School Changes Ahead

May 7, 2010 Uncategorized 16

We are looking at big changes for Nick this fall.  After much thought, prayer, deliberation, conversations and meetings we have decided to move Nick to a public school this fall.
My husband Kevin, our daughters and Nick have all attended St. Teresa Catholic School.  Kevin and the girls graduated in 8th grade and moved to high school.  This had been our plan with Nick too.  Nick though is a different kind of student.  I believe that a small school environment is wonderful, but what we have seen in 13 years is that the students that do their absolute best there are the ones that are in the middle of the pack.  The students have a slightly more rigorous curriculum than the public schools basic offerings.  The lack of special needs attention is seen by students who need extra help, and by those that are not challenged enough.  While my girls struggled a bit in early grades with reading and comprehension they were given an IEP and were able to succeed beyond our expectations, by 7th and 8th grade they were no longer using their accomodations and so the plan was dropped unless a need was seen. We were lucky.
Nick’s needs are the opposite, he is very bright and bores easily.
Our public middle school has a program similar to a Pre-AP program that will allow Nick to be in more advanced classes.  He will be with the same 20 or so students for his core classes and then with others for classes like PE, art, Spanish, etc.  We were thrilled he was accepted into the program after a review of his grades and standardized test scores.
This was hard to decide.  History and tradition and the status quo are almost always the easier path to take. I cried at times thinking of the things he would miss, but those were emotional things, not the things that would move Nick ahead in his education.  Many friends have questioned us and shared their worries about a more diverse population and culture Nick will experience in public school.  This sort of snobbish attitude does not sit well with me.  I’m a product of public education, I believe I turned out well.  As it is, Nick will be more challenged and able to take higher level classes earlier in public school.  We do not live in an area with many private or parochial schools, but we do  have good public schools and we also have schools of choice with even higher academic programs.  We’ve chosen local because Nick knows other students, it’s in our neighborhood, and we like that familiarity.  Please understand, I loved our school, it gave us many god things.  I love choice in education, and I wish it were always more affordable for all to make the choices we were able to make. 
Nick is very excited.  He is applying to be part of the yearbook staff.  There are so many classes he can be involved in, clubs and activities too.
So we’re saying good bye to the old school, semi heavy hearted, but knowing the next 6 years until graduation will be very rewarding for Nick too.

16 Responses to “School Changes Ahead”

  1. Beth

    Bravo! Public School Rocks! I am just being silly…but ya know I think it is a good decision!

  2. Casey

    I think you made a good decision. I think what type of schooling your do for your children is dependent on what each child needs. I wanted to homeschool but it isn’t what was best for my oldest or my second oldest so they attend public school and are top of their class. No one should judge what type of schooling parents choose for their kids. We get judged a lot because we don’t homeschool or send our kids to a Christian school. I think you made a wise choice based on Nick’s needs

  3. mbkatc230

    Bravo to you for being insightful enough to understand which school would be best for your son. Having access to pre-ap classes in middle school is an amazing perk. I think every child has individual educational needs. Some do well in a home school environment, but many do not. Our daughter went to the public schools here and did very well and received a very good education. And she was able to take AP tests and started college with 16 credits under her belt, which was a huge help with the tuition bill 🙂 Good luck to your son, he’s going to love being on the yearbook staff! Kathy

  4. Lauren

    For what it’s worth, I think you made a good choice. The right choice. Just keep praying, and things will turn out well. Nick will have a lot of great opportunities in a public school, a lot of things to participate in and be a part of.

  5. Pam

    I remember you struggling with this decision last year, too. It sounds like you’ve given this lots of thought and have made the decision that is right for Nick and your family. Don’t let other people make you second guess yourself. You know what’s right for you and Nick. Sounds like there are lots of exciting things in store for him in the fall!

  6. Terra

    First, congrats to Nick for being accepted into the program. He is a wonderful boy. I also know how hard this decision was for your family and I can tell you are at peace with it. That alone will carry you through the rest of his years in school.

  7. Jenny

    Gosh, making decisions about our kids is the hardest thing, isn’t it?

    But he sounds like a wonderful boy and you sound like wonderful parents and I have no doubt this will be a roaring success for all of you!

    Sometimes change is really good!

    Happy Mothers Day!

  8. Mnmom

    Good for you! My husband’s uncle, Dr. Nicholas Colangelo, runs the Belin and Blank Center for Gifted Education at the University of Iowa. He’s got amazing things to say about making sure accelerated kids get those challenges. His most recent research is called “A Nation Deceived” – fabulous reading.

  9. Ali

    You’re right, familiarity is the easiest path to take but congrats to Nick for trailblazing his own path! I know it was hard but it sounds like a great decision!

  10. Miss Healthypants

    I’m sure Nick will be just fine. 🙂

    I believe that public education often gets a bad rap, and I’m sure he’ll get a good education in his new school.

  11. sheila

    Sounds like a great fit! I wish him the best!

    (and to answer a question you asked: about a 30 min. commute. )

  12. Anita

    What a coincidence…I’m changing schools for my youngest daughter in September. We live in a school system where the scores are high, and my oldest two kids have done very well. My youngest does well too, but seems to have talent that is not nourished and recognized – perhaps because she is shy.
    So, she’s going to an all girls middle school that tends to have less traditional structure.
    Yes, people will always have their opinions, but you know your child best, and you are the one to figure out what’s best for him. If it works, great, but if you need to tweak it again, you will.
    Sounds like he’ll have a great experience!

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