Tuesday morning Kevin and I went to the local public elementary school to talk to the principal. We were on time and it was a busy day. Never fails, you are trying to be discreet and incognito and you run into someone you know!!! This person formerly worked with Kevin and she was hurrying in with food for a Teacher appreciation brunch/luncheon they were hosting. She asked if we were at the wrong school……………we gave no explanation………but it was awkward.
The principal is nice, but not really warm and engaging. I would prefer an elementary principal who seems more invested and interested in making a new family feel welcome. A friend I spoke to today said, well he doesn’t have to sell it, its’ a public school, he has to accept everyone. While that is true, I believe that his lack of warmth had an impact on my overall impression.
We sat at a table in his office, which was neat enough, but a bit cluttered, this isn’t critical, I know, but I’m trying to give you the complete picture. He had paper to make any notes and he could see that I came equipped with a full sheet of questions. One thing that did irritate me was the fact that on his white board was a note that read “Mrs. LeBeau called AGAIN”, it was clearly from last Friday. Come on wouldn’t you have taken that down?
I asked about the # of classes in 6th grade, and he told me that they team teach, in that there are 4 classes and 4 teachers and 2 teach English(reading writing etc) and SS, and one teaches math and one teaches science. So a student will have 3 teachers and they have a schedule they follow, with what they call activities mixed in. Activities are music, art, PE , Media Center, and Science Lab, each once a week. It was odd, he was trying to find a copy of the schedule and it was this copy of a notebook piece of paper, with a handwritten work up of the 4 teachers and what each teaches to whom each period. My husband uses and creates spreadsheets in his work, most of the day long, he’s an accountant and a Credit Union Controller, it was odd for both of us to see this sort of manual thing in this day. …………Ok, so I ask about accelerated classes and basically I learn there are none. Students that are tested into gifted are pulled out once a week and are sent to another school for separate work. Budget cuts are killing our schools.
There is no computer lab, well there is one, but they learn nothing in that area. He said to me, well honestly most kids know how to write a paper. I told him I was disagree with him in that many students know how to go to Word and type, but they know little of how to create a document that looks good and how to use the many tools that MS Office has to offer. The computer lab offers more reading and comprehension opportunities.
I was shocked at how few clubs or after school activities there are. They did not have an upper grade Odyssey of the Mind group.
The public schools participate in spelling bee, geography bee, and some math tournament, but no Speech or writing competitions.
We took a short tour, on my suggestion, he did not act like he wanted to give us the time to show us around. We went into the Media Center, where they were setting up for this teacher brunch and we ran into another friend, I’m sure they are all a twitter that we are considering putting Nick there…LOL! We saw the cafeteria and we went into a quad type area where the 6th grade is. The classes were fine in size, the kids looked bored out of their minds…………as my husband so aptly said…but hey they are kids.
Honestly I have been down in the dumps about this all day. I had such very high hopes. I was very disappointed. I don’t see any benefits in this school, over where Nick is now. They might lose funding for some activities like art and music, then what?? I was hoping there was more of an accelerated track, something more challenging, but it doesn’t sound like what I’d hoped for. The middle school is where more of that is available, but eek, waiting a year before that is not great.
Nick of course was thrilled. He wants to stay in his current school. Once again, this parenting thing is challenging!