Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dad, I need a note for school

Could you send a permission slip for my field trip?

With three kids in school(I had four but my oldest is in now in college), it seems that I am always getting some request for a note. It's always when I am trying to drink my morning coffee. I fiddle around trying to find a pad, find a good pen, and so forth all while interrogating my kids on the reason for the note. As we have been trying to improve our processes at home, I found this chore takes longer than I expect and uses more paper than what was really needed.

  • Every note was hand written.
  • Usually it was written in a short time because the kids would remember at the last minute.
  • Due to the time constraint, quality of the content and penmanship was lacking.
  • Used a large piece of paper that was mostly blank.

The elegant solution:

A pre-printed form with every reason I need.

The top of the form has my wife and my address, phone, and contact information.
The second line has the type of absenses(absence, permission, etc) and I simple circle the one I need.
Line three has all 4 kids list and I circle the correct name
The reason the child needs a note.
Signature and date.


  • I can crank out a note in about 30 seconds versus a couple minutes.
  • Two notes can fit on one 8.5" X 11" so I am using less paper than before.
  • If the kids forget to tell me the night before, I can get one done fast.
  • The note from home process is now ordered, efficient, and better quality.
  • This improvement has made me less stressed in the morning.

I have written several of these since I created the form. My daughter told me that she feels guilty turning in this new form because she is afraid that the school with think she is forging these notes. Well, I guess that's the consequence of interrupting my morning coffee too many times.

Dan Lafever, Kaizeneer

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