Monday, May 14, 2007 ;
Ok, final post for today.
ds1 finally has a place confirmed in Realms of Inquiry. It's a private school.
There's a long story in why we chose this school... I shall try to just illustrate in brief.
There's a public elementary school near our house and we intended to send ds1 there, cos they have PK and K levels too. Cannot name it... but I visited it and it is really not suitable.
What do we really want in a school?
it varies from parent to parent and child to child, but generally, it would be the same few (not in order):
facilities, proximity, principal and teachers, tr:student ratio, programmes, cost (if private), environment, safety/ security?
This nearby school was right beside the road, without a fence. The back of the school and sides do not have boundaries too. I don't know, I just don't feel like it's very safe, esp with lots of school shootings...
And it is a very small school. But that doesn't matter, as long as teachers are good, tr:ss ratio is good. I didn't want to go in and see, so I checked the website, and I was quite taken aback. The Utah State Office of Edn website gives all the statistics of every school and when I checked it, under every column and category, the school was listed as "not acceptable"... grades, environment and such... They also failed most major nationwide tests, getting less than 50% passes for every subject.
How can I send ds1 to this school then? sigh....
I broadened my search to a wider and wider radius. I did put him on the waiting list of a school relatively nearby, maybe within 5km? But they had no vacancies.
In short, there wasn't any school here, so I had to think of schools that he can get to easily. And then I thought of dh's school's vicinity. That being in SLC, we had a lot more choices to look at.
Dh could bring him there when he goes, though it is a long journey and quite taxing for a 4 yr old boy, but what to do?
It's not like in Spore where all the Pri schools are quite similar, at least there is a certain std of facilities, similar tr:ss ratio... All schs def have a boundary ard the perimeter... correct me if i am wrong, but all schools have automatic barriers at main gates to cars, and round-the-clock security guards right? at least all the schools i've had to go to have these minimum security features. many installed more than these.
Anyway, if his school were to be in SLC, it cannot be a public school. As I mentioned under the SLC Library post, the schools in that district are for students who live in that area. So I was looking at all the private schools.
Among the private ones, I didn't want a religious school. So I ended up with this one. We were busy with all these the past week, so that's why I didn't post much.
We visited this school once in March I think, and we were given a tour and we also talked to the preschool tr. This school goes all the way to 12th grade. I think we are quite satisfied. Low tr: ss ratio, flexible trs who are well qualified, and a very good outdoor programme.
I also like the fact that they have 2 field trips a month for preschoolers and a field trip per week for Kindy and upwards. From middle school, they let students plan expeditions themselves and then embark on them. I didn't read up too much on their higher levels cos we prob won't be here so long till ds1 is that old, so... :-)
ds1 is very active and I think doing more things and learning outdoors would be better for him.
They have a 5-6 week long summer school that's very fun, but we only signed him up for 1 week, cos we already made travel plans and they clash.
For school, we decided on 2 days a week, in the mornings. Reasons being: 1. just try it out first... and 2. don't want to spend too much money and drain our savings.
Hope he gets to interact and socialise with other kids and have fun.. i can still do stuff with him on the other days.
And this way, i can show ds2 some undivided attention too, those 2 mornings. it'll be gd for him, the poor boy, always out-talked and outdone by his noisy brother. :-)
k, we'll be leaving for a trip to CA again, this time the northern part. Redwood NP, Yosemite NP, San Francisco and even Stanford, to meet up with an ex-colleague (ex-HOD/Sci actually) doing her masters there. her family's also there n the kids can play tog. it'll be real fun catching up!
will def blog abt it when we're back!
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow