Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Welcome to the Public School Tour Junket!

My life this month is all about school tours. I have 6 scheduled over the next 3 weeks. Welcome to the Public School Tour Junket! I'm just missing the hat. The time has come...to look ahead at Kindergarten for next fall. So, on my best days you will see me all bright eyed and bushy tailed, eagerly jotting down notes and exchanging smiles with other moms and dads. On the worst...looking a bit bleary eyed and snappish, as Mom Nonfat Latte with very little foam elbows me in the breast while edging her way into the classroom first. Perhaps I exaggerate. Indeed, everyone whom I've been meeting, with a Kindergartner starting next fall, has the same "deer caught in the headlights" glaze as I do. Which creates...instant bonding. At least for the duration of the tour.

Like anything involving children, it is such a personal decision...this mission of finding "the best school". One parent's accolades versus another parent's criticisms. It really all boils down to what you are looking for specifically in a school.

The whole process can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming, yet I am an information gatherer and the more I research and cull information, the calmer I feel. Sort of. There is an open enrollment lottery system here. And it looks like we will be in 3 lotteries. Since I am highly superstitious, I find this reassuring. Yes... I'm a bit of an odd one. My logic is nonsensical, but it actually feels as if being in 3 lotteries will enable us a greater chance of one of them working out. The three lotteries are: One for the Pasadena Unified School District (P.U.S.D.)and one each for two charter schools.

It's a toss up whether we will get in to one of our choices. Just as in Vegas, some gamblers are lucky, some not. I do know that I am a fighter and passionate about finding the best fit for my children. I also have faith that our path is perhaps...already decided. I have been humbled too many times, most notably in adopting a newborn and finding myself pregnant several weeks later..., to think that I have much say at all in deciding which destination our current path will lead us. Time will tell...and I'm going to make use of it. Now, I just need some good luck and Minnie Pearl's hat.

***Photo of the delightful Minnie Pearl courtesy of Google Images.

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  1. I'm the superstitious type too... but I'm Zero when it comes to lottery... hope you are nothing like me... best of luck! *wink*

    (hey, "the bright eyed and bushy tailed" was from Alvin and the Chipmunks right? *laugh* undoubtedly familiar!)

  2. Hey good luck with this. So are these ivy league kindergartens or what? ;)

  3. If you end up in the school of choice, go out and buy a lotto ticket!

  4. You know what? They will end up where they should be. Yes, that's my zen thought of the day.

    It will all work out.


  5. Ugh, I remember it. Touring the PUSD schools, preparing for the lottery. The Boy was born in December, right in the middle of it all. Just take a moment and picture you're doing all this while large with your third child, and then while nursing a tiny baby.
    Well, it sucked.

    But it did work out in the end, it just took a little while.

  6. Oh gosh it sounds horribly complex - and that is at kindergarten level???

    I tend to get an instant feeling about a school (or indeed house or person) that I like and that tends to prove right. But it is rather more straightforward here - you do list three schools on your form for entry at 4 years of age but you are usually pretty certain to get your first choice. It's more difficult at high school level and I think tougher in London.

    Good luck anyway. When does the lottery take place and when do you find out which school you have been allocated?

  7. It's always interesting to me to see how other districts and states decide their enrollment. We have no choice here which makes WHERE you purchase your house very important.


  8. Oh good luck!! We have been so blessed to find the school Shark attends, and Bear will go there too. It's K-8, so we're set for a while, but high school is our challenge. The best one is an all boys private school, but we love the Catholic school system and don't want to leave it. The best Catholic high school is WAY WAY up north of town -- not convenient in any way shape or form. ~le sigh~

  9. Good luck. I tend to think as Lisa does. They'll end up where they need to be. We only have two choices (we have more but we've already eliminated the others - sometimes it's easy). One is the county school and the other is the city school. We live out in the county and technically we wouldn't be allowed to go to the city school, but the rule seems to be on paper only.

  10. Good luck in the search and information gathering! We won't hit the lottery system until we get to middle school, but I feel your pain! The best piece of (unasked for) advice that I can give ... just the fact that you are sooo involved with your choices and the kids' education and growth, no matter what happens you will be 'golden'! My experience comes from the annual "teacher fight" for the path that my kids are taking, so it is on a smaller scale, but after 6 years of battle, I have come to understand that my involvement is the key! Thinking of you ...

  11. IM doing it too. It is so awful. I break into a flop sweat as I enter those school doors.

  12. Hi, thanks for visiting my post on bunkbeds at http://fortyfide.blogspot.com

    I do recommend the sleeping bags over the bunkbeds (again). Get the a tent to put the sleeping bags in and convince them it is indoor camping and that should last you a month or so...

    Donna (Fortyfide)

  13. I'm not quite there yet, but I can understand how scary it can be. I had panic attacks over the right preschool. Choosing the perfect parochial school will be VERY tough - I think I'll choose by adorableness of uniform...

  14. It will all work out, because they have you standing behind them, making sure they get what they need!

  15. My two cents worth--YOU are the most important person in your children's education and that is not dependent on the school they attend.

  16. Oh, man, that's a hard place to be in. I know. Hang in. And don't hang yourself. And my comment box works fine you dork! What are you talking about? Ecccck. Going to sleep.


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