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This is my fifth post in two weeks about kindergarten. Oh! You only saw the one? Well, that’s because I spared you the tedium and me the embarrassment of the Great Kindergarten Freak-out of 2012. You’re welcome.

Included in the missing posts were rages about the complexity of the system, confessions of test-score Excel spreadsheet creation, a recounting of my trip to the JCPS Showcase of Schools, and the realization that a lot of what has been making me crazy is lack of control and the knowledge that my time at home with Simon will soon be at end. Starting in six months, Simon won’t be with me from 1:00 on every day, and I don’t get the final say in which school he attends. It’s unnerving.

Simon’s being sick for the last month (now, thankfully, completely over) didn’t help any, either, as he seemed completely unequal to the task of making a big change and adding three hours to his school day. Making decisions about kindergarten when your child is breaking down by 11:30 at school every day would give most parents pause.

Now, thankfully, much of the angst is over. I’ve made my decision and am about to turn in all the paperwork. Here’s how it all ended up:

  • The Top Pick: Remains, or returns to, Brandeis.
  • The Lowe Wild Card: Not rolling that die. I watched Matt show Simon new hi res pictures of Earth the other day and marveled at how excited Simon was to learn about the different atmospheric layers. Then I remembered the little robot Matt bought Simon for Christmas that they still haven’t built. Then I laughed at an old picture of Simon in his solar system “derby hat” from last year. If Brandeis doesn’t work out, we can supplement science at home. This won’t work for eleventh-grade physics, but I think we can handle the next few years, and it’s not worth the risk of being placed at a chronically low-performing school.
  • Bloom vs. Coleridge Taylor: the last sticky point. Should Simon get into our second magnet choice, Coleridge Taylor, and our first cluster/neighborhood choice, Bloom, we were uncertain about how to proceed. Matt wanted Bloom in this scenario; I wanted Coleridge Taylor. Phone calls did not help, as everyone I talked to loved both schools. Nor did research: Test scores for our demographic were pretty even. Bloom sent 4 kids to an MST middle school last year; C-T sent 12. You’d think that would swing things to the C-T side, but as Matt pointed out, if the Highlands were a techie neighborhood, the neighborhood school would not be investing all the PTA funds into an artist in residence. In other words, we’re dealing with selection bias.

What finally made the call was a little visit to the JCPS bus finder of all things. School starts at 9:00 a.m. here in Louisville. To go to Brandeis, Simon needs to catch a bus a block and a half from the house and travel for 40 minutes each way. To go to Bloom, Simon needs to catch a bus two doors down from us and travel 20 minutes each way. To get to Coleridge Taylor, Simon would have to catch a bus about three and a half blocks away and travel just over an hour each way, including a transfer at a local high school.

That’s not gonna happen. I might be OK with that when he’s 8 or 9, but this sounds like too much for kindergarten. And while I will be available to drive him in the beginning, I don’t want to pick a school where my driving both ways every day is a long-term necessity. Stuff and life happens; the school bus needs to be a reasonable option.

So there it is. Or there it will be tomorrow when I copy all the paperwork and deliver it to the necessary offices. As for the ultimate assignment, I’ll know in early May. Now I look forward to talking, thinking, and dreaming about something else. Anything else, really.

2 Responses to “Indecision 2012: Some Clarity”

  1. Amanda says:

    Sounds like an excellent decision. But remember, Simon WILL DO WELL no matter where he goes.

  2. blg says:

    Sounds like good decisions with strong reasoning behind them. No kindergarten kid should have to change buses or be on a bus for more than an hour.

    Also feeling nostalgic for walking to our neighborhood school for kindergarten. I just looked on Google maps…memory of a 56 year old being what it is. It was six tenths of a mile. And, perhaps more importantly, it was in 1960.

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