Choosing a Wake County Kindergarten
January 25, 2013 § 9 Comments
Today is the cutoff day for parents in Wake County, North Carolina, to decide which school they will send their children to next year. There has been a convoluted plan for choosing, which has created a flutter-buzz of confusion and chattiness amongst parents of said children. What to do? What to do? What to do?
After years of parental unhappiness with board member decisions (over student placement), and Jerry Springer like drama amongst members of the board (seriously), parents this year were given three segmented time fames to make decisions determining their children’s educational establishment for the following school year.
The first step was for parents to register their kids at “base schools,” or neighborhood schools determined by address.
Then, over a two-week period, parents could sign their children up for a lottery of “Magnet Schools;” schools granted extra funds to set up specialized programs (leadership based, museum and art focused, technology rich, etc.).
If your child gets chosen for a Magnet school, though, their base “seat” is forfeited. Should you decide later that you really didn’t want a Magnet after all, you’d have to start the appeals process or wait for the next choice to be up for grabs when year round schools open up for the choosing.
I, a former Magnet teacher, thought for sure I’d be adding my kids to the lottery, fingers crossed they’d be assigned to the place where I’d once worked and loved.
The first day I walked into my former place of employment I felt a rush of energy that made me certain that I was exactly where I was meant to be. It was bright and new, the walls were covered in children-created murals and painted benches. The energy was electric and forceful in it’s rightness.
So when I went back to visit this week for a walk-through, this time with the eyes of a parent, imagine my surprise that it felt so different from that day I’d first arrived; exuberance running over, hopeful for a job, a resume on pretty paper, a portfolio full of enhusiastic lesson plans.
Maybe it was because the place was so familiar. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t anymore.
New faces walked the halls. Different children filled the rooms. A reserved feeling between me and recognizable staff was thick, the result of a six-year absence.
As soon as I got home I logged into the Wake County website and took my kids off the Magnet list, both comforted and confused by my decision. My girls’ Kindergarten year will be spent at our base school, of which I only know from word of mouth and a brief visit, but my gut says is the right decision.
I’m reminded of the universe’s truth; time steals energy, and going back is never the same.
A new energy will move with us into the new school year. My children’s energy will fill the new space. New friends will be made. New teachers will be loved.
And I will be the mother of Kindergartners (for which new energy will be needed).
And time, as it does, will continue to march along.
Have you ever gone back to a place only to find that the spark has gone and the energy moved on? Does it make you a little sad or confused?