Angry Parents Rally at Paul Revere School

Vintage Coke Sign

There’s rebellion afoot at Paul Revere School on Tompkins, with a rally that was scheduled for 8 am this morning taking place to protest the policies of the school’s principal. The SF Appeal carries the story:

Parents at a school in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood are holding a rally Thursday to call for the removal of the school’s principal for what they say are unfair regulations.

The 20 or so parents at Paul Revere School, which teaches pre-kindergarten to eighth grade students, are taking issue with principal Sheila Sammon, who is in her second year at the school.

Sammon has allegedly instituted new rules such as issuing demerits for students taking bathroom trips, said Phillip Pierce, an organizer with Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a group that advocates for low-income and immigrant families.

Any Paul Revere families care to weigh in on the controversy? Comment away.

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40 Responses to Angry Parents Rally at Paul Revere School

  1. Bryan O'Sullivan says:

    I pulled both of my kids out of Paul Revere at the end of last year when we saw the writing on the wall. As I recall, the new principal cancelled pretty much everything except math and language arts in an attempt to improve test scores, in a classic “the beatings will increase in severity and frequency until morale improves” move.

    The place used to have some spirit under the previous principal, but even at its best, it was basically a crucible that burned out inexperienced teachers and couldn’t do nearly as much for kids as they needed. Under the new regime, it seems to be vigorously stamping that spirit out. For shame.

    • lorraine says:

      I usually avoid responding publicly, but I know Bryan and know that he’s a reasonable person. So as an active parent at the school I’d like to clarify a few points.
      I was a PTA leader at Paul Revere for three years before taking a job as Community School Coordinator there last spring. I took that job — a position created at all of San Francisco’s lowest-performing schools — because I believe in the project now under way to turn this failing school around. For the first time I see a real chance of progress for all of our students. I beg to differ with Bryan’s perception; most of my day is devoted to bringing in the community partners who are providing us with programs ranging from Afro-Peruvian dance and drumming (I invite you to the Latino Heritage Festival tomorrow night to check it out) to Mission Science Workshop lessons in every single one of our classrooms every three weeks, to after-school enrichment programming through both Rec and Parks and the YMCA. In addition, we have new parent education workshops and weekly support groups, counselors and other supports for children and families. In the spring we’ll have the Symphony coming in, as well as an instrument maker/musician to work with all grade levels. There is a lot of misinformation out there about what is really happening at our school, and the hardest part is that much of it is being generated and spread y people who are no longer part of the school or never were.
      Yes, the test scores are important, as a means to show us how our students are doing and how we can adjust our teaching and programs to help them do better. We work directly with students who are struggling and differentiate instruction for those who are achieving at higher levels. As a result, for the first time last year we met our school-wide goals in math and language arts, and more importantly, for the first time we began to close the achievement gap, especially for our African American students. You might recall that the press was also at our school on the first day of classes this year, that time to capture the mayor and superintendent of schools who were there to celebrate those academic gains.
      Most importantly, if you visit Paul Revere these days, you see children in classrooms learning and taking pride in their successes. I am there every day and I invite anyone to visit. We are currently holding tours for prospective parents. Every year we have a waiting list to enter kindergarten.
      We all loved our previous principal, but he himself made the decision that he wasn’t up to the job of turning the school around. We had “spirit” because we were ignorant of how poorly we were doing — with something like three quarters of our students below proficient and far below in basic skills, some of them graduating from 8th grade barely able to read and write. Every year we have students who make it into Lowell, and they come back to tell us that how we failed them because they cannot keep up with their classmates. Our students want to learn, and they appreciate a school environment where expectations are high, where rules and procedures are consistent for all, and where you are held accountable for holding up your end — whether student, teacher, parent or administrator.
      Our new principal is not perfect, nor is the leadership team of teachers and staff that she has gathered around her. We certainly have to do a better job of communicating, and we’ve been working hard on that.
      But for the first time since I’ve been at Paul Revere we have the kind of leadership that can make the difficult decisions needed to save this school — and maybe even turn it into the kind of school where Bernal parents would send their children — and leaders who are willing to stand and take the heat for those difficult decisions.

      • lorraine says:

        The most important thing to mention about today’s protest, is that it was organized by an outside group with no ties to the school, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a new iteration of ACORN which is capitalizing on misunderstanding to promote its own political causes, using slanderous statements with no regard for the impact on the community (although they are doing it in the name of the community). Their fliers were blatant about it.

    • nancydrew says:

      The failure of this school, especially in the previous years, is due to a failure of the parents. When the parents start clothing, feeding, and caring for their children properly (getting them to bed on time, helping with homework, making sure they have proper nutrition, arrive at school on time, etc.) and also promoting education, respect and responsibility in the home and at school then Paul Revere (and the children that attend it) will improve and learn. Okay, so the previous principal was nice and the school had “spirit” but nice will not help a low-income, racially diverse school body who can barely read and do math get ahead in this world. The kids here need parental involvement and support AND discipline. The school is much improved. I think the protesting parents should look first to themselves before calling for the principal’s resignation. The crazy allegations about harsh discipline and locking kids in basements and coaches abusing children is not even worth a response. Just look to see who sponsored this rally and you will see that it is a radical minority of the parents. Again I write: the parents should look first to themselves.

  2. PR Parent says:

    Signs, banners, agressively approaching parents who are politely declining to take part and TV CREWS!!? While I respect the right to protest I think it’s all absolutely unnecessary, inappropriate and destructive. The sound bytes being used by the protesting group are 99% factually incorrect and while the overall premise of the protest is somewhat valid; there have been a lot of changes this year at our school; the majority have been for the betterment of its daily running.

    Ms. Sammon is a doer more than a talker and is so focused on making a success of the Paul Revere academic turnaround that she may lack some connection in the community. Bear in mind its an IMMENSE job to turn this failing school around and I for one am grateful for her focus and intensity. I will happily forsake some warm fuzzys if I can trust my child is getting a good education. I fully believe that Ms. Sammon is striving to provide just that, AN EDUCATION, for every child in our school.

    The last thing our kids need and most of all, the children of these handful of protesters, is more change and upheaval at school. Calling for Sheila Sammon’s resignation is just LUDICROUS. We need our principal to stay, continue her good work but, agreed, she may need to improve upon her general warmth and outreach to parents. There are lots of constructive things these ‘protesters’ could be doing to help our school rather than bring on more negative attention.

  3. Carel van Eck says:

    20 parents there means there were more than 600 parents that weren’t there. Yes, fair concerns around strict new rules, but nearly all students at Revere are making great progress in their academics and are engaged at school. It’s unfortunate that the discussion around rules threatens to derail that progress. Making changes to school admistrators at this point isn’t going to benefit anyone, students least of all.

    Carel
    Parent to a 3rd grade immersion student at Revere

  4. bldxyz says:

    Besides the rule mentioned about bathroom trips, what are the other rules that are the subject of protest?

    I’m the type who likes to draw my own conclusions, but so far I’m seeing other people’s conclusions without the underlying detail I crave.

  5. Is it true that Sammon doesn’t allow parents to volunteer in the classroom? As an ex-elementary teacher, I have to wonder what is going on behind closed doors that she/they don’t want the parents to see. Red flag. I wouldn’t tolerate that for a second.

    • Nubia says:

      I couldn’t reply to the other comments seems looks like they are been paid to say good things about the principle. You are right it makes you wonder what happens in close doors. I have 1 niece, 3 nephew that go there. They drop out of sports because the coutch use to put them on their knees facing the wall as punishment. Pushed them, yealled at them,called them “dumb”, pulled them from their shirts. Until he hit my nephew with the ball, my sister took them all of sports. All this was reported to the principle and she did nothing. That coutch still there. Thatsjust 1 example. She impose harsh ways of disciple towards the students. She tells the parents that they can move to another school if they don’t like it. I cannot believe the district allows abuse of children in public schools.

  6. PR Parent says:

    No, not true that parents can’t volunteer. Just has to be pre-approved. They don’t want parents or other individuals randomly walking round school. There were some incidents last year where parents entered the school specifically to confront children, not their own, so this rule was put in place for the safety of the kids. They love volunteers in the classroom and anywhere else.

  7. arianne says:

    It is untrue that Sheila does not “allow” volunteers in the classroom. My understanding is that it is the teacher’s choice to allow volunteers and how many they allow. I have volunteered, and will continue to.

    Regarding the new behavior reward system: So far, I have seen good results with this program. Many of us last year were really worried that there was no support for the kid being bullied, that too much attention was being given to the unruly students or ones that were acting out in class. There are rules now, and children need rules in order to perform and assess how they are doing. I do not believe the pendulum has swung under the new system, and it is “new.”

    We actually take the reward system home with us. And I never take his word as full truth, as I would not take the word of a Kindergartener as fully truth. A child can only be subjective. There are more sides to a story and a child is able to manipulate their parent’s better than anyone.

    The flyer they passed out this morning was terribly slanderous and I question the integrity of the ACCE and the parents making such accusations.

    If a parent is really struggling with their child’s behavior and the way it is handled at Paul Revere, let them take Brian’s route and depart to a different school. It is their option under the PI rule. Would it be better the child is expelled, or to have them sit and actually eat for 30 minutes. After all, every minute a child distracts and misbehaves, they steal a teacher’s attention from the others. It’s thievery.

    I am very glad about the new behavior policy, and if my son was placed in silent recess, I would understand it is not out of the question and hope he has learned his lesson.

  8. Arianne, help us out here. I’m a neighbor and a parent looking into Revere for my daughter (enters K next year). I have no idea what the criticisms are.

    >Would it be better the child is expelled, or to have them sit and actually eat for 30 minutes.

    What is this referring to?

    >I am very glad about the new behavior policy

    Could you describe it, please? Or is it on the website?

  9. nicola bachman says:

    Are these complaining parents the same ones who were all up in arms against the evil corporate high-fructose billboard across the street?

  10. arianne says:

    HI Amy -

    In my child’s classroom, and for many of the younger students at least, there is a color coded program. All children in my son’s 1st grade class start on “blue.” The teacher has a clothes pin with each child’s name or picture. At some points during the day, the teacher will pull the pin, and plop it lower (or higher) depending on good or disruptive behavior. My child has explained that it is a Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red system. At the end of the day each child receives one star for Green and two for Blue. Once they have received 25 stars, they get a special ticket where they can buy a book at the “store.” In my child’s class, if they are not on green or better, they lose a portion of last 10 minutes of free play (which is also undone homework time too.)

    I consider my child a pretty good kid who wants to please his teacher – as I would expect most children do. But it did take a couple of months for him to make his 25 stars. Watching the stars accumilate gives him a goal, and confidence. When he is not on his best, I can see it as soon as I pick him up. ” I was on Yellow ” if things were “bad” or “YAY, I was on green, I have 3 more stars to get a special ticket.” What it has done for us has opened up a whole new level of communication about behavior, how to avoid getting in trouble (mostly by avoiding it,) or talking it through and we also bring home this system so if he is on Green at school, he starts on Green at home and privledges are given or taken if he stops listening. He tells me if he drops temporarily during the day and why.

    Last year many of “us” were very concerned about the lack of structure and support for the good kids, and a seemingly unfair methods for benching during recess, etc., for undefined poor behavior. Now things are defined, structured and children should know, by now, that they are not respecting others and disrupting the education the children following rules deserve.

    In some cases the kids are given special rewards for excellent behavior and going out of their way to be good to others.

    Children who are on red (it takes a LOT of warnings to get that low and the percentage of of “reds” is low, just make note about how few people are protesting this program, 20 parents so make your own conclusions) have a silent lunch or recess. Know that we are talking about a handful of kids a week, as I understand it, that earn a silent lunch or recess. My understanding is that the number of children a day has decreased or diminished since school began. I don’t know how many times or for how long a child is on red that a privilege of recess or a lunch with the rest of the kids is removed, but by now, my kid has had enough warning to avoid it. My guess is that it is up to the teacher to decide how to implament the program for her children.

    The basement is where after school children attend their classes, snack is produced and offices are held by PR staff members. It’s not a scary dark hole, with spider webs and devils taunt, next to a steamy boiler.

    Previously, children were suspended, and there have been no suspensions or expulsions this year, so far. That is the goal – to keep kids in school, learning. I am fully behind the program because I believe that bad behavior robs other’s from deserved education.

    When I said that the child would actually eat during their silent recess, I meant it. When my own, very sensitive and fragile child has a difficult lunchtime due to common children pesterings (which he himself is often the instigator) I notice his lunch bag comes home 1/2 eaten, or worse. Fortunately, we have a snack program daily where they receive a piece of fruit before 1st. recess, but still, food is brain power.

    See how much I know about my child’s incentive program? This info I received at the beginning of the school year, in multiple letters sent home with my child in their communication folder, and via the PTA and principal chats. I go through that folder every day. Everything is bilingual.

    It’s very sad that racism is being thrown out there. What slander! Would a racist caucasian WOMAN take on the arduous job of turning around a school with less than 5% caucasians? I don’t think so. And the accusation that she’s trying to oust children to replace them with higher achievers is absurd and well, impossible. All of the children can achieve, and it’s going to take structure to make it happen, but it takes a lot of parental involvement at home to make it happen, and PR has worked VERY hard at keeping the line of communication between parents and school OPEN.

    My unfortunate dilemma is getting over the alienation that I believe these parents have caused themselves. I do not take lightly lies, slander and calling someone a racist. I do not take lightly the undermining of hard work in a school in need of reformation.

    feel free to write me – my email is my name at me d0t com. PR’s kinder and 1st classes are excellent. I watched children without books at home learn to read and enjoy it.

    Best,
    arianne

  11. Don says:

    The fact that one protestor claimed that students are being sent to sit in the basement when the school does not have a basement shows that this is all lies.

    • bliqueur says:

      Lies, come now you know that this school has a basement.

      • Nubia says:

        Yes there is a basement, & yes the kids are sent there to one of the rooms for the duration of recess as punishment if they were late or the uniform is not correct. I have nephews there. I’ve ask why is this principle not removed.

      • arianne says:

        Um, Nubia –

        All children are to wear uniforms. If they are not properly dressed in uniform, they go and change.

        If a child is chronically late there is a whole other rule system which involves parental notification.

        stop spreading hearsay and, well, subjective emotional misinformation.

      • P.W. says:

        Don must have this school confused with Alamo Elementary, out in the Richmond.

      • Arianne says:

        The basement for the elementary school is on the same level as the lower playground. Doors exit onto the playground. For the most part, kids have their detentions in the classrooms. So technically, it’s ground level.

  12. A Very Angry Parent says:

    I honestly think All the parents from Paul Revere should talk to their children and have communication with them This is Defenetly RED FLAG , I have excellent communication with my daughters, I have a middle school and a elementary student and i always ask how there day went and what they learned. I attended Paul Revere school too in the 80′s , and I cant believe how much it has changed and its not in a positive way! As for the Principal Sammon, Im not a judgemental parent but I do believe that she is strict and not a communicative towards the parents, Once i passed right near her and greeted her and there was no response back! That can tell you alot, she’s not a friendly person! As for her being Racist i think that maybe true, a former teacher said that Sammon in a teacher meeting had really harsh things to say about Hispanic and African Americans, Now I see why the parents have issues with this principal. In all my FAMILY GENERATIONS that attended Paul Revere over the years I never seen a principal get so many NEGATIVE things said by the PARENTS and do so much that it made it in the NEWS worldwide! I just hope there will be a change and Sammon can either make certain changes or get a New profession!

  13. Nubia says:

    After reading some comments I have to say. It looks like this principle has friends in high places. My niece & nephews go there and I know for a fact she impose harsh rules & punishment. Since when principles are allowed to punish our children. All those comments defending her are just either been paid to do so, or is herself defending herself. Some called the parents protesting “radicals” so now if you exercise your freedom of speech you are consider a radical? Wow it’s obvious she is getting nerveous. The parents will continue their protest and the trueth about this principle will come out.

    • Nubia, I normally make a point of not responding to baseless, unfounded accusations. However, I can not shake off being accused of being paid by anyone for providing my opinion and observation (heck, I would be rich if I were). Such accusations are not helpful: they don’t contribute anything to what should be all our focus: the education of our children at Revere.
      Right now, the leadership team at Revere is doing a steadfast and momentous job of providing excellent educational opportunities for our kids. My daughter is benefitting from it, each and ever day, contributing to the happy, engaged, curious, joyful learner she is. I hope your niece and nephews have the same experience. If they are not, something else is missing for them, because the vast majority of students at Revere are making progress to where they need to get to: a fighting chance to get to college.
      I hope you can see that too, amidst your concerns expressed earlier.

  14. bldxyz says:

    Arg! I can’t resist this any longer:

    prin·ci·ple/ˈprinsəpəl/
    Noun:
    A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.
    A rule or belief governing one’s personal behavior.

    prin·ci·pal/ˈprinsəpəl/
    Adjective:
    First in order of importance; main.
    Noun:
    The person with the highest authority or most important position in an organization.
    Synonyms:
    adjective. main – chief – cardinal – prime – leading – primary
    noun. head – chief – manager – director – headmaster – capital

  15. Vincent (a concerned neightbor) says:

    I live next to Paul Revere and am so sad to read so much mistrust and anger about what goes on in your school. I know many of the kids and teachers at the school. I think you all should have a good talk and not shout out the first thing you think about. This is about the children. We all, parents, teachers, community members like myself and your principle want the same thing. For your school to be a successful and peaceful place for our children. Stop fighting and start coming to the school and work together. It takes all of us to make one child succeed.

    • arianne says:

      so true Vincent. I spoke with the first African American PTA president PR had, and she explained that her children – now fully grown – are doing very well in their professions. She also explained the community was very concerned. When the school was put onto the list of worst performing by the Feds, it automatically became a target. Most, if not all, of the other schools have been in the news.

      We all know how it only takes a few angry people to make a mountain over a mole hill – and that is what this very small group of mostly newcomers to the school are doing. But fortunately for us, there is a very small group of supporters and passionate people, parents and neighbors caring and nurturing the children at Paul Revere.

      I personally think Sheila is friendly, approachable and cares for the kids. Having a middle school with serious academic issues, alone, is a full time job – but add to that the elementary school with 70+% socioeconomically challenged and the job more than triples.

  16. former pr parent says:

    I’m sorry, Lorraine, but to quote Dr. Tagamori was not appropriate in my opinion. I believe he was getting the school on the right track both academically and climate-wise, but he did not have the financial resources the current principal has and time simply ran out. He was building a school community that felt inclusive of all and his vision was one that was a “fit” for our family and many others. He was humane, respectful, and as my own child stated, children felt that he truly cared about them.

    Undoubtedly, the expensive new curriculum the school purchased is very good at preparing children for test taking. I imagine there must be more monies for hiring literacy and math teachers who provide more support to children as well, and having more teachers is always a good thing. However, I remember the data shown to us at that long ago parent meeting in a very different way than you. My recollection is of a normal curve showing most children performing at basic and fewer far below basic. That means those basics were already poised to come up to a proficient level if given adequate support. Much work had already been done by the school’s hardworking teachers before Ms. Sammon arrived. The teachers continue to work hard and have more resources now than they did before.

    At least, that is what I remember of the data. I of course could be mistaken.Too bad the district only posts how many children are at proficient and doesn’t provide the rest of the break down.

    • lorraine says:

      Dr. Tagamori was a wonderful principal and one of the best people I’ve known in my life. His great gift is his ability to connect with people from all communities. I have absolutely no criticism of him and never have. When he made the decision to resign, he told the school community in a public letter that he felt it was the best for himself and for Paul Revere. At the time I didn’t want to believe him, but as I reflect on what he did I understand it more and more. I trust his judgment.
      I see no reason to continue this debate in a public forum. I suspect you know how to reach me if you want to continue the conversation in person.

  17. Thanks, Arianne. We’ll be touring the school tomorrow and we’re looking forward to learning about it.

    The blue-green-yellow- etc. clothespin practice has been in place in the two schools we’ve visited so far. A little behavior-mod for my taste (I’m loving the Reggio Emilia preschool my daughter’s in now, where they don’t have any of these disciplinary techniques–no time outs or any of that–and the kids behave beautifully) but if it’s done in a pleasant and positive spirit, I can get behind it. It certainly is not draconian.

  18. Marnie says:

    Can someone who is a parent at Revere please expand on the “going to the bathroom” policy there. Some of the information in the press suggests that kids are not allowed to go to the bathroom until the end of a class. I’m a little mystified about this.

    • Carel van Eck says:

      Hi Marnie,

      The policy is that kids are encouraged to go to the bathroom during breaks only, so as to minimize impact on instructional time. However, obviously, kids do need to go in between as well (there’re 5 yr old kids and up…) – so obviously, of course kids are allowed to go. The press reports on this topic, as in everything else what’s currently being reported on Revere are exaggerating the situation, and miss the context. Please let me know of other questions that you would like some context on: jcvpve@mindspring.com

      Carel
      Parent to a 3rd grader (who has had occasional wet pants during her years at Revere, simply because she was a 5, 6, 7 yr old kid)

  19. M says:

    @Marnie — I can’t speak to Paul Revere specifically, but we ran into this at Sunnyside last year (!) My daughter actually came home sick a few times during warm weather, and I finally figured out she was limiting her fluid intake so as not to get in trouble for going to the bathroom. I ended up making an arrangement with the teacher that my daughter could go to the bathroom at will, and try to avoid times when there was intensive teaching going on. The teacher was to call me if it caused a problem. It didn’t.

    In my experience, schools (or teachers) who don’t have a lot of control over or respect from their students tend to impose rules like this so that they can manage their classrooms more easily. It’s actually one of the qs I ask on my K tours.

  20. Marnie says:

    @M:

    The not being able to get to the bathroom issue was a problem at my daughter’s preschool as well, so I’m also keenly aware of how lack of access to a clean bathroom can negatively impact a child’s perception of school.

    It this day of ipads and cell phones, there really should be no reason for a child not to be allowed to get to the bathroom ASAP. If there is a concern that children are using it to get out of class, all that is needed is for the teacher to be able to call for a monitor to take the child to the bathroom and have them returned to the class.

    I’m surprised that there isn’t a city wide policy on this.

    Still, I would like to know what the Revere policy is.

  21. halle says:

    I’m not sure what ipads and cell phones have to do with 5 & 6 yrs olds going to the bathroom (I don’t think there’s an app for that), and I’m not sure where you think all these monitors are magically waiting to just escort kids to the bathroom all day, but having regularly scheduled visits to the bathroom seems like a perfectly appropriate way to manage a class. We’ve all had times when it just wasn’t possible to get our kids to the bathroom immediately (on a plane during take off or landing, on the freeway, etc). The abilities and hence the expectations for an elementary school student are going to be vastly different than for a preschooler.

  22. Marnie says:

    Sure, halle.

    But asking kids to wait until the end of class to go to the bathroom seems inappropriate for an elementary school aged child. That’s what the newspaper report says is happening, amongst other things.

    I’m listening to last night’s school board meeting, and there’s a Dad saying that his daughter couldn’t get to the bathroom and therefore had an accident. She subsequently did not have underwear on all day, from the morning to afterschool pickout. He states that this is “completely” outrageous. I would agree. This dad is saying that kids are given demerit points for going to the bathroom.

    Another mom says that her 11 year old daughter got her period. She was left in her stained clothing all day. No one helped her to get a change of clothes or phoned her parents.

    We may all have had moments when our kids have peed their pants, but I don’t know any parents who have had their kids spend the whole day without underwear at school or in soiled underwear.

    • G. Santos Lopez says:

      I am a grandmother of a child who attended Sunshine Gardens Elementary School in South San Francisco, of which Sheila Sammon Milosky was the principal. She is a racist, she is not people friendly, she instituted her “policies” at Sunshine Gardens until she got ousted two years ago. Ms. Sheila is not wanted in the South San Francisco School District, she left a lot of parents with a bad taste in their mouth. I say the parents that are rallying against her are doing the right thing; if we don’t fight for our kids, who will? She did not allow kids to go on field trips because of her demerit system…..frankly I think parents are right when they used to tell her “why did you become a teacher”…she is obviously in the wrong profession!!!!! I just saw the news on Channel 2 this morning (5-23-12) wherein she was arrested on 5/12 while driving while under the influence and she also hit and ran two parked cars……what do you think now of your Principal!

  23. AmieDeKatie says:

    Marnie, there is an SFUSD policy about bathroom access—students have all-access bathroom privileges, whenever they say they need it … which I’ve heard can lead to middle schoolers and high schoolers taking advantage of the policy and teachers/aides having to take time out of teaching to track them down, but I don’t have any firsthand experience with this. Here’s what I do know: I have a young child at Revere, and she has explained the bathroom policy to me as “try to go at recess or lunch, but you can go during class if you need to.” She is learning responsibility but is given the flexibility her young body and mind need. She also has a backup uniform in her classroom (with an extra pair of underwear). I’ve heard various explanations of the stories you heard/saw at Tuesday’s School Board meeting, but I didn’t witness those events firsthand, so I won’t speculate on them.

    I hope this helps clarify what’s going on at Revere and what SFUSD’s restroom policy is. My daughter is thriving at Revere and is thankfully immune to any squabbling in the adult community. Please rest assured that Revere’s principal, staff, and PTA are trying to bridge the gap between the unhappy ~20 families and the majority of the school that is excited by our kids’ recent report cards and daily “behavior” assessments (the color-coded system described by above posters). We’re bringing in a mediator this week and will have SFUSD reps on hand to help us work through this.

    Thanks for reading, Marnie. If you’d ever like to donate some of your time in our SF public schools to show off how cool science is, we’d welcome all that you have to share. Personally, I think volunteering makes a much bigger difference in our kids’ lives—whether in a private French immersion school or a public Spanish or Mandarin immersion school—than “uncensored” blogging about the perceived failings of public schools. Help us make them better! : )

    Amicalement, a Revere Spanish Immersion parent and Bernal neighbor

  24. Marnie says:

    Hi AmieDeKatie:
    Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I’ll just say that I know a few seven-year-olds that can’t “hold it.” Issuing demerit points to K-5 kids for going to the bathroom during class is a dumb idea. However, I can see the point of asking middle schoolers to wait. I hope the school develops an age appropriate policy for bathroom breaks.
    I’m glad you had a parent communication meeting. It would be nice if someone could tell the middle school families that sanitary napkins and a change of clothes for their daughters are available in the principal’s office.
    I hope to both continue with my blog and volunteer in the public schools. I’m glad the team at Revere is working on core curriculum strengthening.
    FYI: Ron Hipschman of the Exploratorium gave a great talk this summer on the science of color. It might be possible to persuade him to give this talk again if a group of parents were motivated to get that going:

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-07-10/entertainment/29750087_1_color-related-rainbow-light

  25. AmieDeKatie says:

    Thanks for the link, Marnie! My daughter raved about the science class she had this week–wish it were daily.

  26. Pingback: Paul Revere School Chalks Up Big Academic Gains | Bernalwood

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