Towamensing sixth grader concerned with field trip
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Devyn Hauser, a sixth-grade student at Towamensing Elementary, explains to Palmerton Area School Board on Tuesday that she, as well as a large majority of her classmates, would prefer to go on a field trip to the Medieval Times. Pictured next to Devyn is her mother, Lisa Hauser.
A decision to not have Towamensing Elementary's sixth grade class take its field trip to The Medieval Times has caused frustration among the class, as told by one student.
Devyn Hauser, a sixth-grader at Towamensing Elementary, told the school board on Tuesday that she and the majority of her classmates would like to visit The Medieval Times on their field trip in the spring.
"My concern is that we have been told we are not allowed to go to The Medieval Times for our field trip, a field trip that the Towamensing sixth grade has gone to for at least the last seven years," Devyn said. "I understand [Superintendent] Mrs. [Carol] Boyce would like both elementary schools to do the same field trips, but I feel it is unfair for our class to not be able to do a field trip that has become a tradition."
Devyn added "I feel there is no real good reason why we can't go there. The Medieval Times is a very educational experience, and is within the travel limitations set by the school district."
"I have looked forward to this field trip since first grade," she said. "The parents of Towamensing PTO work very hard raising money for this field trip, and all the other field trips at our school."
Devyn told the board "I believe most of the parents have also been looking forward to this field trip."
"I respectfully ask you, the school board members, to seriously reconsider letting the Towamensing sixth grade class go on their field trip to Medieval Times," she said. "My opinion is the same as a large majority of my fellow classmates, and I am here as the representative of that majority."
Devyn then asked the board to give her a good reason why her class cannot go on the field trip.
Director Sherry Haas said she wanted it made clear the field trip was not a matter the board voted on.
Devyn's mother, Lisa Hauser, told the board she was there to support her daughter.
"We are raising money to do this," Lisa Hauser said. "Why should they not be able to go there."
Boyce told Hauser the destination for the field trip was an administrative team decision with input from the teachers and the Towamensing P.T.O.
"It was a compromise between the two elementary principals and the superintendent," Boyce said. "All of the field trips need to connect directly to the Pennsylvania State Standards."
Board President Barry Scherer attempted to address the situation.
"The Medieval Times does not meet that standard," Scherer said. "This is not new; this was not just sprung on them."
Mary Brumbach, principal of S.S. Palmer Elementary/Parkside Elementary, said that last year, students from the Palmer building attended an Iron Pigs game on their field trip.
"The stadium was filled with kids," Brumbach said. "It was so successful the first year that we continued it."
However, Lisa Hauser contended that "the vast majority of students would rather go to The Medieval Times."
"The parents should have some kind of [say in the matter]," she said. "We're the ones raising the money to send them there."
Boyce then told Hauser "there's been no mandate that they attend the Iron Pigs."
Reached after the meeting, Christine Steigerwalt, principal of Towamensing Elementary, told the TIMES NEWS that no decision has been made as to where Towamensing's sixth grade class will go on their field trip.
"We're still dialoguing," Steigerwalt said. "Among the choices, and they are not limited to, are the Franklin Institute, Gettysburg, and Philadelphia."
Steigerwalt said there will be dialogue between the field trip chairperson, president of the PTO, several sixth grade parents, herself, and a teacher or two.
After the meeting, Devyn told the TIMES NEWS she planned to look for different places for her class to go on their field trip.