Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ready for school? Not really.

Nicky is starting Kindergarten on Monday, August 22nd. We're all very excited. But yet completely unprepared. Completely. Well, he has a lunchbox. But as we plan to let him eat at school that doesn't really count as preparation does it.

We had registered him at our zoned school back in like May or April. Even though we weren't thrilled about the school's track record. (REALLY not thrilled) But then last week we recieved a letter telling us that because our school failed to meet AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) for the last two years, we were being given the choice of two other schools that did make AYP. Both schools are all the way across town (well one is actually all the way across the county!) but they would provide transportation (IF we decide to even use the bus) and the school would be so much better. So we circled our first choice and Tom dropped off the paperwork the very next day.

Then I called to talk with the school board person in charge of making the decisions about these applications to find out how/when we'll know what school Nicky will be attending on the 22nd. I was worried because the paperwork isn't even due till August 16th! Turns out that the school board for our county mailed out over 10,000 of these letters. They'll start processing the paperwork turned in on the 16th. And they anticipate having it done by the 17th so that they can call parents with the results on the 17th.

I was surprised they think it will take only one day of processing. But they said that only 40-50 families choose to have their child change schools. Most just opt for the additional tutoring they offer. So on the one hand, that sucks that there were 10k kids needing to be told their school is not performing up to standards. But on the other hand, if not many opt to change schools, maybe we have a good chance of getting our first choice. Which would be good, since if they did opt to send him to the other choice, I don't know if we'd do it. It's REALLY far away. And by far away I mean nearly 30 MILES one way. Our first choice is 13 miles one way, which is still pretty damn far.

Our zoned school is only 2 miles away. It took me like 7 minutes to get there last time I went. But here's the thing. We have the FCAT test here. In 3rd grade, if a student does not pass the reading portion(get a 3 or higher) they are automatically retained. That's right, they FAIL third grade because they didn't pass a single part of the test. Last year, only 38% of their 3rd graders passed the reading section. That means 62% of the third grade FAILED. This is NOT good! I mean, yes I think I can make up for some of what Nicky might miss at school at home, but seriously, I would rather send him to a school with a better track record than that.

So we're hoping he gets into the school we want. For comparison, 77% of their 3rd graders passed the reading section of the FCAT. (Overall for the county, 71% of 3rd graders passed the reading section of the FCAT.)

Once we find out for sure where he is going (on Wednesday, August 17th) we'll know which school to go to on Friday, August 19th for Meet the Teacher Day. Then we'll find out what uniform and supplies he needs. It will be a busy weekend of shopping methinks!

I can't believe he's already going to Kindergarten!


Twin Dude Mama said...

Time flies...I can't believe that our babies are over 1 already!!

Actually, 30 miles isn't that bad, but I guess that it depends on traffic. My job is about 3 miles away but take an hour by bus/subway (and that's considered a good commute by local standards). When I worked at another location with my company, it was 35 miles away and could take 1-2 hours.

I hope everything works out!