Sunday, December 30, 2007

School Choice

The town we reside in is the home to not one school district, but three. My neck of the woods is within the Boulder Valley School District boundaries. There is an elementary school basically in my backyard, but there's a catch to that convenience. BVSD has a program called open enrollment. That is where my stress begins!

In a nutshell, open enrollment is a program that allows parents to enroll their children in a school of their choice, not just enroll in your neighborhood school. To be quite honest, I haven't spent any time at my neighborhood school, but I do know the population and it's transient nature. I truly feel like Sj would do fine at our neighborhood school, but I know she could be exposed to many unique learning experiences at another BVSD school.

How could I say no to a Waldorf Inspired School or a Montessori School or a Math & Music Focus School? Yes, many options, almost too many.

So, where does this leave me? Visiting a boatload of schools. Most of the schools are offering open houses and/or tours before the first round of open enrollment closes. The magical date for that is January 18th.

Having worked and volunteered in a few BVSD schools in years past, I know where I want to start my visits. Kindergarten is so varied from school to school. Some offer half days, some offer 2 full days with Friday half day, and some offer full day for a fee. I feel like Sj being on the younger side to start school, would do best with a half day program. But hours are the least of my worries, ultimately the quality of the school and their programs will draw me in. If it's a full day program, we'll just have to hope for the best. BVSD offers so many amazing opportunities for even the youngest learners, I feel so lucky to be giving her a diverse range of learning experiences.

I know Sj needs an opportunity to learn through arts. She has such passion for drawing, painting, singing, dancing. I can't imagine pushing all that aside, just so she can read, write, and perform well on tests.

I suppose I must have faith in this whole "lottery" open enrollment process. I pick four schools and fate steps in. This one is definitely to be continued.

2 comments:

  1. Ahhh...OE. About as much fun as repeatedly slamming your head in the car door. For six months. With no wine. Thankfully we got through that ring of fire for A, just have to go through it next January for J. Once J gets into A's school I can relax...until it's time to search for high schools. Tom and both taught in BVSD, so we know (unfortunately in some depth) what's going on in the schools. Good luck with your search; I have a vague idea where you are...lots of good schools out there. Only a month to suffer! LOL!

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  2. Hmm...sounds like we live in the same town. Been there and done that. OE's not too bad if there are only a few schools you like. More than four? Well...that's a load of stress.

    For what it's worth, we've been successful every single OE round (five times in all).

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