Catholic Ed – Kindergarten Questionairre Raises Questions

I received these pages of a Student Entry Health Survey from a mother who is preparing to send her children to Kindergarten at a Catholic school here in PA. This paperwork came from the school district via the Catholic school registration packet. Public school resources, such as district’s school nurse , are made available Catholic schools as part of PA law. They are authorized to come in and do various screenings, such as hearing, vision, and BMI.

Has anyone else had to provide such intrusive and invasive information for Kindergarten registration? Is this standard operating procedure? I found the level of questioning in this survey to be shocking. All my school required, and I was not exactly thrilled about it, was a medical form signed by the MD and answers some very basic and general questions. Nothing like this.

I wrote about the Race to the Top (RTTT) Early Learning Challenge that former Governor Tom Corbett plagued us with and the requirements for a Kindergarten Education Inventory as well as the data collection that would be emanating from these surveys/assessments on our little ones. It’s all part of the womb to tomb data system designed to feed the insatiable appetite of these data mongers and corporate/government elitists who see our children as units of human capital to be analyzed and sorted.  Guess they will be able to predict the future success and “college and career readiness” of children who still wet the bed upon entering Kindergarten or a five year old who has had troubled past when it comes to being selfish in sharing or stubbornness. Or maybe they’re just seeking to qualify for more taxpayer funded programs.

Please note that the questions are not just about physical health, but also social emotional behaviors, attitudes, and dispositions. (See Sections E & F where the parent is asked to circle things that “worry” them about their child or describe how the child gets along with his/her siblings.) But of course, anyone who talks about this is now considered a “conspiracy” fear monger, even among those who are supposedly united in the fight against “the machine.”

Is all of this information truly necessary to properly educate a child in Kindergarten? Barring any problems of serious nature, which would be either self-evident or brought up by the parent, do teachers really have trouble ascertaining the personal qualities, including strengths and weaknesses, of a child after the first few weeks of school? Do the schools really need any more information than an answer to a simple question, such as: “Does your child have any kind of medical condition the prevents or negatively affects his or her ability to participate fully in school activities?” If the answer is no, move along, nothing more to see here. Maybe it’s just me, but I just don’t get it.

And what circumstances would be deemed “in the best interest of my child’s health and education” that would prompt the School Health Staff to share this information with other professionals or with other institutions?

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8 thoughts on “Catholic Ed – Kindergarten Questionairre Raises Questions

  1. It’s part of Big Brother’s intrusion into our private lives via the Common Core. I wrote a 5-part series about the Core in the Ohio Conservative Review. The more i researched, the more outraged I became. It’s not about an alleged opposition to standards, but a justified concern that the federal government wants to take control over what rightfully belongs to parents and the local community. — Tony (Catholic since birth and amateur apologist!)

    1. Meg, that probably is to help determine if child has sleep apnea. I am NOT defending this form, I’m just a registered nurse, plus I have sleep apnea.

  2. Some are typical health history questions that the school may need to be aware of. However, they do not need a lot of the other information. Some of these remind me of prephysical questions, not ones for a school nurse office. I am able to decline to answer questions I don’t want too at my doctor’s. Is it not the same for schools? My kids are in high school so we do the regularly schdeuled physicals plus ones for sports. Then there is yet another one for driver’s license. However, all in all this is concerning.

  3. My id use to snore. This was a question placed on his md questionnaire. I checked yes, come to find out my kid has a medical condition that we found and has been treated and no more snoring and sleeping thru the night happens. Yes some of these questions are necessary as a lot of parents don’t take their children to a doctor regularly so this does provide another opportunity for some issues to be brought forward. A lot of them are probably there to remove patient doctor rights so when a school shooting happens they can have a record that the parents are responsible. People are trying to avoid being sued. Just a theory.

    1. Federal education privacy laws (FERPA) now trumps Health care privacy laws (HIPPA) so once the school obtains information “voluntarily” from parents, this information is available as any part of the education record to “third parties” with an education interest. Perhaps, as you say, it is to keep doctors from getting sued if a child becomes violent. But this whole “if we can help just one child” mentality is becoming an excuse for nearly every encroachment and invasion of government into our lives. Most of us seem to agree that this type and amount of data seeking is unacceptable. Remnants of the Outcomes Based Education movement of the 90’s remain in PA’s education system which included plans for the schools to become more like community centers, addressing all of the child needs from education to healthcare, some ideas included having clinics become part of the schools. Privacy “rights” of the child trump parents rights to know what is going on. It is regrettable that there are parents who do not take care of their children and get them the proper medical attention, but these cases should be addressed on an individual basis, and not be forced on all parents. If parents choose to voluntarily provide this information to the state government, via their local shcools, so be it. But those of us who take offense and object to it should also be able to have our children educated in the schools we all fund with our taxpayer dollars without this harrassment. thanks for your input. These are troubled times all around.

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