Life deals us some tough hands to play from time to time. Certainly this can be true while your child is at private school. Certain questions always seem to present themselves unexpectedly at the worst possible time. But life is like that, isn't it? The old, comfortable, and very predictable playbook which you and I used to follow thirty or forty years ago has gone by the boards. Here then are some answers and some resources to help you deal with these tough questions and situations.
My kid has been expelled?
Being notified that your child has been expelled is serious. The timing will inevitably be very awkward. You literally will have to stop whatever you are doing and deal with this crisis. For a crisis this event most assuredly is. The mere fact that your child broke the kind of rules and did something which warranted his expulsion means that you need to get to the bottom of the situation. Why did he do this? Counseling will probably be required. Both for him and for you. What legal recourse do you have? Probably not much. After all, the contract which you and the school signed spells out the consequences for infractions of the code of conduct which guides students' lives at school.
Finding a new school won't be easy, but is doable if you hire an educational consultant to make it happen. If you do it on your own, you will spend countless hours calling and explaining your situation. It makes
I can just hear you thinking "He's got to be kidding. After spending inordinate amounts of my valuable time and resources getting my child into private school, the school can decide it doesn't want her back next year?"
Yes, the school can do that. Sad. But true. Read the contract which you signed with the school when your daughter was first accepted. It very clearly spells out the rights each party to the contract has. One of those clauses states that the school does not have to renew its contract with you automatically. Most contracts have finite terms which are normally for one academic year.
How do you avoid the school sending a non-renewal notice? You make sure that the following are in order:
1. Acceptable academic progress
While it would be nice if your child could be first in every subject she takes, that is asking a bit too much. But you definitely want to keep her in the top third. If the school recommends extra help or even tutoring, don't fight that recommendation. Calculus may have been a breeze for you. But if she is struggling with it, be ahead of the curve. Accept the help offered.
All they really want is to see are her best efforts and maximum cooperation in achieving good results. There's a larger lesson that the school is trying to teach here as well. And that is to not flinch at life's challenges. Life is full of seemingly impossible challenges and situations.
RK. Does sending your teens off to private school help protect them from drinking and other forms of substance abuse? Your reasons?
CS. No, I do not think sending your teens to a private school is going to protect them from the dangers of drinking and other forms of abuse. Teens are teens and just because they are in a private school, they will still be exposed to everything that is available to them in the public schools. In some cases it is said that private school teens come from families with money and could more easily purchase bad things. This is a personal opinion.
RK. Cindy, I agree that teens are teens. Whether they go to private or public school, they will be exposed to all sorts of opportunities to drink. The difference, however, with private school is that if they are caught, the consequences will be serious and swift. I know of an instance at one of my daughters' schools where a couple of seniors decided to sneak a drink on campus a few days before graduation. They were caught and were not permitted to attend graduation.
RK. Let's look at another serious issue. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death
Most private schools have an Acceptable Use Policy in place governing the use of technology. That means that students in private schools must follow their school's guidelines and directives when it comes to using personal technology. Personal technology includes devices such as laptops, desktop computers, tablets, smartphones. What is somewhat perplexing to many mature teachers is that none of these devices were in common use ten years ago. The reality is that young people have all some or all of these devices and use them naturally, freely and without much thought. Using technology is second nature to students these days.
As a rule, there are limits on these devices and their use in private schools. Let's look at five things you are not supposed to do with personal technology. Breaking the rules in your school could land you in a heap of trouble, including expulsion. If you are a parent, review her school's personal technology use policy. Then discuss the policy with your child. Help her understand the rules, the limits and the reasons why the school has a technology policy. Remind her further that she has no rights in a private school. So if the school disciplines her for an infraction, there is very little or no recourse. That is because private school students are covered by contract law. The rights and privileges are spelled out in detail in the contract which you signed with the school. She does not have constitutional rights per se. The contract is a