School Pool Days--Time To Burn Schools & Kids, posted by Sarah, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 9, 2009 at 2:41 pm
Some Pleasanton elementary and middle schools have a day towards the end of the school year when the kids spend the entire school day at the Pleasanton pool.
I know from reading literature distributed by PUSD that kids should stay out of the sun in the middle of the day. I know that melanoma rates are rising, and skin cancer rates in children are rising. I know that being in or near water increases the sun's affect on the skin.
I am sure these days are popular with school staff since they get the kids out of their hair for the day.
A teacher told me they were bringing sunblock and would remind the children to reapply during the day. This meant that a garbled loudspeaker reminder went out several times at the pool, which the kids either couldn't understand or didn't hear at all (splashing in a pool with screaming kids can do that).
The adults who had this idea, "Let's send the 5th grade to the pool for the whole day!" should have been told, "That's a bad idea. That is too much sun exposure for children."
The kids at Harvest Park Middle School are being pressured to attend pool day. There are announcements that many children have not signed up, and that the school will lose money for each child who stays home that day.
I know several children who needed medical attention for the burns they received at their Pleasanton school's pool day.
Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 9, 2009 at 5:53 pm PToWN94566 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Well since summer is coming up, maybe PUSD is going to send out a letter as well that states "It's summer time. The sun is out so we suggest staying in doors until school starts again in August."
Come on- it's common sense that people need sunblock and if a parent fails to tell their child about it then that is on their backs. If a parent is that worried about sun exposure to their child maybe they should accompany them to these special days. Pool days for elementary and middle schools has been happening for ages. My mid 30 year old brother participated in these events as well as did I and my younger sister. This isn't something new.
Instead of making this fun day out to be a bad guy, why not suggest to teachers and to the district that maybe a lesson plan can be drawn up, for all students, about risks associated with the sun. And yes, I would hold the teachers accountable for failure to see that each student applies and reapplies the sunscreen. Go to the aquatic center mid summer and watch all the summer camps/ day care center teachers, with 25 to 30 kids, applying sunscreen to the small children and reminding the older students to do it as well. It's not that difficult.
Posted by Lisa, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 9, 2009 at 6:46 pm
I agree with Bobbi. They have swim shirts that cover kid's faces don't they? Or don't faces and legs get burned? I don't think they do, so a swim shirt should solve the whole problem of 5+ hours of uninterrupted sun exposure.
You know, Bobbi's right, let kids be kids. Remember when kids got to have fun jumping around in the car before wearing seat belts became law, and then some spoil sport ruined that, too.
Posted by What??, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm
Sarah...are you a "Debbie Downer"? Please let your children have fun! The sun is not their enemy...but your paranoia is. Titanium Dioxide is amazing...let your kid's enjoy the outdoors. "Baby Blanket" sun BLOCK not screen, is by far the BEST at blocking UVA and UVB. Please do the research.....and for God's sake, let your kids be kids.
Posted by Grow up!, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 9, 2009 at 9:22 pm
GOOD GRIEF is right! I can't quite believe that "The Fall Out" was really serious in what he/she said, but golly gee good grief GIVE ME A BREAK!!! These end-of-the-year lake/pool/zoo/whatever days have been going on since I was in Kindergarten back in the 60's!! This has absolutely NOTHING to do with Measure G failing, so Grow Up!
If you're too young to remember, ask your parents...
Oh, and by the way, the cute lil' "Coppertone Girl" was around when we were kids in the 60's as well, reminding us to slather on the sunscreen. We weren't totally naive and clueless, even before you were here to watch out for us, thank you very much.
Posted by OMG, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 9, 2009 at 11:02 pm
Just goes to show, you can't make everyone happy. Either teachers are accused of working the kids too hard or they let them have too much fun. Should kids be able to use the word fun or not? ( I believe that was an editorial in a past edition of the PW). Ten years ago when my son was in 5th grade they went to the pool. It is a celebration for students leaving elementary school and going on to middle school. Not everything has to do with politics or measure G. There is nothing relaxing about taking 33 students on any sort of field trip. It is a lot of responsibility and a lot of work.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 9, 2009 at 11:26 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Ah, thanks. Missed it.
Is it just me or does the ADA model of funding seem unfair? I get it, it accounts for changing enrollment conditions if people move around during the school year, but it doesn't account for attendance issues outside of normal control, like when kids get sick.
Posted by The Fall Out, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 11:19 am
My issue isn't the fun in the sun issue, hence my suggestion to take the kids to the beach, etc. My issue is taking an important day for learning and tossing it to the wind when the teachers have been appauled at reducing the school year with instructional days!
If classroom time is so limited, as the APT argued when reducing the school year days was proposed, then they should keep the kids in the classroom and encourage a special day once the year is over...in a few days.
The irony is so rich. There isn't any outrage by the teachers over necessary classroom time to teach the curriculum standards. They just want to get paid and they could care less how the kids spend their time. That was my point.
Gee-wiz, "Grow-up", do you often have these emotional explosions at random neighbors in your community with opinions that differ from yours? Are you this explosive in nature within your own home? You must be a scary person!!
Posted by Lisa, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 11:22 am
Writing "Good grief" and "OMG" are not intelligent arguments. You people like to shame better than using your intellect. "My wife works for a dermatologist" is irrelevant. Present evidence from a credible source that one application of the most effective sunblock offers adequate protection to a child spending five hours at a pool.
You will not be able to. '
'OMG', 'Good Grief', Let kids be kids' and 'my wife works for a dermatologist' are all you have to offer.
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
"The irony is so rich. There isn't any outrage by the teachers over necessary classroom time to teach the curriculum standards. They just want to get paid and they could care less how the kids spend their time. That was my point."
What are you some sort of mind reader who understands the motivations and desires of every PUSD teacher? What propaganda you spread! Some idiots might actually take your words as fact that teachers "could care less how the kids spend their time". You have no point, only conjecture! Ever since all the budget controversies teachers are under a microscope. Is it their decision to do the swim days? I thought tradition had more to do with it than teacher desires. A lot of what I've heard at this site involved *parents* being the reason for the success of their child's education and not the teacher's...well, then educate your kids yourself about sun exposure since you are such wonderful educators. Why should sunblock be the teacher's responsibility anyway? If your child is going on a field trip outdoors in winter is it the teacher's job to ensure that a 5th grader remembers to bring a coat? Some people have too much time on their hands and allow fear and anger to take over sound reasoning!
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
By the way, since when is it fun to take a huge group of 5th graders to the pool? I bet you could find a few teachers who would rather be in their own classroom! And also - what's wrong with "just wanting to get paid". What, because they are teachers (& mostly women to boot) there should be some other idealistic reason for them to want to spend the day with your kids? Unbelievable!
Posted by Wow, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 2:56 pm
You totally took TFO's comments out of context. What was said was,
"...(the) issue isn't the fun in the sun issue, hence my suggestion to take the kids to the beach, etc. My issue is taking an important day for learning and tossing it to the wind when the teachers have been appauled at reducing the school year with instructional days!
If classroom time is so limited, as the APT argued when reducing the school year days was proposed, then they should keep the kids in the classroom and encourage a special day once the year is over...in a few days."
I have read your pathetic posts before picking out one particular person's opinion and running over them with your rude tone.
FYI, this is an OPINION forum, not just a place for research data to be presented.
You said, "You have no point, only conjecture"
I suppose you are superior to the rest of us, so only your conjecture is allowed?
I believe you summed up your proclamation with, "Some people have too much time on their hands and allow fear and anger to take over sound reasoning!"
Keep your STUPID conjecture/opinions to yourself if you won't let others have theirs!
Posted by Nasty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 2:58 pm
She's just a nasty stay at home mom that has nothing better to do with her time than to snipe at whomever she believes in creating injustices to her causes. Imagine what it's like to LIVE with her! Wouldn't want to "do" that.
Posted by julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
@ Wow (appropriate name for yourself). I took nothing out of context - see the 3rd paragraph in TFO's post above, it's quite clear - even ends with "That was my point".
Why don't you look up the words "conjecture" and "opinion" - they have different meanings. I have no problem with the latter. To guess/assume that teachers just want to get paid and don't care about how the kids spend their time is one thing - to write it as if it were a fact is another.
I did not attach TFO, I disagreed with the post - i.e. posted MY opinion. In return you managed to insult me personally 5 times in a single post - "wow" is right! As I said, some people allow anger to take over sound reasoning. It's posters like you who scare some people off from posting. I have thick skin and can handle being called "Town Conscience", "pathetic", "rude", "superior", and "stupid" by someone I don't know or care about. Talk about an "emotional explosion"!
Nasty - another appropriate name. Judging from your posts, you guys are not interested in healthy debate. I'm not sure why, since I don't know you personally, but for some reason you enjoy attacking strangers on the internet. I'd be proud to say I'm a "Stay At Home Mom" if it were true and I was one once. It's a tough job that does not afford one a lot of leisure time. Kudos to you though, you even insult a group of people who have nothing to do with my post!
Posted by Gina, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 3:50 pm
I don't think a responsible adult should rely on a ten year old child who is spending the day in the pool with friends to remember to leave the pool at a certain time to towel off, reapply sunblock, wait for it to absorb, and then return to the pool.
It cannot be reasonably expected that that will happen.
A bad sunburn can contribute to skin cancer, besides being painful.
It's just not responsible for adults to reasonably expect children to do this, and the adults at the pool do not get the kids out of the pool for sunblock time.
It is a fact that there have been several children who had to see a doctor for bad burns from this day. I have spoken to the parents.
Forgetting a coat does not contribute to the development of cancer, or to pain that will last for days afterwards.
Posted by The Fall Out, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm
I take issue with your mischaracterization of my post as fact vs. opinion. It was an opinion based on the facts.
It is a fact that the APT opposed reducing instructional days for legitimate budget recoupment. It is important to note that the teachers wouldn't have been paid for those days of reduced instructional time. This was flatly rejected because of the "neccessary instructional time to meet curriculum standards." I am not referring to the agreed upon concession of two non-instructional days predicated upon Measure G passing. I am referring to a budget reduction of pay in exchange for two days off for kids and teachers. The Union rejected this because they needed instructional days.
It is also a fact that the teachers have the say whether or not their class attends a field trip. Contact the school administrator to verify this fact.
I used to work for this district as well as another district and I know first hand I made the final decision as to what activities my classroom participated in. The decision lies with the teacher.
One can be left to wonder, then, if the arguments made by the union that instructional time is already too limited to "fit in" the curriculum, why then it is acceptable to suddenly make time available for a non-instructional - teacher paid - pool day. If they had a day available, it should have been given as a budget saving day.
As I stated earlier, "My issue is taking an important day for learning and tossing it to the wind when the teachers have been appauled at reducing the school year with instructional days!"
One can then easily conclude, therefore, that the teachers find no issue with losing instructional time; pay is another argument. I'd love to see it another way. How do you see the variables adding up differently based on the teachers/unions definition of neccessary instructional time?
I'm sorry, but your "tradition" argument falls short of the sovereignty of the classroom as I outlined above.
Posted by You're right TFO, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm
The Fall Out,
Your point was made perfectly clear earlier on this thread and I cannot believe how many disgruntled people couldn't see your point. My guess is someone is a teacher, is a little ego-wounded, otherwise can't read a simple argument, more likely doesn't want to "get it".
I get it: The teachers stand on a soap box of "the state standards" and say they can't take a day without pay because they need time to teach; but then they seem to have no problem giving the same day off from teaching as long as they keep their pay.
Posted by Jamie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 4:55 pm
Dear Fall Out,
You will be interested to know that tomorrow, Thursday, is another non-instructional day at Harvest Park Middle School. The children attend a full day, but many, if not all, teachers have fun planned for the kids, no teaching.
Also, on many days at HPMS when the kids have a substitute they watch a movie, non-educational. This even though the substitutes are teachers with credentials.
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Gina, you do bring up a good point that my analogy between a coat and sunblock are flawed. We don't get winter days severe enough for the lack of outerwear to compete with skin cancer! This thread did not begin as an argument about teachers and instructional days, it began as a concern about sun exposure. If we consider only the original concern, my response is that I hate to "throw the baby out with the bath water". I'd rather see a way to make a fun day for the kids work, rather than getting rid of it. I liked PTown94566's idea about including education on sun exposure and instituting a system for applying the necessary sunblock. There is a lot of information out there regarding sun exposure that could be shared with children and families.
TFO, I do see your line of thinking: teachers didn't want to lose a paid instructional day and here they are participating in a paid pool day. You are correct, that is quite simple. I just happen to believe that it's likely more complicated than that. As an aside, when are these pool parties? It has been a while since I've had a 5th grader. I'm thinking it was the last or second to last day. It could also be debated if either of those days are truly instructional days to begin with. I'd also like to thank you for your post. You disagree with me, but do so respectfully. For the record, I am not an elementary school teacher though I did work hard for a credential that expired before I had the opportunity to use it.
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Oh, I also find it horrible that any teacher or substitute plays (non-educational) movies at school. This is why I hate to give up a pool day - so many kids spend all their free time in front of a screen. We need to work out the sun exposure problems because children really should be outside playing and exercising! If a substitute is only capable of turning on a t.v., they should not be in classrooms!
Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 7:08 pm PToWN94566 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Gina, I do believe that the aquatic center does make the kids get out of the pool and "rest" for a set period of time- remember adult swim? Teachers or whoever is in charge of supervision with a group of children should make it known that each person has to come check in, reapply sunblock/lotion etc etc etc.
Julie you're statements about substitutes is bit out of line. Sub's can't just go into the classroom, pick up a text book, and say "turn to chapter 6 class." They are required to follow the original teachers lesson plans that are left. What would you suggest a sub do when a teacher leaves nothing? A sub that walks in and see's no notes or lessons from the teacher may have a feeling that the original teacher just didn't care enough to leave instruction. I do agree that subs or teachers shouldn't be solely playing entertainment movies, but I can assure that good subs can do a lot more than just turn a t.v. on.
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 8:27 pm
I suppose the teacher left the movie. That would be odd. I don't really know how this happens, but I do know for a fact that many times when there is a sub nothing is done during that time period (I'm talking about middle school). I don't know who's fault it is, but I do know there is no excuse for it.
I wonder if this is a Calfornia- thing? On the east coast, in public schools (at least the ones I'm familiar with) the sub always teaches. I never heard "We didn't do anything, we just did whatever we wanted at our desk" or "We watched a movie. (non-educational)" when we lived on the east coast. Where I went to school in another state and my children went to school for a time this never happened.
Posted by A Teacher, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 8:46 pm
I am a 5th grade teacher who will be at the pool tomorrow with my class. My class has worked long and hard right up until 2:50 today. We have some work to complete tomorrow before leaving for the pool. We will then go to the pool to celebrate their efforts and their completion of elementary school. I believe they deserve it. I hardly call it a relaxing day. I spend the day walking around checking in with my students, making sure they have sunscreen on, making sure they eat some food and drink enough water. I also make sure they are behaving. I have no free time on field trip days, and that is my choice. We will be at school on Friday completing our final tasks and competing in a sort of academic decathalon for the rest of the day.
I do have the say as to whether or not my class attends a field trip (with approval from the administration)and I am making this choice for my class. They have done amazing things this year and they deserve to have a little fun and enjoy each other. I believe my students'parents would agree.
While it may be a fact that APT opposed some proposals it is not a fact that every teacher agrees. I don't think you should presume the union always speaks for all of its members. Do the elected officials always speak for everyone of their constituents?
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 11, 2009 at 7:54 am Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
PTown94566: We actually agree. You said: "but I can assure that good subs can do a lot more than just turn a t.v. on.". That's exactly the kind of sub that should be in a classroom! If teachers are just leaving regular ol' movies as their lesson plan, that should be addressed. Naturally some absences are not planned - perhaps there should be special learning activities set aside for those days if the teacher doesn't regularly have a lesson plan that the sub could follow.
A Teacher: Your post is exactly what I was thinking! I actually commend you for *wanting* to take the kids to the pool. I went as a parent volunteer twice and it is exhausting! I'm sorry the weather doesn't appear to be cooperating this year.
Let's not punish the kids because the adults are unhappy with the whole education scenario. Celebration is definitely a part of life, even in the adult world. I'm sure most of us have been able to blow off work a little to celebrate the culmination of a project, end of a season, the meeting of a big deadline, etc. Perhaps the teachers realize that the last couple of days of school are a "wash" to the deserved celebrations no matter what and that's why they didn't want to lose *more* instructional days. Perhaps deep down they didn't want to lose pay - I'd fight tooth and nail to not lose any of my income too. I don't profess to know what everyone's feelings and thoughts are - I just feel it's more complicated than the idea that "they fought to keep every single instructional day so how dare they even think about having any celebrations".
Posted by Frank Lee, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 11, 2009 at 9:27 am
Before I would fight tooth and nail for every penny I make, I would fight to make sure all my fellow teachers have a job to look forward to in the fall. This is the shocking shame of union life - to see veteran teachers stand by as less experienced teachers lose there jobs. I strongly believe that if the teachers, administrators and classified workers agree to a 10% pay cut, a cut that would have saved every single job, G would have passed by a wide margin.
Posted by The Fall Out, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 11, 2009 at 10:35 am
Julie and Teacher,
I'm not sure if you'll believe this, but I think that the kids SHOULD have a day of celebration today/this week. I used to teach and I know how hard my kids pushed during the year. They and their families worked so hard to accomplish so much of what I assigned and the graduation ceremony was fun for the kids, but mostly for the parents (kids could care less about the formality and usually are embarrassed easily at this age). I'm sure some kids find it fun, but the point is to reward them!! That is why I think a fun day is warranted for them.
My relative annoyance was directed at the seemingly inflexibility of the teacher's union when it came to negotiations and standing behind the instructional days. There was no flexibility or any reasoning with their comments about needing those days. They expressed a large deal of stress with fitting in all the curriculum into the limited days there were. I just found it a little disingenuous that all of a sudden there were days available for fun. It didn't square with what they had said before.
Julie, you may be correct that they knew about the "fun" days incorportated already into the calendar and they didn't want to miss "more" via the negotiation process. I totally see it that way, as well. What I don't get is that they never qualified it with that. It just feels like to me - the union - set the tone and stood behind this position as though it didn't have any wiggle room. Parents may have been able to get involved and give the kids their day and have that day be a non-paid day. There were a mulitude of options, but I feel like they said one thing and did another and we only know that now after the "concessions" discussion is over. That was where I was coming from.
Teacher, You are in a tough spot between the union/district admin and this community. You are the contact point with parents it seems, and I for one, no matter how frustrated I am with the budget situation (as I certain you are!!), I in no way hold the teachers responsible. There may be a little lack of transparency with some teachers who stand behind the union and then step out to throw a rock when they are frustrated with the community, quickly returning behind the safety of the union again, but by and large the average teacher in this town is not involved with the union's leadership and decisions. Frankly, who has time? I didn't spend my time in the union meetings when I was working, either.
You go to work, do your best for the kiddos, sit in pointless staff meetings (when you could be far more productive in your classroom or a grade level meeting, and the principal could've sent memos for most of their meeting topics...that's my proof I've been right where you are!), and you interface with parents that can sometimes be very ungrateful. Personally I believe you are an angel on earth!
Anyway, I just wanted to be sure to convey to YOU that I hope, despite the weather today (and the sunblock police -wink- should be happy now...) that you and your class have a wonderful day. I know it is a bittersweet time of year to see these little bunnies who you have grown to love over the year head off, but remember, with the obvious spirit you have, they will not soon forget you!
Posted by julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 11, 2009 at 2:39 pm julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Yeah, what's up with this weather??
I think a 10% pay cut is significant. If my husband had to take such a cut I'd be worried. Frank, really, if you were facing a 10% pay cut you would be okay with it if it would save all of your co-worker's jobs? What if it were 20%? Does chivalry have a price?
I know that many people are dealing with lay offs, pay cuts, etc. 2001 was my family's crappy year suffering through a lay off. I don't recall anyone at my husband's company offering to all band together and take cuts so that he & the others could keep their jobs. Is there some reason people specifically expect educators to do this? Perhaps at high levels such a move is not uncommon. One of my many engineer friends works for a small computer company and the top level managers did take a 5 or 10 percent cut to avoid layoffs. Only the top level - not the engineers, etc.