Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Choice This

Hey!  I'm getting an exciting opportunity to practice releasing control over outcomes.  Love when that happens.

Turns out that it looks like Nolie may not get into "choice" into the school that Addie tested into because of her gifted and talented results.  This is because it's a good school and 600 students want to choice into it because, as we all know, the public school system is uneven and a den of inequity (sic intended).  Plus, the economy has tanked and not so many folks are wanting to or can support education with higher taxes.  And the states are bankrupt.  Which at this little elementary school means they haven't been able to build an addition to accommodate their exploding enrollment rates and have to pack children in like sardines.

And that's the good school.

Don't even get me started on how the kids only get 20 minutes for lunch and a 20 minute recess.  I find these things obscene.  An obscene result of the emphasis on test results, primarily, but also an obscene philosophy that sees kids as little receptacles that need to be filled with information and then spat out into a workforce.

Okay, so I'm pissed.

I'm also pissed that we have to "choice" in anywhere.  I'm pissed that they couldn't accommodate my bright, quirky kid at our "home" school and that I have to drive her across the city to go to a school where she won't be isolated or picked on for being a good reader and a skoosh odd (odd in the best sort of way).  I'm pissed that all kids don't have access to excellent schools.  I'm pissed that we had to pay the equivalent of two college tuitions to get our kids through preschool.  Preschool.  I'm grateful that we could afford to do that in our family, but pissed that it meant E and I working our asses off to make it happen, and pissed that other families could not begin to afford that.  Inequity, inequality, bullshit:  whatever you want to call it, it's bullshit.

Most immediately, I'm mad that if Nolie isn't allowed to "choice" into the same school as Addie, we really have three options:

1)  Keep Nolie at her very expensive preschool for her kindergarten year.  We can afford it, and it's a wonderful school, but we were hoping to have that $10,000 extra next year to free us both up from some other work/obligations and to pay off some debt.  Ah, the difficulties of privilege.

2)  Put Nolie in our "home" school for her kindergarten year.  Addie stays at her GT school.  Mommy and Daddy go crazy for one more year, dealing with the dual drop-off non-matching school schedules thing while trying to keep two careers going.  Pray Nolie tests into GT and gets to go to Addie's school.  Try not to put any pressure on her to do so, though, because we think she's amazing no matter what.  Go crazy trying not to be crazy.

3)  Put Nolie in our "home" school for her kindergarten year and transfer Addie back to our "home" school.  But do we put her in second or third grade now?  How do we handle the problem of her not being accommodated there?  What does it mean to do that to our kid?  To us?

When I'm able to access my unchurch self, I just calm down and let it all go and know that something will happen that enables Nolie to choice into the GT school or that resolves this problem for us.

My problem-solving ego self is mostly just pissed, though.


  1. I hope it all turns out OK. Are they not accepting any choice applications in Jan? If so, Nolie should get put to the top of the list because she already has a sibling enrolled. At least that is the way I understood it works in the schools I "choiced" applicationed (is that even a word?) for. It's all a lottery system drawing (not a first come first serve), so she could get a low number in the lottery drawing. But, besides that, since she has a sibling enrolled, that puts her at the top of the lottery and there is always people moving, dis-enrolling, the last minute! Tons of kids can get a spot down the road during the summer. I hope that gets your spirits up again. I know it's hard. I can't believe how crowded all our schools are. I grew up in Jeffco schools, not an issue back then as far as I remember. She will get in! Fo Sho!

  2. Yes! This is how it's supposed to work. They're just not anticipating accepting choice applications from siblings because of the state of budget, overcrowding, etc. But I'm really hoping it will work out in our case. Fingers crossed :).

  3. Oh damn! I know last year, Maple Grove did not accept any choice apps either because they had no room. Ugh! Owen and Nolie are so loved at school, maybe they can get preK/K scholarships from Phyl. LOL!