#1. I would tell the folks in charge, that based on your experience, parents
are more willing to send out and purchase cards that have their children's
work on them (perhaps choose one card design per grade level to include more
children). Tell them that the children have worked so hard and will be so
disappointed (their children included). IF they still do not want to go with the
children's work, then go ahead, have them do the work, then make each child a
"set" of cards by copying their work on to card stock. I know, extra work for
you, but then each child will have cards to take home.
#2. I would say, wish I could help, but I can't have the children
disappointed any further.
That will have them think twice about asking the children do work. As you
are in a private school it is very different. But I do not do any competiton or
have the children design anything for PTA (not t-shirts, not cards, not
posters). My first 2 years I had parents coming to me daily wanting me or the
children to do some artwork for this that or the other event. They don't have the
time, nor do I. I am very choosy (pardon my spelling) about extra projects
I take on these days.
I don't know if this helps. I would definately go to your
principal/headmaster and explain the situation and get advice first. Also, always phrase it as
"how disappointed the children are by not having their work considered "good
enough" to use. Eventhough you don't use those words, they will internalize
that. This is another reason I do not have students do this kind of work.
Last but not least, if the parents and principal insist it be done, I do it
myself. I just tell them the children do not have time, but I will do
something. If they want student work, I tell them we don't have class time to do it
and they usually send home a flier asking for students to submit work done on
their own time. It is usually of poor quality but at least I did not have to
be responsible for it!