School is coming up for us and I have been very excited for both the kids to start. Emma will be going into an amazing Young 5’s program at a great Charter School. (For those that have never heard about Charter schools, read here) We had our new parent orientation last night and I was so impressed with so much about the school. As they explained more and more about their policies and beliefs, I truly realized why there was such a demand to get into the school. Emma had been fortunate and drawn #2 on the waiting list during the lottery this spring. After a week, she had been accepted. There are about 200 kids waiting to get into the school still!
Her being accepted took a huge weight off my shoulders. The public school that she would be attending here was not even an option. While Dan & I attended school in the very same school district all of our lives, it was really different then. The school district stood apart for trying to teach excellence to kids and a better than average education was expected. Now, for what ever reasons, they have chosen to dumb it down. The old days of ‘here is our rules and everyone is expected to follow them’ have been replaced with excuses for why a child acts aggressively instead of trying to correct him. The curriculum has been slowed down so that the schools can focus hard on passing tests instead of going beyond. It’s sad to see what has happened to the school system that we both thought highly of, but it is what it is and we have to choose the best schools available for our kids.
I was very happy to hear the principal of the Charter talk last night about the school having a ‘we don’t do that here’ policy. Meaning, other schools might accept that behavior, dress, language but not here. Hooray for that! I’m so glad to hear that a school out there still has some standards that they are not willing to bend. He talked about how tardiness is completely unacceptable and that after the 4th tardy, a student will be suspended. Zang! That’s serious but real. How many adults do you know (I can think of a few right off the top of my head) that are late ALL the time? How maddening is that? Not to mention that if you want to be employed someday, you had better figure out how to be on time. One of Dan’s biggest pet peeves is lateness so if he wasn’t madly in love with the school before, I know he is now! The principal also showed their test scores and how even though the state mandates that they teach this amount of curriculum, they go a lot further because they don’t want to have average kids or be an average school. Their test scores were about 20% higher than the other public schools on all the subjects which was just amazing. I left there feeling very good and secure in our decision to have Emma attend (and then Gerrit next year).
So that was the warm fuzzy of getting ready for school. The cold pricklies came when Gerrit’spreschool called to ask my opinion about a scheduling change. In the past, they have only offered AM classes. Because of that, I only opted for AM school for Emma. I didn’t want to be driving to and from schools all day long and the kids never able to see each other. But now the preschool is considering having a PM class. Apparently, one of the 3 year old teachers has opted not to come back and they are trying to do some shuffling to figure it out. The receptionist that I talked to yesterday told me that they had toyed with the idea of combining the 3 year old and 4 year old classes together. Hold up… what? School starts in 2 weeks for Gerrit. I filled out an application and gave them a non-refundable fee in the spring based on the fact that they offered a 4 year old class. The one that Emma had just finished. Not to have him crammed into a class with kids a year younger than him. At that age, they have a lot different abilities and the teachers can’t focus on letters & numbers as much if there are much younger kids in the same classroom.
Dan & I talked about it last night and we’re a little peeved. It’s kind of late in the game to be pulling this kind of stunt. If parents don’t like it, what are their options for another preschool? All of the other good ones will be filled and not to mention we’ve already paid a non-refundable fee. We’re paying a substantial amount of money for him to go there and if we don’t feel like he’s getting the education he should be, I don’t think he should go there. But then what do we do? We’re leaving tomorrow for 8 days, how am I supposed to find a different preschool and get all the paperwork to them when I’m 2 hours away, in a cottage with no internet access and barely any phone reception? I have a call into the director today and I’m waiting to hear back from her. I’m trying not to get too mad until I hear from her what their ‘official’ decision is. I can’t believe they are doing this at the last minute. It makes disappointed in the school. The old director retired about half way into the school year last year and I’m wondering if this ‘new direction’ is the brain child of the new director.
I guess I just wait to hear back from her. Grumpily.