Sunday, February 25, 2007

Letter to Belmont High administration

The following letter was written by Sara Oaklander and emailed to BHS administration:

Dear Mr. Harvey, Mr. Millington, and Mr. Richards:

I am contacting you on behalf of a group of parents of BHS students. Here is the story.

Last week, nearly 60 members of the First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist youth group – along with ten chaperones – traveled to San Antonio, Texas for a week of community service. They were scheduled to return home on Saturday. A small group of kids and chaperones were on a flight through Detroit Boston on Saturday night. The rest arrived in Chicago only to find that their flight to Boston had been cancelled. To make a (very) long story short, the group is still stuck in Chicago and they are not scheduled to return to Boston until Tuesday midday. I am attaching a list of the BHS students – by grade – who were on this trip. Six of them are noted as having returned. It is possible that there are a couple of students included on this list who do not attend BHS and I apologize for any confusion that may cause. As parents, we are tremendously appreciative of the rich and expansive experience our kids had while in San Antonio, and proud of the community service they performed while there. We are also tremendously relieved to know our kids are safe in Chicago with their chaperones, continuing their adventure in unexpected ways! We also eagerly anticipate their arrival home on Tuesday. In the meantime, we are concerned that they will be missing two days of school. The purpose of this message is to:

1) Inform you that these students will be absent on Monday and Tuesday. While most of the parents will likely call their kids in as absent on Monday and Tuesday, it is possible that some may overlook the need to do this. By sending you this list we hope to avoid any unexcused absences appearing on these students’ records.

2) Seek your assistance with ensuring that all teachers at BHS are informed that 43 of your students are in this predicament. We hope and trust that we can count on the cooperation and assistance of all of the teachers involved with regard to catching these students up on assignments, exams, and anything else they miss as a result of being absent on Monday and Tuesday.

3) Make sure that you are aware that a number of students involved in this adventure are also part of the cast and crew of Chess. Although they will have to miss school on Tuesday, I imagine most – if not all – of them will be attending Tuesday’s dress rehearsal. They will already have missed rehearsals on Sunday and Monday and with the show opening on Thursday, we know they will be anxious to catch up with the rest of the cast and crew with regard to preparations for the show and we trust they will not be prevented from doing so.

On behalf of all of the parents, please accept my appreciation for your responsiveness to this unusual situation. If you require confirmation of any of this from the church, please contact Dan Glenn, Acting Director of Religious Education, or on his cell phone # is 617-875-1402.

Many thanks,

Sara Oaklander
(Michael Allen’s mother)

617-504-3369 (best daytime number)

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