Sousa 5th Grade Trip to NYC Theatre -Letter to Dr. Meoli
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Dear Dr. Meoli,
We were dismayed to read the letter sent out by the fifth grade teachers announcing that the children will go to a local ropes park for their graduation trip.
A highlight of the fifth grade is the cultural trip to NYC. This trip reflects the value our school places on arts. This trip has been a long-time tradition and the current fifth graders have been eagerly awaiting this experience. For many children in our school this is the first opportunity to experience the theater. The news came as a disappointment to many children. It is our understanding that all the other elementary schools in town are going to see a show with their fifth graders. We see no real reason to not join as well.
Unfortunately, no reasons underlying this decision were shared with parents. We strongly feel that this is a conversation that needs to be opened up with parents, and any hurdles should be examined to explore creative ways to overcome them. Is the planning a logistical burden? We certainly do not want to overload the teachers with these planning tasks. Surely there will be parents willing and available to form a committee and plan this. Are costs too high? Fundraising opportunities could be explored, as well as ways to make this trip less expensive (explore off-broadway shows that are considerably less expensive than Broadway musicals, or look into visiting other cultural institutions; simplify the agenda; simplify lunch). We know that some of the other schools haven't finalized plans so we believe we are still ok, timing-wise.
We'd also like to point out that a ropes course could pose a problem for a considerable number of students who are uncomfortable with heights and this type of activity. Furthermore, because of the close proximity of this park, many of our students have already visited with local scouts groups or local camps. This alternative event therefore is not without its challenges.
We would like to communicate with all parents and call for volunteers to sit on a new graduation trip committee. This committee could delve into this issue and create a memorable graduation event for the fifth grade 2018 class. Whatever the challenges, We are a resourceful community and can handily work them.
Please let us know if we have your permission to move forward with organizing the trip and also which fifth grade teacher will be willing to serve as our liaison.
Thank you and looking forward to ending our children's Sousa years on a high note.
Concerned parents from Sousa's fifth grade 2018 class.
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