If you are late to pick up your child from school, should the teacher call the student’s emergency contacts, even if the parents are a few minutes late?
One parent doesn’t think so.
The Department of Education says the summer school program ends at noon and teachers are told to start making calls if parents are late.
A parent who didn’t want to be identified told me she has to work, so she has family members pick up her child from school.
They have been late on two occasions — once at 12:08 p.m. and another time at 12:03 p.m. The second time, she says the teacher called three emergency contact numbers in three minutes.
“The teachers were very aggressive in their calling,” said the parent.
The extended school year program is offered on an individual basis to students with a disability at no cost to the parents.
The Department of Education runs the program for one month beyond the normal school year from 8 a.m. to noon. Officials say instruction wraps up between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m., and there’s a grace period until noon.
But this parent says she was never told that. She was told if teachers stay after noon, they get paid overtime. We found out teachers only get paid overtime after 12:30 p.m.
“When they call you and they say, ‘Hey, you are a few minutes late.’ Do you answer?” KHON2 asked.
“Honestly, I may have missed a call. That is because I am working,” she replied.
The DOE says teachers have a responsibility to call the parents first, and then emergency contact numbers as a precaution, to make sure someone is on their way.
In some occasions, teachers have had to wait up to two hours for some children to be picked up, according to a DOE spokesperson.
“What would you say to people who say it’s the parents responsibility to let the school know they are going to be a little bit late to pick up their kid?” KHON2 asked the parent.
She said, “Definitely. You know, it is our responsibility as parents. We should be there for our child, but like I said, we are all humans.”
The DOE says parents are made aware of the time of the program when they are having the meeting about the child’s education plan.
During the normal year, students are brought into the office if they are not in an afternoon school program, and parents are called, followed by emergency contacts if they don’t answer.
Even though the program is free, this parent says she doesn’t think she will enroll her child in the summer program again.