Elmhurst parent Debbie Stephan shares a letter she wrote to Elmhurst Unit District 205 Superintendent David Pruneau Aug. 8, 2012. This was her second correspondence with Pruneau on the topic of rescheduling school start times. While he responded to her first inquiry, she says she is still waiting for a response to this one.
Hi Mr. Pruneau,
Nobody understands the difficult economic times more than a family with one income and three kids. (But because we live in Elmhurst, I guess everyone assumes we have a disposable income.)
I was raised in this town and went through all of the schools here. I remember a consistent schedule. There were no registration fees in grade schools, school sponsored activities, parking spots at York and school sports didn't have any fees either. My mother never sent in Kleenex, paper towels, Ziploc bags, sanitizer, wipes, etc.—the non-school supplies that evidently then were supplied by the school or district.
Every time I turn around I'm being asked to donate more!
Obviously, gas, food, school supplies, sport programs, activities, etc. are through the roof and rising every time someone makes a decision that is supposed to be best for everyone. We are ALL at the mercy of others. I guess what makes me upset is that I would like to go back to work now that my youngest will be in school full time because we could use the extra money to help with these rising costs to raise a family.
Related: Idea of Adjusting to a New School Start Time Next Year Has Parents on Edge
But how am I to find a job when I don't have consistent times that my children will be at school. Are we as parents supposed to constantly rearrange our lives to fit into the district's budget?
Evidently, I did not make a wise purchase on my house nine years ago, because my children will not get bused anywhere in this town due to the fact we just miss the boundaries, so I have to drive them. (This also makes it very difficult to find a job when I have to drop them off and pick them up.) There are too many crazy drivers, and registered sex offenders, so I am concerned for my children's safety.
Ever been to Lincoln School at pick-up at 3 p.m.? Check it out. I'm surprised no child has never been killed crossing the street, with over 200 cars picking up their children. The transportation issue may affect many but it also DOES NOT affect many others. So why should the rest of us have to pay for the changes?
I know nothing is certain yet, and I do understand where you are coming from, but I hope you can understand where I'm coming from, too.
I also forgot to mention that the time change will affect parents who have to take other children to preschools, etc., after school sports, religious education programs, Park District programs and many other things that are important to our children, too.
Thank you for (hopefully) reading this very long email. I do appreciate your time and response.
—Debbie Stephan, Elmhurst