Hi, I am June, and my daughter Maddie will be starting kindergarten somewhere next fall. This means, that after two years of reading this blog and following a few newsgroups about the kindergarten process I am now beginning the journey myself. How do I feel? Anxious! I am not one who does well with uncertainty, does not like feeling out of control, and that is the only thing I can feel in this position. How do I deal with this anxiety? I become hyper organized – I make lists and spreadsheets, absorb every bit of information I can, try to control what little I can control. I am sure you will see bits of this in my posts as I navigate through this process.
A little about me: I am mom to Maddie, 4 and Noah 2. I have lived off and on in San Francisco since I was born – attending Sherman in the early 1980s before my parents moved us to the burbs; my mother and her parents were all born and raised here too. I guess you could say this city is in my blood, and I fully hope to raise my children here. The thought that this school issue may force me to leave the city I love terrifies me. My husband, Mathias, was born and raised in Denmark. I think he is even more terrified then I am, since the schooling system here in general is already foreign to him, and then the lottery?!? I am trying to remain calm for his sake, and to keep him from just moving us all back to Denmark (where I lived for 5 years and Maddie for the first 18 months of her life). We currently live in a rented flat in the Richmond, and while I would say we are comfortably middle class, we certainly do not have an extra $20,000 a year for private schools just lying around.
We are looking at only public schools for Maddie. For a variety of reasons - both economic and ideological - we are not looking at either private or parochial schools. Since we live in the Richmond all the schools on our touring list are on the west side of the city. My children are already bilingual, being raised with English and Danish so we are not interested in any immersion programs. I am looking for a school that feels right, that I can see my children going off to every morning. I want diversity, culturally and socio-economically. I want a nice parent community, and a place where I will also feel like I can contribute. Is that too much? Possibly. Does it even matter in the end due to the lottery? Probably not – but It will factor at least in the schools I choose to list.
So welcome to my journey, I am happy to know at least I will not be on it alone.