Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Decisions! Decisions!

I have talked to many parents who are still without a school--or who aren't sure if they should stick with their current school. Many of these parents have big decisions to make. If I get my wait pool school should I pull my kid out of his current kindergarten? Should we wait another year and try for our dream private? Should we move to Piedmont? If you're in the midst of a big decision, feel free to email your dilemma to thesfkfiles@gmail.com and I can post it on the site. And then others can offer up advice. Please keep the details of your dilemma as anonymous as possible; I won't be including names. Thanks!

13 comments:

  1. I have a dilemma:

    We started our son off in our assigned school, which he now loves! It is a trek. It is a reading first school, but there is a language component. He loves the language! The school is sweet and the other parents seem very nice and involved. The principal is great. We have no aftercare, which will be a stretch this year, but fine, but our prospects will not improve in future years when it will be difficult because I will want to work more hours. The instruction (aside from the language instruction) is a bit on the rote side, and not what we were looking for. But the language is great.

    Our waitpool school was our 5th choice in Round I. It is not a school we loved. We've heard mixed things about the principal and the atmosphere is a bit sterile. But we know wonderful families there, many neighbors are there and the teachers are terrific. The school has the creative components we were looking for. There is an after school language option but I have no idea of the quality. We can WALK there and our neighbors have already offered to pick up our son there when I can't.

    We don't know if we'll get the call, but if we do, we have no idea what we'll do. One thing is for sure: my son will not be happy about the idea of moving at this point!

    Any advice?

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  2. hmmm...that's a tough one. It seems like both you and your son really like the first school but there are logistical problems. The second one is just so-so but way more convenient.

    My gut would be to stay put (at least for this year) and to try to make the school you are in work since you are not in love with the closer school. I say this because it sounds like you are trying to talk yourself into the closer school. Is there any way you could find some sort of aftercare program that will work for you or maybe find some sort of carpool situation with other families so you don't have to drive all the time?

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  3. Just to add to that: Perhaps you can find an after school program that has some creative components that you are looking for which might balance out the "rote"ness of the instruction.

    These decisions somehow do have a way of working themselves out--hopefully the answer will seem really obvious to you soon. Good luck!

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  4. Actually, we feel so-so about both schools (if we truly loved the school we're in, we'd make it work). Also, if this makes any sense, we feel excited about both schools. In our current school, I love the language and the families, the homey environment and the K teachers, but am not sure about future grades or the richness of the academics that are less rote. But it's really hard to tell about those things, and they could turn out fine.

    It feels like a bit of self-convincing either way, and a crapshoot.

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  5. Yeah, I understand what you're saying.
    I guess I'm less inclined to take risks. I'd probably stay put where you are since your son is happy rather than start over again facing the unknown. Next year ( if you can stomach it) maybe then try for a transfer to your 1st choice/ dream school for 1st grade?

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  6. Ok, I have a dilemma too. We got into a transitional K program about a week ago. Several kids from my daughter's preschool are going there, and I know she'd be happy there and probably thrive, grow in confidence, etc. She's a little on the young side, but not too much (September). We've put the deposit down. Our waitpool school is a nice neighborhood school that could turn into a great neighborhood school -- it seems to have a new influx of parent energy and a great proactive principal. I ironically went to EPC today to withdraw our name from the waitpool, when they told me there is a spot available. I told them I needed 24 hours to think it over and would come back tomorrow if we decided yes (and see if it's still available ...)

    I'm not sure what to do. Financially, swinging TK will be so hard for us. And while I think my daughter is a little immature for kindergarten, i don't think she's outrageously unready for it. But at her school they have all been talking about their new TK school and are excited to be going. She's very happy about it. When I tried testing the waters and said, oh, well you know, i heard about this other school, which sounds nice too and we could go look at it, she gets really upset and says she doesn't want to go to kindergarten; she wants to go to the TK with all her friends. Is this a normal reaction to the uncertainty I'm now throwing at her? Other people who switched kids during the 10-day count, how did your children react? I guess I just feel sad too because I read about all these confident happy kids going off to kindergarten -- kids who've had time to get used to the idea of where they're going to school, and have met other kids through picnics, etc -- and then I see my child and how anxious she seems. But maybe that will dissipate once she makes the switch?

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  7. Ok, I have a dilemma too. We got into a transitional K program about a week ago. Several kids from my daughter's preschool are going there, and I know she'd be happy there and probably thrive, grow in confidence, etc. She's a little on the young side, but not too much (September). We've put the deposit down. Our waitpool school is a nice neighborhood school that could turn into a great neighborhood school -- it seems to have a new influx of parent energy and a great proactive principal. I ironically went to EPC today to withdraw our name from the waitpool, when they told me there is a spot available. I told them I needed 24 hours to think it over and would come back tomorrow if we decided yes (and see if it's still available ...)

    I'm not sure what to do. Financially, swinging TK will be so hard for us. And while I think my daughter is a little immature for kindergarten, i don't think she's outrageously unready for it. But at her school they have all been talking about their new TK school and are excited to be going. She's very happy about it. When I tried testing the waters and said, oh, well you know, i heard about this other school, which sounds nice too and we could go look at it, she gets really upset and says she doesn't want to go to kindergarten; she wants to go to the TK with all her friends. Is this a normal reaction to the uncertainty I'm now throwing at her? Other people who switched kids during the 10-day count, how did your children react? I guess I just feel sad too because I read about all these confident happy kids going off to kindergarten -- kids who've had time to get used to the idea of where they're going to school, and have met other kids through picnics, etc -- and then I see my child and how anxious she seems. But maybe that will dissipate once she makes the switch?

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  8. Having a tough time at our assigned school (not one of our choices). My child is getting picked on repeatedly and he is visibly saddened every day. Note, he starts out super eager...but the problem seems to be a tight group of kids who went to preschool together and have siblings at the school already.

    We are not in the top tier of the waitpool and there are quite a few ahead of us for our top pick.

    My husband and I are totally stressed out as we feel we are not doing everything we can do for our child - who is now seeming more and more insecure every day.

    My question, should I change waitpool choice at this point or wait for a miracle for us to be chosen? Soooo torn and sooo unhappy.

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  9. This story is so sad. Poor little guy. I'd change wait pools to a school that you have a better chance at that could work for you. I'd even look into privates/parochials if there's any openings...

    We had friends that pulled their daughter after the 1st week because she was tormented and bullied daily at her new Kindergarten-both during school and in the aftercare program by some older kids. She was even ridiculed by her K teacher! They begged a nearby private that they liked to take her and they got in. They even got a decent financial aid package.

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  10. 8:49 -- I hope things work out for your son.... and this becomes a happier experience for him and you and your husband.

    Is it possible for either you or your husband to go to the school for a bit to observe what is going on?

    If you decide to change your waitpool, will you be able to get a preliminary updated list at EPC on Friday before you make your choice? With all the switching going on, you may have moved up on your list, and if you pick another school but others have done so too, you may be back in the same boat.

    Wishing you the best.

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  11. Thank you for your advice.
    I actually did peek the other day at recess. One word to describe= CHAOS!

    I am doubting my decision that it was better to have him in something over having him in nothing. Don't know how not having him in a school would affect him..he is beyond ready..but is putting him into a situation that I do not agree with - harming him more?

    I am waiting for info from one of the EPC counselors re:numbers shifting etc. I realize next Tues&Wed. are big days for movement..but like I said - we are in a lower tier...

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  12. I'm so sorry. Sounds terrible. Do you mind posting what school?

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  13. Yes, as this is anonymous and it is only one person's experience, it would be very helpful to have the name of the school. Thanks and best of luck -it sounds like a very tough situation for your family.

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