Thursday, August 26, 2010

Getting my baby ready for kindergarten...

MY BABY. My B.A.B.Y. I'm not quite sure how this happened. It seems he went from a squalling, fussy infant to a kindergartener overnight. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Mostly, I feel worried. I'm a worrier by nature, so humor me. I worry about everything. In fact, I turn worrying into a calorie-burning aerobic activity. It's going to be a big change, and already I'm feeling the effects of not having complete control over the situation. So far, our excellently-rated public elementary school has informed us of the following:

(1) Entering kindergarteners need to bring with them to school a flotilla of supplies so vast it would make your very eyes goggle. You can order a kit, which I did, because it's so convenient, but yet the kit does not include everything. What does it not include? This is also what I'd like to know. They don't tell you. You have to rather guess. Backpack? That's an easy one. But art smock? A quandry. 3 white tee shirts? Most likely not. What about baby wipes? Beach towel?!

(2) You must bring your child's supplies to their classroom on a specified Wednesday afternoon from 2-3 pm. One whole hour in the middle of the afternoon. There's flexibility and convenience for ya.

(3) You cannot drop your child off to school in your car. Not possible. They must either (a) walk, (b) take the bus (and the district will bus everybody, even if you live 2 houses from the school, I give them credit for this), or (c) be released into the care of a specified daycare/after school child care program.

(4) The district participates in a staggering number of "staff development days" that result in early dismissal, sometimes at 11:30 am, other times at 1 pm. They distinguish between these as "half days" and "early dismissal days," and for the life of me, I cannot remember which one is which.

(5) The district has an attendance policy, which is detailed in precise and legal language.

(6) There is apparently a way to order lunch for your child online. No directions were included as to how to accomplish this.

(7) Lots of happy language about how excited they are that school is starting, and to call them with any questions or concerns. Every time I try to call the school nurse to inquire as to Henry's vaccination records, nobody answers.

So, I'm thinking this is going to be something that I'm simply going to have to get used to. This is the way school is now. When I started kindergarten, your mom checked a box to indicate whether she'd like you to attend the morning or the afternoon session, and then dropped you off. There was no screening, no voluminous paperwork, no state standards out the wazoo. Things are different now. And I hope I don't hate them.


  1. Whhhaaattt? You can't drop your own child off from your car? That's a bit.. different.

    Hm. I'm glad I went to a tiny private school. There are some good things about that.

  2. I have a funny feeling that it will only become a hate it thing. I don't have a child in kindergarten or school for that matter and I'm already hating it. Private schools are a little better but not much. I wish that we could rebel.

    In my school they are charging you a fee to go to a public school. No it's not a text book fee, it's "we can't afford to teach every kid" fee. And that's for going only so many days (not five) and for half days too. Public school here isn't free. A lot of parents aren't happy about it. Our state budget is in a terrible state. Also classroom teachers now teach multiple grades in one classroom. I have a friend who teaches 1st and 3rd. He's so busy that he doesn't get a lunch break.

    Yeah, I've already told my husband that if we're still living here, our kid is going to a Catholic, all-day, five days a week school. That's what we grew up with. It's ridiculous.

    And staff development half days? When I was growing up, we had two staff development days a year and they were full days so parents could take the day off and have a three day weekend. Now some schools take them once a month.

    Yeah, don't get me started on education. Crazy thing is. I was a teacher. That's why I started working at a daycare. It's a lot less stressful.

  3. Hi ladies :) Yeah, no dropoffs. The school only has a tiny parking lot and is squeezed right into the middle of a neighborhood, so not a lot of dropoff points that wouldn't hold up traffic. I sort of understand it, but still. It's weird :)

    And yes, on the staff development days, we're on the once per month schedule :) And they're right in the middle of the week; no long weekends here. Infuriating.

    That's really interesting about your state, Deltaflute, but not in a good way, so sorry! I would definitely be looking at Catholic school in that situation as well. I shouldn't complaint too much, because we do have pretty good public schools here. They nickel and dime you a bit (hence the supply kit) but our taxes cover everything else, and their reputation is nationally well regarded. So I guess I can't hate them too much :)

  4. The not dropping them off thing doesn't sound so bad. At least not comparatively. If you live close to the school where I live, they don't bus you. You're told to walk. So there are little elementary school kids walking or riding on bikes to school. Some parents have to work so I see kids walking by themselves to school. And Yes, pedophiles love that. There's usually something on the news a couple times a year where someone is trying to snatch a kid.

    I hate the education system where I live. Sorry. It sounds like yours is much much much better. I promise not to rant anymore.


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