a first name basis with SD's teachers and the school administrators, too.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

mango

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RE: Access to school records
« Reply #2 on: Apr 16, 2004, 09:33:45 AM »
I do e-mail the teacher, and we explained teh situation. But yet, he doesnt seem willing to go an extra-mile for us. I feel like I hound him already.

I think the mother has said bad things about the father (us) to the school. She goes around telling others that we are irrisponsible and lose homework. Which is not true.

The principal sends us teh school notes, and stuff, which is great. But last week I worked a big project with her and I will never find out waht she got for a grade. I e-mailed the teacher and he hasnt replied.

We totally missed school pictures because the order form came home and when I found out about it asked the teacher to send another one, and by the time I got it and turned it in, it went to the re-take pile. We called the photographer and asked if he could duplicate the 1st order for us instead and they said no, it's all automated–sorry. So for re-takes her mom had her in a t-shirt and fuzzy hair.

Nice memory, real keeper.

Next year she will be in middle school, and their school has a homewrok hotline, so hopefully that will help.

Thanks for responding. I just don't get it. I try to imagine if I was sharing my own child with another woman, and I can't see myself doing things to get in the way of her school accomplishments. It makees no sense to me...

AggieMom

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RE: Access to school records
« Reply #3 on: Apr 16, 2004, 10:34:54 AM »
I am a teacher in Texas and there is nothing that can stop him from receiving information from the school unless there is a restraining order from the court. The teacher knows that there will be times that she will have to do extra things to help out parents in situations like this and that is part of her job based on my opinion.  We deal with this stuff a lot more often then others realize.    

He needs to keep contact with the teacher like he has been on a regular basis to make sure he is up to date and current on all of activities, school work, and projects associated in her life.  

He needs to make himself be known in her school so that the mom can not "run the show". I realize that this poses a problem if he has to work to support the child.  He needs to explain to the teacher again that he is not getting the info and ask them to leave it in the office and he will come by every (we will say Monday) to pick up the info from the school himself when he is available.  
 
Do not be afraid to be embarresed.  Show as much as you can the lack of cooperation of the mother's part and keep documentation, the more the better. Plus this makes him look awesome in court, if ever in the future, custody is an issue.    

As far as being in contempt for anything, I am not sure that would apply in the case unless your order specifically state "mom has to give dad a weekly schedule...."  Unfortunately Dad will have to make all the effort on this one.  

Plus as a teacher, moms tell me all the time that the fathers are dead beat dads and do not care about their children.  But it sure is a whole different story when the dad comes in to talk with me and lets me know his side as well.  I can then draw conclusions and pretty much fill in the truth from both sides of the story.

Keep trying and good luck,
Aggie Mom

Kitty C.

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RE: Access to school records
« Reply #4 on: Apr 16, 2004, 11:03:38 AM »
If you're getting non-compliance from the teacher, then report him to the principle.  But you're right, there isn't much of the school year left and if they have a homework hotline in middle school, it certainly will make things a whole lot easier!

The other poster had some great ideas too and coming from a fellow teacher, you can't get any better than that!
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


rosanlu

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RE: Access to school records
« Reply #5 on: Apr 17, 2004, 04:56:22 AM »
>Does this include graded homework and teacher letters for
>parents?
>
>We have 50/50 custody of my step-daughter and the mother has
>the school district. We do have an obligation to school-work
>as well as the mother. However the mother purposfully
>obstructs teh fathers ability to keep informed of school
>projects, events, and assignments by removing stuff from the
>childs school-bag.
>
>A Friday Folder is sent home every Friday with parent
>information, graded homework, and school handouts. The father
>has 3 Friday's per month and should be seeing 3 of these
>folders per month. However he is scheduled to begin his
>parenting time one hour after school is out he picks up the
>child at the mothers home.  The mother removes the Friday
>Folder, and the daily planner which tells what homework
>assignments are due for the week.
>
>The child will play dumb with homework if she can, and we have
>no idea what is due, or even how it is to be done. Usually the
>handouts explain what the kids are working on, and what is
>expected.
>
>We have sent an envelope back with the book bag requesting
>that she put copies of school info it it. (Forwarding stuff
>between parents.) But she says it's up to us to get the info
>from the school ourselves by making arrangements with her
>teachers.
>
>We tried that and the teacher sent duplicates of stuff home it
>teh Friday Folder, and we still never got it.
>
>The teachers do not have time to duplicate every handout and
>provide separate "folders" for "mom" and "dad". It's quite
>embarassing, to say the least.
>
>I think she just wants the father to miss assignments that are
>due, so she can set him up for being incompetent, or miss a
>school play and say, "see daddy doesn't care about you".
>
>What can we do?
>
>Can she be in contempt of anything?

rosanlu

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RE: Access to school records
« Reply #6 on: Apr 17, 2004, 05:06:53 AM »
Sorry, I'm new to this.
   The school policy is not to get involved. I love your advice.
    My son goes to the school and picks up any and all paperword involving his children. The mother definately manipulates every situation. She gives the teacher flowers for holidays and has the kids write to them. Their dad can definately tell she has been saying things about him.
   I will be printing your thoughts for him to boost his morale. Thank you so much. He does need to speak to the principal. You really wonder why any parent is so angry at the ex.,they will go to any length and harm their kids in the process.

mango

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RE: Access to school records
« Reply #7 on: Apr 19, 2004, 06:33:01 AM »
Well it is re-assuring seeing posts from teachers that do realize there are two sides to a story. In our situtaion the mother is local, and unemployed, so voluteers for everything with the school. Father does not have that ability, only occasionally. But that doesnt mean he doens't care either. He just doesnt need to "put on a show" to show he cares.

So teachers would be willing to copy graded assignments? That is what we would like most. The school letter updates us on things to come, but the grades we never see.

I will ask the teacher about it.

Thanks

AggieMom

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RE: Access to school records
« Reply #8 on: Apr 19, 2004, 09:05:16 AM »
The teacher should be keeping a record of all the grades and can be asked by the parent to keep a portfolio of that child's work in her classroom.  

I know that it is extra work, but as a teacher that is her/his job.  You can go view work that the child has done to show the progress for the year.  As a teacher I use this system to back up my grade book so that at the end of the year I have documentation showing what that child can/can not do.  Now, every single assignment will not be in there.  Just specific ones that I think show what the child can do. This late in the year might be a problem but you could request it for next year from the new teacher.  Try to get in contact immediately to let them know that you want to be an active step-mom and father/dad in your child's life.  

A school policy SHOULD be what is in the best interest for the child.  Now, I AM NOT saying that they "should" get in the middle of a custody battle, but should try to keep both parents informed if both parents are asking for the info.  Take hard core proof when you talk to the teacher about your concerns.  We can all talk, but proof is best.

Try not to be negative about the other person, just voice your specific concerns.  If that gets you no where, contact the principal, then the school board concering the fact that all you are doing is asking for his/her help to be involved and that the teacher is acting like it is a burden to keep you informed when parent/student/teacher contact is what we are supposed to be working for.  

Send e-mails so that you have proof that the teacher is not making an effort (for example if he/she oes not respond), make the teacher show proof where they are working with you. make notes from conferences or phone calls.  

Maybe I look at things different becasue I have been in your situation before.  I try to look at both sides and work with both sides but I make it really clear upfront that I will listen but will not if you bad mouthe the other parent regardless of what the reason unless you have "proof" in front of me.  

I know that there are also those teachers who are robots and come to work repeat the same routine and then go home again.  Those are call "burnouts".  The day that I start acting like that is the day that I am going to find a new profession.  Teaching is hard.....we are underpaid in my opinion and dogged by every political element out there, but we did not take the job  becasue of the money or fame, I truely love what I do.  

Again these are my opinions as a teacher looking in and seeing you situation. Things are different here in Texas.  Some school districts may have real strict codes saying that they can not get involved, but it sounds like to me it is a choice!  

Aggie Mom

dsm

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Couple of questions for you...
« Reply #9 on: Apr 19, 2004, 01:15:18 PM »
To me, the problem could be solved a bit if the father could pick the child up from school instead of at the child's home.  Is this possible with work schedules?  If so, request the modification to the order for it to happen and then it also gives the father a chance to be able to schedule some time with teachers to discuss stuff that might be going on in school too.  Be prepared for an argument of 'but the child has to have clothes for the weekend' - since the child is with the father 3 weekends a month (or at least 3 Friday overnights by your post), then the father could be keeping a 3-day supply of clothes at his place for the child, so there would be no need for clothes to be packed.  

How old is the child?  What grade?

To me, it sounds like the teacher had good intentions to begin with, and was willing to work with the father by sending duplicates home - and it *should* have worked.  It's a crying shame that the mother sabotaged that.  It is close to the end of this school year.  Try again with next year's teacher for duplicate stuff to come home - if you can, go to the school, or offer to provide self-addressed stamped envelopes for her to put the stuff in instead of including it in the folder going to the mother's house if the time can't be changed.  We did that and it worked; we got the 'big stuff' - not the every day homework, but we were copied on newsletters, program/play info, etc. And we were 3 hours away at the time.

Your question of can she be held in contempt.....is anything outlined in your current order?  If not, then there is technically nothing she is in contempt of.

And if the mother tries to use the fact that the dad didn't have the information against him for court or to bad-mouth him to the child - he needs to have the documentation together that this day he picked up child, asked about the school paperwork, was refused access.  Keep documenting....and keep asking.

Good luck!!!!!
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