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How come PAUSD mails the Back-to-School Packets?

Original post made by Thriftier, Jordan Middle School, on Aug 13, 2011

It costed $2 for each packet they mailed to us. Don't have to be a mathematician to figure out they could save thousands of dollars if they made everyone pick up their packets a at the district office the few weeks before school. We were told we could pick up our packets at Paly on August 10 between 4-6 but were out of town. Instead of postage, the $$$ could be spent elsewhere (perhaps on alarms for the computer and video equipment).

Comments (16)

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Posted by flip side
a resident of Meadow Park
on Aug 13, 2011 at 10:02 pm

You are absolutely right.

Of course, if they switched to a different method, the other 99% would probably complain.

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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2011 at 12:11 am

PTAs pay for the mailing.

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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 14, 2011 at 7:15 am

School starts early enough - not going to drop my vacation plans...just ask me to donate $2 to the PTA instead. Next year they are going to ask for volunteers to assemble the packets in July. All those families that wanted the earlier start date should be the ones to volunteer for that.

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 14, 2011 at 8:55 am

Most of the elementary schools have the packets picked up at the school. The info in the packets is nothing that can't wait until school starts, all the important information (emergency contacts, etc.) is done online. I agree, all the packets should be picked up at school (first day or the day before). There isn't enough room at the District for all the families to pick up anything!

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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2011 at 9:52 am

I also question the need for the packets in the first place also.

We were told that the new online registration process we are required to act on in June would take away all the necessity of pre start of school packets and form filling. Wrong. Now instead of the hour or so on the day before school starts, we have an hour or so in June, an hour or so in August and a requirement to have our kids attend school either the week before or the day before for pictures, buying pe uniforms, handing in PTA forms and sorting lockers.

The majority of the forms could be handed out to the students on the first day of school. The requirement to attend school before school starts is a joke and will be much more so next year with a shorter summer (just for 2012, I know) but the need to be back in town the beginning of August when the rest of the world is vacationing will be even more evident.

Most of these forms can be done online anyway!Jxws1

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm

For those that view the forms as a burden - plenty of kids miss the "pick up your schedule" day. They just come early the first day and get their schedule and pass in any forms. I think the schools do it right, not throwing away a whole instructional day on the administrative flotsam and jetsam. If it is too inconvenient for your family, don't sweat it, just come a little early the first day.

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Posted by Thriftier
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Aug 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Back-to-School packets could be distributed when students pick up their schedules but perhaps the PTA fears the packets will never been seen by the parents. The packets are filled with PiE and booster envelopes, plus forms for Photo Day and yearbook orders. I guess the PTA would prefer to spend the $2/student (middle & high school) to be sure the parents see the requests for donations in the packet.

PTA should still offer the envelopes at the district office or at Paly since they are ready by August 10. Would still save some money.

Do families really continue their vacations into the 11th hour so their children cannot pick up their schedules the day before school?!

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Posted by Sue
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Why doesn't Paly distribute the course schedule one week earlier like Gunn does and let students pick up the back-to-school package when they pick up their schedule?

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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Can't we do most of the forms online???!! We can eliminate postage costs or save volunteer workforce for some other important events.....

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Posted by PAUSD Parent
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Do we have to start bashing the schools online this year before the school year has even started? Give the schools and their staff a break. The day no one of quality wants to work in Palo Alto schools any more, we won't have to look far to find the reason why: parents who are impossible to please.

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2011 at 9:47 pm

PAUSD Parent: You don't get it. Schools are facing financial setbacks and the PTA decides to spend thousands of dollars unnecessarily. We could use the money elsewhere. There are simple solutions on this thread.

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Posted by JSD
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 15, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Each PTA's budget must be approved by its membership at a General Association meeting at the beginning of the school year (and mid-year amendments above a certain threshold must be approved by the membership, as well). Become a member of your PTA (if you aren't already), get informed, and share your opinion while the decisions are being made.

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Posted by Interesting
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2011 at 8:48 am

Could it be that mailing these packets ensure that the student actually has a local address?? Not a fool proof method of deterring those who are using a PA address to attend these schools but a possibility nonetheless ....

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Posted by No!
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 16, 2011 at 10:27 am

Consider the convenience for parents who work .. between running around for camps, work , its virtually impossible to find time to reach PAUSD between the hours of "X to Y". Also, I will probably spend more money in the gas !

Online forms is a much better alternative ! It saves postage, it saves paper and it also retains history ..

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Posted by PAUSD Parent
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm

To Parent of anoher PA neighborhood.

Actually, I do get it as I've been a PAUSD parent for close to 20 years by now.

1) The financial difficulties of the school district have been brandished as a menace for the 20 years I've been a parent. Good years, bad years alike, it's always been postulated that we don't have enough money. It's constantly used as a threat, fund-raising argument, and what not, and always exaggerated beyond belief. However this is not the topic at hand.

2) If you are not happy with how the PTA spends its money (which is not exactly the school's money but PTA money), please run for the PTA and don't just come here and complain anonymously.

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Posted by JLS Parent
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Aug 17, 2011 at 7:38 pm

It seems the majority of JLS students were willing to attend Jump Start Day to get pictures taken and hand in forms. The line for pictures was long.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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