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School Daze

Oh yes, Amy got home safe and sound Sunday night after a week at Grandma's house. She had a great time and wanted to stay longer, but it was time for school to start on Monday. Apperatnly she did pretty well on the plane flights, but at least one person at baggage claim said he was glad the flight was only 2 hours, cause she didn't stop talking the entire flight. Yup, that would be Amy. (He did say it with a smile though.)

And yes, 5th Grade for Amy started on Monday. New school, since we moved from where we were last year. All new kids too, none of them went to the same summer camp. So between all new kids, and this being the first year where they change classes during the day, and of course the work being ramped up a notch as the grade level goes up... definately a week of adjustments. It seems Amy likes 5th grade, and is starting to make some friends. Isn't too fond of the teacher though, but it has only been a week, so we'll see how that evolves.

Meanwhile, TODAY, one week after school starts, Brandy gets a call that says that Amy has gotten a spot at the county's Science oriented school if we want it. WTF? Well, we put in the application at the end of the last school year. The three county schools that specialize in subjects (I think it was one science, one art and one languages or some such) are NOT the kind you get into by merit. It is a lottery amoung those who apply to be considered. (Past students get in automatically.) And it frankly isn't entirely clear what they do different other than "concentrating" a bit more on the subject at hand. The lottery drawing was way back in May or something. We heard nothing, so assumed we didn't win the lottery. There was a place you could mail a SASE to in order to find out what number you got, but we didn't bother. Just made plans to go to the normal neighborhood school for our new neighborhood.

Well, appearantly, after the first week of school, some people who did win the lottery just didn't show up or something and so they started going down the next numbers, and we came up. And they want her to start Monday if we still want to go.

Now, little problem here... OK, if we had gotten in at the beginning, or even if they had told us a few weeks ago, we could make an informed decision and then go one place or the other. As it is, we've never had a chance to check out the science school (excet driving by, and from the outside it doesn't look as nice as where she is going, although there is the whole book and cover thing). Plus, we're already putting Amy in a brand new school, that she is just starting to get acustomed to...

Should we rip her out after only a week and put her yet another new place? I want us to be able to make an informed decision, and of course Amy's own opinion would be a huge part of that, but I just don't feel there is enough info. So I am frustrated. Brandy is less so, but still annoyed at the timing of this. Maybe if we'd been able to get a tour of the Science school last year (we missed the scheduled one) or if we had known earlier or have longer to decide... but... right now I think all three of us are leaning against. And the two of them are leaning even harder than I am, so the decision is probably already made. But just to talk it out...

I know from personal experience having gone to 7 different schools between 5th and 9th grade that changing schools really sucks. And I'm not talking about the kind of changing schools where all of your friends are also changing schools because that they change buildings between one grade and another in your district, I'm talking about the changing schools and having all new people. 5th grade was one school in Durham, NC. 6th grade I went to two schools in Indianapolis, IN and one in Washington, DC. 7th grade was back in Durham, but a new school with new people. 8th grade was Frederick, MD. Then 9th grade was actually in the same building as 8th grade, but because of screwed up school zones, it was all new people. It sucked. I didn't realize at the time how much it sucked, but in later years I realized that all that moving had indeed taken a toll.

Anyway, so far Amy had one school in PA through Grade 3. Then a second school in Melbourne, FL for Grade 4. Now a new school in Palm Bay, FL for Grade 5. Do we really want to make it a 4th school in 3 years? If the school Amy started in this week was really horrible and we knew the Science school was unquestionably awesome and an opportunity not to be missed, then maybe it would make sense. But I'm not sure that is the situation.

They are supposed to call us back over the weekend, and probably want a decision, since if we don't take this spot, they will give it to someone else. I want to ask to go see the school, or at least go get more info and that kind of stuff. But that may or may not be possible.

I'm a little peeved at how this whole way of picking people for this school works. If we had gotten this choice before school actually started, it would have been a whole different decision process. The Science school is further away and would be a little less convienient dropping off and picking up, but I'm guessing we might well have gone for it. Cause Amy does like her math and science (although not quite as much as music, but the Arts school is a 45 minute drive away, so we didn't apply). And at some level I've got to think that a school that specializes will be better than the "normal" school, even if they do not pick their students by merit. (By the way, Amy scored in mid 90's percentile wise for both Math and Reading on last year's standardized tests.) But as it is...

Bleh. Thanks Brevard county for making this difficult...


Abulsme - Fri, 12 Aug 2005, 19:40:12 PDT

COMMENTS

Okay, Riviera LOOKS so much nicer, BUT West Melbourne has signifigantly higher scores in EVERYTHING and lots more that Amy world love. I am not digging the uniform thing though...I thought we were done with the school clothes shopping!


Posted by: Brandy on Sat, 13 Aug 2005, 12:01:53 PDT

After Brandy spent a couple hours doing more internet research on the school, the benefit is becoming clear. Better scores (by a very significant margin) in almost everthing. Much more elaborite "extra activity" stuff. Better and more modern facilities. (Except the actual outside of the building.)

Of course, the lady did not call us back yesterday like she was supposed to. We left a message. I looks like we want to say yes, but at this moment, we don't know where to take Amy tomorrow...


Posted by: Abulsme on Sun, 14 Aug 2005, 09:55:13 PDT

But as of this morning, she is in and they were ready for her to start today, and I said that would be okay, only she would have to wear her Bongo khaki cargo capris with the strings on teh side to pull them shorter in lieu of a uniform, so they said that tomorrow will be fine... I explained that since we didn't hear back from teh lady we didn't know for sure the space was still available. They understood. Amy's clinshers were that they would have chorus and orchestra and they have both! And she can play her bass, not have to switch to violin because that's what the rest of her grade is allowed to play! I think there may be a little issue with the idea of going from the highest math class in the grade to the lowest in the new school but they all seem very responsive and I am sure they will be willing to put her at a level that challanges her. And if not, I will remind them of what my job used to be and what that means that I know how to do. :-)


Posted by: Brandy on Mon, 15 Aug 2005, 05:10:54 PDT

For more info, see the update I posted a week later...


Posted by: Abulsme on Sun, 21 Aug 2005, 08:08:52 PDT


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