Deep Springs Elementary principal says note about bathroom schedule was inaccurate

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comApril 17, 2014 

LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

A note sent home with about 75 kindergartners at Lexington's Deep Springs Elementary regarding a new schedule for taking groups of kids to the bathroom was inaccurate and gave the wrong impression, principal Adam Kirk said Thursday.

"It was a case of misunderstanding with our kindergarten teachers," Kirk said.

The note sent Wednesday said: "Bathroom Reminder!!! Due to our building only having one bathroom for the school to share, our class will only be able to go to the bathroom at our scheduled times listed below. It may be a good idea to keep an extra change of clothes in your child's backpack in case of an accident. Thanks for your support."

The times given for the bathroom schedule were 8:40 a.m., 11:05 a.m. and noon.

School staff spent Thursday morning explaining the error to parents, who Kirk said were understanding once they received clarification.

"The tone of the letter insinuated that we would not allow kids to go to the restroom except for these three times, and that's certainly not the case," Kirk said. "Kids can use the restroom whenever they ask, but we do have to have a schedule for whole classrooms to go and use the restroom just for the safety of children and for crowd control in the hallway."

Kirk said that because of renovations, the school is short one set of boy/girl bathrooms in the main building until August. The school initiated a schedule last week to take groups of students to the bathroom at specific times, while letting students go individually.

The note should have indicated that there are ample bathrooms and opportunities to use them, he said.

Kirk said students in kindergarten classes and fourth- and fifth-graders are currently using a set of boy/girl bathrooms inside the building. First- through third-graders in portable classrooms outside the school building use a set of bathrooms in the portables. A unisex bathroom is available in the gymnasium, Kirk said.

By August, the school of about 555 students will have another set of bathrooms inside the building, he said. The renovations are expected to last through February 2015.

Although they were initiated just last week at Deep Springs, restroom schedules "are a very common practice, even for schools that don't have renovations, just for crowd control," Kirk said.

Kirk said language in the note about children needing an extra set of clothes also was a mistake. He said the school's family resource staff had previously asked for clothing donations should students get muddy or need to change clothes. He said a change of clothes was not needed because of the new bathroom schedule.

Meanwhile, Deep Springs parent Kyra Fobear said the note made her "concerned about my child getting a bladder infection or having the embarrassment of soiling herself in front of classmates."

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter: @vhspears.

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