Can I survive another 10 weeks of obsession?

Mr J. will be entering kindergarten next September.  Were I just some mother who believed all education was created equal, I would happily send him to the cute little public school right in the center of our town, overlooking a very picturesque scene expected in a New England town.  After all, we chose this town to live in because of it’s very good public school system.  But I’m not that mother, and now I’m trying not to send Mr J. there. Weird?  Maybe, but when we bought this house in this town, we did not realize that there is more than one public school option available to our children.

While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the cute little public New England elementary school (did I mention it has ivy growing up the side of the building very reminiscent of a Harvard building? Well it does!), my husband and I can’t help but think that another school might be better for Mr J.  It is a few minutes farther away, and I would have to drive my own kid (no school bus–hopefully that is a deterrent to other parents–lazy parents–not you), and my kid would most likely become friends with children from other towns, which means I would have to drive farther for playdates, and the kids are “stuck” there from K to 12th grades and what respectable 16 yr old wants to go to school with a 5 yr old?, but I digress.  It certainly has it’s share of negatives, but it also has some really wonderful positives!!!!

A few Positives:

  • the kindy classes each have a max of 20 children, plus one teacher and one aide (that’s 2 adults for 20 kids!!!!!)
  • the upper classes have mixed grades in one classroom:  1st grade/2nd grade, 3rd & 4th grade, etc.  the younger kids “learn” from the older children–but under the guidance of the teachers of course! (my tax money has to be used for something).  Similar of the Montessori Method– which is another deterrent for some folks 🙂
  • Spanish is taught as a second language beginning in kindergarten!!
  • community service is part of the curriculum–building compassionate kids
  • there are kids from different socio-economic and racial backgrounds–another deterrent for some!
  • the upper grades are SMALL enabling teachers and students to work closely together
  • applying to and being accepted to a college or university is a REQUIREMENT to graduate!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • parent involvement/volunteerism is expected!!!!!!!—another deterrent!!!!!!!

Did you notice I like to highlight the possible deterrents while I point out the positives?  Am I doing it to be mean?  NO!!!  It’s because so many parents would like to see their children in this school, that there are more students trying to enroll than there are spots for!!!!!  So I need to showcase the negatives.  What? Yes, because of this, the only way to get your child in (if you still want to after all the terrible things about it) is to participate in a LOTTERY. First, you must fill out an application, sign another form, include a copy of your child’s birth certificate, and write a letter explaining why you want your child to attend, and include what you believe to be his/her learning style, and what you (the parent) can contribute to the school. Still interested?  Except that’s not even the best part.  The BEST part is that after you do all of that and mail it all to the school (if you’re like me: via CERTIFIED mail, and then call them a week later to reconfirm that they received it and logged your child in, only to which the next day you get a postcard in the mail confirming that they really really did indeed receive the enrollment packet, but it’s OK because now you know the secretary’s name is Pam) you get to wait WEEKS–months actually until the day of the lottery.  Can you believe it?  It really separates the women from the girls.  Whew!

Therefore, if you visit this school and fall in love with the kindergarten teacher and wish the principal was your neighbor, and think the classrooms look like the best thing this side of the childrens dept. at IKEA, just keep in mind that it has scored lower in it’s test scores than the other public school you can send your child to.  XOXO!

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One Response to “Can I survive another 10 weeks of obsession?”

  1. Catherine Says:

    I hear ya sister.

    Elliot starts school next September. Neighborhood school is nice, but crowded. I have filled out an application for an “options” school, complete lottery. He’s on the waitlist for a district charter – I put him & Audrey on there 2 years ago. I’m stalking some people opening a new charter next year.

    And then I get to rinse and repeat for Audrey.

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