The administration is all worried about bullying and belonging, which is fine. They seem a wee bit weak on other aspects of middle school life, though. The principal's license plate is "QueenBee" if that says anything to you. It sure does to me, despite the school's mascot being hornets. This was originally a school for 8/9 grades, but now that we have a second high school, it has been realigned to 6, 7, 8 graders. This is only the second year of the change and I think some tweaking is still in order.
For example. They send home oodles of rules and regulations. Every child MUST buy a gym uniform. Oops, we hope our size smalls arrive this week. Please send in your child with $10 to buy their uniform. Which they are not allowed to alter in any way and which must be worn for gym class. Oh and btw, we have a dress code that says you're not allowed to wear any clothes to school that could interfere with carrying out any physical activity required of you.
Exhibit 1: Miss E in her issued gym uniform.
Miss E was apparently issued their smallest size, which is Girl's Large 14-16. In the first place, most 6th graders are 11 years old (Miss E is 12). In the second place, Miss E is, granted, 2nd percentile in height and weight for her age. Which still makes her smaller than most 11 year olds, too.
Exhibit 2: An extremely blurry shot of The Shorts. (You'll get the idea. I couldn't get her to put them on a second time in order to take the photo again.)
I wouldn't let her wear the shorts. She showed up to gym class in the t-shirt THEY GAVE HER FOR $10, and the gym teacher said "my, that's a bit big on you." No lie. What? They couldn't look at her when they gave her the uniform and realize how big it would be? Not to mention they had been saying to the kids "just wash it in hot water to shrink it" and "there's a cord for the shorts that you can pull tight to keep them around your waist."
Uh-huh. And a week later at Back to School Night, the gym teachers said "there are a lot of small sixth graders this year. Just go buy them a gray t-shirt and navy shorts." Which is against the rules they sent home. And of course, by then, there weren't any left in the local stores because, gee, this uniform is county-wide and other schools are probably less insistent that parents use ONLY the issued uniform. I did find something close and it certainly fits better and she looks appropriate and can participate without risking tripping over her own clothes. (And they worry about bullying and teasing...)
There are other issues. Such as Miss E riding the bus home and there's no scheduled time for her to be dropped off and no notification when the schedule is changed and she has to go to the high school first (which is a half mile away) and wait 20 minutes to be dropped off. This happened the second week and I was frantic because I had no idea where she was or if she thought I was picking her up at school and I discovered no one answers the phone at the school after dismissal. We have worked this issue out...for now. The ultimate solution will be for Miss E to have her own cell phone, but she's the one who wants to wait on that.
Oh and here's a lovely photo of Miss E as the flower girl at a wedding on Cat Valente's (catvalente) island in August (or Why-I-Missed-Almost-All-of-Worldcon-This-Y