School Daze

On Saturday, the family attended an event designed to give parents and children a glimpse of what our local schools have to offer. This was especially interesting since, believe it or not, The Kid will be starting kindergarten this September. Let me get “Sunrise, Sunset” in my iTunes queue…

We went to the event knowing exactly which schools, based on research and recommendations of neighbors and friends, to look into. And man, were we ever thrown for a loop. Although we submitted applications to all of the ones we were considering (as “school of choice”), here’s my assessment of a few in particular; order notwithstanding.

School A: This was THE school we had been interested in and apparently so was everybody else as the representative was swamped with questions. While definitely a high-achieving school with a wide curriculum, the rep seemed to be more set on raising the school’s test scores and winning ribbons, awards, and accolades rather than focusing on what the student’s needs were. In short, The Kid would only be used as a statistic at that school, much in the same way my high school counselor tried to push me into attending UCLA because they “had a low rate of Hispanic students.” Like my counselor’s comments over 20 years ago I didn’t care too much for that, despite the fact that The Kid met their kindergarten criteria already.

School B: This is The Kid’s home school, meaning the one we wouldn’t have to apply for. He would just go there automatically and after seeing what they offered, I’m glad we have a choice to send him elsewhere. I told Ann that the school, named for an American revolutionary figure, seemed too intent on teaching every part of American history through plays rather than reading and writing. They were showing a video of one performance; it was like High School Musical: The Revolutionary War Years or School House Rock LIVE but with retarded kids. (Wait, isn’t that redundant?) We already had a somewhat negative impression of the school based on what we’d heard from others but when Ann shed some knowledge on me after we got home, I was livid.

Turns out the representative—she could have been the principal for all I know—told Ann that they had two programs and she needed to decide on which to place The Kid in: the standard English program or 90% Spanish program.

To quote the parking attendant from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “What country do you think this is?” What was this comment based on? I didn’t even turn in an application—all of which stated “English only” as the language spoken at home—and here she is assuming that because me and The Kid are darker than Ann, he needed to be in the 90% Spanish program? Fuckin’ nuts to you, lady!

Now don’t get me wrong on this one, people. I do think that learning and knowing Spanish is definitely beneficial to anybody. But it was the fact that, based on my and The Kid’s appearance, she assumed we spoke Spanish at home. That is what pissed me off. Haven’t we gotten past that point in this great country we live in? Apparently not.

I later spoke to my mom, a former teacher’s aide, about this and she told me that the more kids they get for the Spanish program, the more money the school gets—presumably for more lame performances of American history lessons. They are now last on our list.

School C: Was out of applications and one of the reps didn’t at all seem excited to get ours, even if we did have one filled out. So fuck you, too.

School D: It was a pleasant surprise to come across School D, one that we had never heard of because of their location in Lakewood (although they are in the Long Beach School District). The principal chatted with all of us for a long time, and the school offers an outstanding curriculum including having a garden for students to tend and get hands-on lessons in science and biology. And another plus: it’s close to home. This one could be a winner.

School E: After speaking with the reps for this school, we came to find out that The Kid’s teacher sent all of her kids there and the principal knows them all. In fact quite a few kids from The Kid’s preschool end up going there, so this could be good as well. And like School D, it’s close and offers great programs.

To couple all of this madness at the event, it was raining when we left and the gym it was being held in was packed with people and booths. Not to mention, the heat in the gym was running all morning because it was cold when they opened the doors. Combine that heat with a large crowd of people and you get even more heat so by the time we spoke to the last school, we were ready to get some ice cream and go swimming because we were about ready to die of heat exhaustion.

That’s pretty much the weekend. Sunday was Laundry and Yardwork Day so not much to say about that. And once again, I’m fighting off a sinus infection—blecch! The good news is that the good doctor prescribed some medications so I will start to take them once I get home. While I feel better as of now, I’m sure the drugs will make it all go away even faster.

And oh, in case you’re wondering why our son is now referred to as “The Kid,” here you go:

There is a certain (and most definitely sad) missing child/suspected murder case in the media these days, and the last name of the mother and her victim daughter also happens to be The Kid’s first name. As a result, Ye Olde Blogge is getting hits based on searches of that name and frankly, it creeps me out and those are hits I’d rather not get.

So moving from this point, he will be called The Kid for blog purposes. I may go back in time and also change all instances of his name in previous posts but for now on, he will be The Kid (or even TK).

Hope this clears things up and that you’re not too confused 🙂

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