The front office called her, and she said she had sent me an email. . .on my daughter's school email account. Which I don't check every day. She has my phone number, but didn't bother to call her text me. Argh. I did manage to get a few errands done, nonetheless, but I was incredibly frustrated. So now we have the appointment on this coming Monday. I need to FINISH things, not keep moving them around.
While we are on the topic of school, we received an email this week that has thrown me into a bout of indecision. It was something that I really didn't expect to happen. Both girls were accepted into another bilingual program for next year. We have to decide in the next week what we are going to do. I'm just not sure what the best option is, and desperately want to tour the new school, but we won't be back for another two weeks, and we have to decide THIS week. Argh again.
The big things the new school has going for it are: more racial diversity than our current school (where there are basically no white kids); many more native Spanish speakers; more socioeconomic diversity; active parents.
The things the new school doesn't have going for it: there is no playground (they walk the kids through a very urban environment to get to a playground during the day--our current school has a small but not fabulous playground); the classrooms are reportedly small (the school we are currently enrolled in has big, beautiful classrooms); the new school has only been around for a few years and they have not published any test scores yet, so they are unproven (not that test scores are the be-all, end-all, but they do provide something of a benchmark); the new school has new/young teachers (this means they are probably enthusiastic, but I really liked the experienced, native speaking teachers that I met at our current school); and finally, the new school is expanding significantly next year, and will have (gulp!) around 200 children age 5 and under enrolled in the school. This seems like a lot, and they are growing by a fairly large number of students--in fact, the school will be about double the size of our current school. Oh, and it's a longer, more complicated commute.
T is not interested in switching schools. He is concerned about the size of this new school, and the loss of individualized attention. He is worried our girls will get lost in the mix. He is also not crazy about the idea of the girls (well really, the unpredictable SB) walking through the city to get to a playground. I'm not, either.
My problem is that I just don't know how important the diversity piece is. I don't know if it matters--not just racial and linguistic diversity, but also socioeconomic. I like the idea of more native Spanish speakers. I like the idea of a very racially diverse school, as that inherently feels more inclusive to me--but that doesn't mean it is. The data seems pretty clear that higher socioeconomic status generally means kids who are better prepared to learn--but not always. And more active parents tends to mean more opportunities for the kids.
Topping all of this off is the fact that my own (white, well-educated) peers would almost certainly, and very quickly, choose this new school. But I feel like so much of that is tied up in issues of race and class, and not necessarily on quality of education. I am really focused on quality of education, and whether my kids are going to be happy and excited to go to school every day. And it's particularly impossible to make a decision like that when you can't visit the school in person and see for yourself. Sigh.