I registered H for kindergarten today at the neighborhood school. Holy cow, there were about fifty gazillion forms and I was scribbling notes like crazy on what the principal said, but I still felt disoriented and inept when it came time to turn in the forms.
We’ve been trying to decide where H should go for kindergarten for a year or so now. We could keep him at the school where he’s been for preschool, but that has three major drawbacks — (1) it’s private so it’s expensive, (2) it’s parochial, evangelical-style, and I’m not really into him attending a religious school as he gets older, and (3) in the upper grades the number of students is so tiny that I think it may be socially stunting. There are something like 8 students in some of the grades.
Another possibility is a school in our district that is one area over. They have a GT program from 1st grade on. I don’t know if H would test in or not, but it’s worth a shot. I went through a GT program and I really liked it. I don’t know what this school is like other than they are not friendly and open to a parent asking questions and/or wishing to visit and observe. They have a reputation for snobbishness. Normally I’d put that down to parents being kind of mad about maybe not having their children in the GT program, but based on my limited experience with them they may well be a pit of standoffishness. Anyway, there wasn’t room at that school, apparently, despite our having applied quite early in the year. He’s wait-listed. Is this insane, being wait-listed for a kindergarten? ‘Cause it feels like it to me. I need to visit the school; I don’t know if I even think it would be a good place for H.
The third option and the one that’s tentatively chosen is the neighborhood school. It’s a Title 1 school, meaning they have a large enough percentage of kids from low-income families to qualify for a lot of extra funding for extra aides, tutoring, ESL programs, stuff like that. I don’t think H really needs much of that, but I like the school’s atmosphere a lot and a diverse student population is good. They’re open and welcoming and the principal sets a good tone. I’ve met all the Kindergarten teachers and I like them and think H will like them too. The thing is, H is really passive and I worry that he’ll just totally fly under the teacher’s radar if he’s in a class with students who require a lot of attention (meaning, he may not get much attention). He’s not a super highly motivated kiddo, so he might just sort of do the bare minimum and get overlooked in the shuffle. I’d like him to be in a class where curiosity is really encouraged. I don’t think the neighborhood school is the best bet that way. It has the advantages of a friendly, energetic atmosphere and being in the neighborhood so he should make some friends who live nearby. I don’t know. I just worry about my passive, cautious little guy. I worry about bullying and I worry about him just being sort of non-motivated and getting bored. A more mixed classroom would prepare him best socially, I think, but a fast-paced classroom would motivate him better mentally.
This decision is no fun. Maybe I should just chill and see how things go at the neighborhood school. After all, I really believe the mix of individual students in his class is a major determinant of how well he does, and that’s an unknown everywhere.