Wednesday, June 1, 2011

School Registration - Part Two

Last Wednesday, May 25th, I took Makenna for Kindergarten registration at the school whose district we are in.

I guess it went well, but I do have some concerns. The first “station” that we had to stop at, I filled out paperwork and Makenna had to tell the lady what letters she was being shown (both uppercase and lowercase letters). Makenna got them all right and the lady said, “Wow, you’re the first person in 3 days to get them all correct.” Even though I felt proud I was a bit concerned. Makenna took some more reading comprehension type tests, and even though she didn’t do great on those, the lady giving it felt Makenna was more than ready to start Kindergarten.

My concern really grew when the lady then asked Makenna if she went to pre-school. Makenna replied yes. Then the lady said, “Do you go to the pre-school here?” Makenna, said yes, and the lady immediately acted surprised, and said, “You do?” I explained that Makenna does go to pre-school just not at Harpursville. The lady then seemed to react as if then it all made sense to her. Why she seemed surprised the Makenna knew all her letters if she was going to their pre-school, why she knew all her letters, etc. It was as if the lady was shocked that someone that she thought was going to their pre-school might actually know all their letters, both upper and lowercase. I felt this didn’t bode too well for the school.

This continued further when at another station I got the same reaction when the person giving Makenna a test thought she was going to preschool there but then when I explained where she went, they then reacted as though it all made sense that she was more than qualified and prepared to attend kindergarten.

The last station was more for me as I got to talk to a guidance counselor about any questions I might have. My first had to do with the bus situation. I said how I’m uncomfortable that she has to get on it so early (around 6:50 am) and ride on it with bigger kids for 40 plus minutes. The counselor said she understood my fears and that the little kids sit more towards the front and the older towards the back. She also explained that there are camera’s on the bus “when they’re working.” - Again, not a great feeling.

I then asked about the future and what types of advanced courses would be offered if we stayed in the district long enough to have Makenna in high school and she said that it was based on financial aid which I didn’t realize.

The counselor went on to explain how they do conflict resolution in each grade level, which I like, but then when I talked to another parent about it, who works in a school (not this one), he seemed surprised that they start it in kindergarten. He conveyed to me that they typically start that type of teaching more towards middle school setting.

The counselor kept continuing on about a group called the “banana splits” – which is a group that’s held for children of parents who are divorced or separated. Why she felt the need to tell me this I was unsure, and as she continued on to proudly tell me how they have about 30-40 kids in the group currently, all I could think of is “what am I sending my daughter to?” I’m sure this is a very helpful outlet for kids who need this, but again, why was she telling me this?

We then took the 40-50 minute trip back to Makenna’s pre-school where I talked to her current teachers about my experience. One of them told me that the school is good but has a different feel to it as it’s made up of a lot of foster kids. That explains the banana-splits I thought.
Makenna was excited by the prospect of going there because there are two playgrounds that she can choose to play on and she expressed repeatedly that she wanted to go on the wooden one. I am still unsure about what is the best for her but it seems that her dad has for the most part made up his mind to have her start here and if we see that we’re having problems/issues with the decision, then we can change.

Looking to the future, I see a lot of cranky mornings as her dad thinks that she can still do her 7-8pm bedtime routine without any repercussions. Also, if she stays in this district I see a lot of “out of the way” driving to her extra-curricular activities. At least with the other school it was on the way home to some extent. This is completely 20 minutes in another direction that I would never go…except for this reason.

Ugghh – I’m not looking forward to the first day of school for so many reasons.

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