16 June 2017

The End of an Institution

I know I'm here today to gripe about #firstworldproblems. Now you know too. So continue at your own discretion. LOL

My daughter's school is changing. Our district (which is excellent) used to have three 'focus' elementary schools, and four neighborhood elementary schools. The focus schools were based on 1) an arts curriculum, 2) a balanced (or year-round) calendar, and 3) a multi-age concept. We were at the multi-age school. To make a really long story that essentially wrapped up last November, short - the focus schools cost more in transportation, so they no longer exist starting next fall. And a traditional school had to close as well, to 'right-size' our number of spaces vs number of elementary students. We now have six traditional elementary schools, and where you go is determined simply by where you live. We happen to live in the area for our same school building, but the educational format is changing.

I've never been happy with the board's decision, but I also never did much to get involved, so I don't feel like I can really complain. I wonder now quietly how much is being saved financially. The busses still run for the elementary twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon, albeit over a shorter route since the students are sorted by location. Oh, and now some of the middle school kids need to be bussed mid-day to their previous school to continue their chosen foreign language, since not all languages are at all schools.

So this sounds like some crazy, confusing meandering. But I really, really liked my daughter's first five years of elementary school with the multi-age set-up. Kindergarten was its own class, then there was a first/second grade split with 50 kids and two teachers, and the same for third/fourth. Fifth grade has always been its own animal, so that isn't even really changing for her. Unfortunately, out of nearly 600 students at the school's last day today, I've heard that less than 100 will return to the same building next fall. Most of the closed traditional school is redistricted to our building.

I'm a bit sad, and even my super-resilient kid has said that EVERYONE will cry as school lets out today. We'll have our regular fifth-grade clap-out for the last day, and this time it's the kids who were in her class last year that we'll be clapping out. I've cried at the clap out every year! When she was in kindergarten, we knew maybe five fifth-graders, but I still cried. This year? I may be publicly emotional, and that's not my thing. I cried alone in the car after dropping her off this morning.

It's change. Change isn't usually easy, and while I'm sure next year will again be great, and we'll make new friends and have new adventures, right now I'm sad.


Jenn said...

I totally understand. Change can be hard. I changed schools several times as a kid, and it brings back hard memories every time I think about it.

Anonymous said...

We talked briefly about this yesterday before school. She seemed okay but will miss her friends. It'll be interesting when a lot come together again in the later years

Monica O. said...

Aww. I'm sorry to hear that. I agree change can be hard when it comes to something like this. Especially when you were happy with the way things were. We're going to have our own issues when my kids enter high school (they're elementary now). There are two high schools & I guess we live on the very edge of the area that attends high school no. 1. So what will happens is my kids will end up losing all the friends they went to school with their entire life up until 8th grade. Most of the kids will end up at high school no. 2 (which is far more inferior). When they get to the high school they'll only have the few kids that live in our actual neighborhood that they will know. I'm pretty worried & have been told by someone that grew up in our neighborhood that it's a huge adjustment. My oldest is only going into 4th but as you can see I'm already fretting about it. Nobody likes to part ways with their friends :( I hope it all works out alright for you guys next year!

Anonymous said...

This іs ɑ greɑt post!