Sunday, September 24, 2006

School Thoughts....

I've read some posts lately about thinking of where to send your child to school: public or private.

For us, we opted for a private Catholic school. It was a decision we talked about, thought about and researched for moths, and in the end, it was the right decision for us. Yes, it is expensive, but we feel justified that it is the right place for Einey.

I like the fact that she will most likely be going to school with the same kids for the next 9 years. No more needing to meet 20 new parents every year. I like knowing the teachers, meeting them and observing them before she will even be in that grade. I like knowing the principle (and apparently her knowing our child already) after only 3 weeks of school.

Although the kindergarten class size is a bit larger than the local public school (23 vs. 16), from experience, some of these kids will not return for 1st or 2nd grade.

One thing I do not like and am planning on meeting with the principle is their pick up policy. I have worked a few days in the last two weeks where I needed to have a sitter pick up Einey from school. One three different days, three different people (her grandparents, and two friends) picked her up from school. Each day, I sent in a note saying who was going to be picking her up. Each day the proper person went and Einey was released to her without any questions. No "hi can I ask who you are?", no "can you sign her out please?" No communication whatsoever between the teacher and pick-up person! When I questioned the teacher she said she had no clue to knowing who they were and as long as the child shows they now the person, they will be released to them. My thought is ask who they are. Check their ID to make sure they are the same person on the note who is supposed to be picking her up.

The other aspect which bugs me is their "No solicitation" policy. I know it is to keep people from bombarding others with their magazine/candy/wrapping paper sales. I am planning a scrapbooking fundraising event for the American Heart Association's annual Heartwalk my family and I participate in every year. I sent in a paper asking if I could have it sent home in the folders of my daughter's classmates. I was told no I couldn't. I understand that, but at the same time, we got similar flyers for girl scouts. This was also immediately after being told at the open house that they encourage community service and children can earn incentives and awards for participation in different community events. And I can't help but feel that they have this policy so that they will not have others detract from their own constant fundraising (which will be bombarded on us).

However, I still feel that this is the best place for us right now.

Open House

We went to the recent open house at Einey's school. I guess I expected to hear about all the fun and exciting things they had planned for the upcoming school year. Instead, we heard about what our "financial" obligations to the school were, what we could do for fundraising and even that we could bequest money to the school in our wills.

One funny item was that the principal of Einey's school came up to us and said "let me tell you something about your daughter". My first thought was "Oh shit, what did she do that the principal know who she is in only 3 weeks?" She then tells us "I have never seen any child eat as much as she does". She told us how cute Einey is at lunch and how she eats everything we pack for her (which IS alot for a four year old- usually ham and cheese on a spinach wrap, carrot sticks, pretzels, a piece of fruit, a pudding, juice and sometimes crackers) . She even told us that Einey sometimes misses out on recess (or at least part of it) as she is too busy finishing her lunch with the principal. And don't get me wrong, Einey is all of 37 pounds soaking wet!


One day I picked Einey up from school and as we are driving in front of the school, she points and says:
"We visited that lady today".
"What Lady, the statue?"
"Oh, does she have a name?"

The next day, Einey comes home and says:

"Mom, we watched TV in church, the lady is called Our Lady of LaSalette".
"Oh really, can you tell me anything about her?"
"She's a statue".


toyfoto said...

I attended Catholic schools until 10th grade. The education was actually WORSE than in the public schools for me. Teacher turnover rate was high, and we had some insane nuns and really inept lay teachers. I could tell you dozens upon dozens of horror stories. It was like they'd scraped the bottom of the barrel to find them. I imagine, despite tution, the teacher pay was low.

But every school has its drawbacks and bad apples.

I don't worry too much about security, though. It would be a rare occurance for a stranger to be so bold as to take a child from a classroom. The school has probably NEVER encountered such a thing.

And as for soliciting parents. There's no law that says you can't mail the fliers to them directly. Does your school provide addresses and phone numbers of other parents?

I wish you luck, though. I know these decisions are never easy.

for what it's worth said...

Just dropping by to say hello!
I have been a teacher in both public and private schools. There are 'horror' stories about both, but there are wonderful success stories for both as well. It sounds as though you did your research, and your daughter will thrive.
Security is always a concern, and I suspect that it took a few phonecalls and some time to establish what protocol the school wanted to implement. Let's face it, you can never protect little angels too much.
Thanks for sharing your story.