Some parents feel really strongly that the blanket ban forbidding dogs from the campus at school drop-off and pick-up times is too strict. They have asked the school to reconsider. The school has replied saying it has to put the interests of pupils first. But if parents can come up with a workable solution, it’s willing to listen.
Here are the elements of the problem:
Some kids are very frightened of dogs.
The fear of coming into contact with dogs makes these kids not want to come to school.
Any solution we propose cannot involve the risk of kids who don’t like dogs meeting dogs.
We can’t ask kids to limit their movements, so dogs and their owners would have to be out of the way somewhere
The solution can’t increase the number of kids crossing the road (i.e dog owners waiting for their kids on the grassy area behind the cars).
The school cannot release kids in P3 or younger unless there is a parent or authorised adult at the school exit to meet them.
The final point means that you couldn’t for instance, have a P1 parent waiting with their dog off campus on Alma Avenue and expect their child to leave school and meet them. The teacher simply isn’t allowed to let that child leave school, unless they can see the parent or carer who is there to collect them and observe that collection happening.
There’s a map of the campus above, to help you as you mull this over. If you have any helpful suggestions, please let us know. Our email address is email@example.com.
At the next meeting we’re going to propose some changes to the parent council constitution and that the parent council adopt an operating manual. You can see the draft forms of the amended constitution here and the operating manual here.
In brief, the main proposed changes to the constitution are:
it explicitly allows the chair role to be divided up in a number of different ways
we’ve clarified some of the roles and duties of the chair and other office holders
there’s a section on how to deal with conflicts of interest, real and perceived.
We hope that by introducing a bit of extra clarity and flexibility, we can help smooth the process of finding new members and make the chair’s role, which can seem daunting, more attractive to a wider range of people.
The operating manual contains sections on:
What the parent council is (and isn’t) for.
How the parent council carries out its role.
The office holders and their roles.
The communications channels (email, social media etc) and how to manage them.
How the parent council should communicate with the school.
Joint parent-council and school working groups: what they’re for and how they operate.
Handling parent requests and questions.
Conflicts of interest and how to deal with them.
What to do about complaints.
As you can see, the operating manual expands on what’s in the constitution. It’s meant to give us some rules and guidelines, to help us to do our job well. But because it’s not the constitution, it’s easier to amend, if that’s necessary.
Both documents are intended as starting points for discussion. The plan is that we’ll debate them at the meeting on Wednesday 26 October. If the meeting wants any changes, we’ll make these. Hopefully we’ll then adopt both documents.
If you have questions or suggestions about either document, or both, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d very much like to hear your thoughts.