Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Changing Schools

My daughter was finally selected in the lottery for one of our local charter schools. We placed her on both lists before she entered kindergarten and had hoped to be pulled then, but it was not to be. Upon receiving the email my husband and were quite excited. We really like the way things are taught at the charter school and the depth at which they are taught. So we decide to go ahead and begin the process.

The first step was our daughter had to take an assessment test. I must admit I was nervous as to whether or not my daughter would meet their "standards" for second grade. Don't get me wrong, my daughter is bright, but as a parent you often wonder, it is just because I am her mom that I think she is so smart? Anyway, I think I was more stressed out about the test than she was. I did the usual mom thing and said just do the best you can do and that is all you can do. It was quite interesting to hear the other moms talk while we waited for the students to come back from testing. One mom was a little upset that the kids went back without the parents. Other moms were trying to figure out who knew what the test was like and how long it should take the students. It was almost comical. All these moms worried, worried that their child would not make the cut. I have to admit I was right with them, but I'm a silent worrier.

As the kids came out one by one the questioning began. So how did it go? Do you think you did well? Always follow up by "As long as you did your best that is all that matters." One of the staff members walked each child to their parents and informed them they would be notified in a few days of the test results. When my daughter came out I of course proceeded with the same line of questioning followed up by the all you can do is your best statement and we headed home. I was worried about it until I finally got an email from the school inviting us back to a meeting. I was a little confused by this email as it said this was a group setting where we would discuss test scores and we would receive and enrollment package. When I read the email to my husband he said, "Well, she's in." But I wasn't convinced. It didn't say that anywhere in the email and I was trying to figure out how they would discuss test results in a group. So I went to the meeting still wondering what the end result would be and my husband went to the meeting ready to fill out enrollment papers.

When we got to the meeting they gave a folder. I immediately "freaked out" because all the other kids folders I could see were like 3x's the size of ours. Does that mean we aren't in? Of course I jumped to all of these conclusions before even opening the folder. However, upon opening the folder I discovered that she was reading at nearly a grade level higher than the grade she is going into and she had passed the math assessment. SO we were in! As the meeting went along we learned about the schools philosophy, the dress code, and the next steps in the process, which were as my husband expected to fill out and complete enrollment papers. He was right, I must admit.

My daughter was excited while we were at the school, but when we got in the car she realized she would have to leave her friends and then all heck broke loose. First let me tell you my daughter is the most social being I have ever met. She makes friends in a heartbeat. We go to the gym for an hour and she has 3 new friends that we need phone numbers for. After some reassurance, she was ready for the change.

After our experience earlier this year with our daughter’s first teacher, I am very ready to move her to a school that is more focused on education. I realize this does not mean that we may not get another bad teacher, but I feel that the likelihood is less. We shall see. As parents we only do what we think is best and in the end hope we were at least close to being right.