Several Purvis parents vow to withhold children from ill-timed field trip experiment

From excitement to disappointment, to raging anger and promises to withhold students from school, the instituting of experiential learning for the first week of the new school term at the not yet ready to unveil Purvis Parish School has not gone over well with many parents.

More than a few parents were caught off-guard by the Ministry of Education’s late decision to abandon attempts to allow for in-school learning.

The proffered contingency plans to allow students inside classrooms at Purvis, even as improvements continued were shelved in favour of the alternate learning via experience educational concept, which is more narrowly defined as “learning through reflection on doing”.

The form of learning has proven an effective tool in many instances, however having such thrust upon inadequately informed and prepared parents, students and, apparently, teachers has once again raised questions as to the competence level – or lack thereof – contained within the department’s leadership.

A major problem with instituting outdoor educational field trips in the midst of summer has always been the temperature factor, as exposure to heat has been proven to alter perception as well as cognitive executive functioning.

To this end, one parent spoke to TNN’s Trevor Lindsay of the ruination of her daughters’ shoes and uniform, along with their diminished desire to attend Purvis for what has been billed as a week-long exercise and her unwillingness to subject them to exhaustive, long days outside in unrelenting heat.

“My daughter was excited at first,” said the unnamed mother. “She was like, ‘We’re good on a field trip, blah, blah, blah’, but she comes home and she’s completely burned out.

“She was exhausted and her shoes were, literally melted off of her feet. The soles had peeled away from the leather, along with my younger daughter’s as well.
“She told me that they had had them in hot places all day and when I spoke to the secretary she tried to downplay it, saying that they were to wear their gym uniforms tomorrow, to make sure that I send extra water.

“I asked her to have the principal call me, because I’m not going to let this rest. It’s ludicrous and totally unacceptable what’s going on.”

While some parents were only made aware of the planned field trips last evening, the mother TNN talked to noted how she had found out via email on Friday.

“Last week Friday I got an email,” she said. “The initial meeting at CedarBridge we were given the impression that they would be in school, despite the construction that was going on.

“Then I got the email about these field trips. That they will be going on and I was concerned and wondering how all of this was going to play out, with my number one issue being the heat.”
She was adamant that she would not be subjecting her children to a full week of field trips, which included ventures to places such as Botanical Gardens, Spittal Pond and Admiralty House.

“Mine are going to stay home and I let the secretary know that as well,” she added. “I’m not going to put my children out in this extreme heat, not at all, it’s insane.

“Some went to Botanical Gardens, some went to Spittal Pond, others went to Admiralty House, it was all over the place.

“Then, to my understanding – from another parent – they are asking her child to bring $20 tomorrow. I don’t know what it’s for, but I don’t think she’s going to allow her child to go for the rest of the week either.

“I’m very disappointed. I definitely think that they should wait until the school is completed before they allow any child to attend. It’s not fair to the students, to the teachers or to the parents.

“I just want this all to be sorted, because they all deserve better, the children, teachers, parents, everybody.”

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