Monday’s Child: Back to School
It’s that time again! The kids will start back to school tomorrow. Mia will be a 3rd grader and Gus will be a 2nd grader. They both seem excited and ready for a new year. I know that I am about ready for a schedule again myself. As much as I’ve loved the freedom of summer and having a lot of time with them, I’m ready to have my office and my work hours back to myself for awhile!
I made a BIG decision last week. Because of the oddities of the old Bush-era No Child Left Behind, our very good neighborhood school was forced to offer school choice to all its student. DFE truly is a good school, but it’s held a few significant drawbacks for me and the kids. First, it’s huge. There are 800+ elementary students in the school. Remember, we moved here from a small community, so this was a shock to our systems. Second, while it is very close to our home, the school is a good 35+ minutes from my church (and many days much more than that when traffic snarls, which is too often for my taste). That means that the kids have to stay in after school care until almost 6:00 every day, which translates into less than three waking hours together at home during the school week. Finally, something about the school community is unwelcoming to newcomers. I’ve attended a number of PTA events at the school for the past two years. At every event, without fail, no one except for the kids’ teachers has ever spoken a word to me. Seriously. Not. a. word.
So when I researched our two new school choice options, I discovered that one of the options was attractive. It’s a smaller school – less than 450 students. It’s closer to the church – only a 15-20 minute drive. And when we toured the school we were overwhelmed with friendliness from everyone. From the principal, to the guidance counselor, to every teacher we met, to the front office staff, to the custodian – everyone was welcoming. All of these things outweigh for me the extra miles between the house and the school. After a lot of thought, a lot of prayer, and a number of phone calls/texts with my brother and his wife (who happens to be a superior educator), I made the decision to make the transfer.
A new school year. A new school. New opportunities. New friends. Exciting times!