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This is not a bizarre claim out of nowhere.

I filled out Lucy's public school kindergarten application today, the…

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delphica
I filled out Lucy's public school kindergarten application today, the whole process seems daunting.

1. She will most likely stay in the private Catholic school that houses her public school preschool class. When I was first considering this private school, I was really earnest about comparing the concept of private school and public school and making sure I had good reasons for private school. So now, four months into schooling, I can tell you I have one reason: it is next to our house. I have no other reasons that I care about. Frankly, it would have to have a specific untenable issue, like maybe human sacrifice, before anything would trump "next to our house" as a reason not to go to this school. Obviously, this means paying private tuition, and I did some comparison shopping to see the lay of the land, and while I'm sure no one likes to pay tuition for kicks, the rates are impressively reasonable for what it is; I would not feel like I was being taken advantage of, you know?

2. The other obvious choice would be our neighborhood public school. Something like 98% of NYC neighborhood schools can accommodate the number of children that live in the neighborhood zone. While not right next to us, it's three blocks away, easily within walking distance even in poor weather. Guess what? This school is one of the few schools that cannot take the number of children that live in the neighborhood. So it's a lottery system, and some kids get in, and the other kids are sent to another school. I put this one down as my first choice of public schools for the lottery.

3. If she does not get into our neighborhood school on the lottery, most likely she would end up at one of two schools that are relatively close in the sense of the universe, but would still require driving (we don't own a car, so "driving" means taking a bus). Other than distance, one of them is pretty neat. It's a school in a modern building (well, like circa 1978) that's on an educational campus, with a charter school and a middle school, and I think a vocational high school (although there is another name for them now) at what used to be a seminary, is my guess? So unlike most schools in the Bronx, this one has more of a green campus, and many of the other buildings are cool gothicky 19th facilities. Because aesthetics is really the best metric to use when choosing a school. I put this as my second choice.

4. The other school, for non-lottery winners, is a new school that is designed to be a small school (like seriously some Bronx elementary schools are 4x larger than my all-district HIGH SCHOOL, cripes -- our neighborhood school that cannot accommodate all the neighborhood kids has more than 1,600 seats) and so far has a good reputation BUT is only K - 3. There's a proposal to expand it to K - 5 at some point, but I'm not counting on that, and I do not want to be doing this again in four years. This is my third choice. Both this school and the previous school are not only not walkable from our house, they are in a completely different transit path than how I go to work, so getting there at times when I want to be there would be a cluster.

5. I am having her take the test for public school G&T ... although at this point I'm not even sure why because all of the G&T locations are crazy far from where we live. Again, I things would have to be really dire before I'd send a kindergarten student on a 1+ hour commute (each way!). She'll have her whole life to have jobs with crap commutes. Well, I signed up for the test before I really looked at a map, so at this point she'll just take the test so I have another data point to complain about.
  • Good luck! I hope she gets in at your first choice. *crossing fingers*
  • Basically it only gets worse good luck!
  • (no subject) -
    • Yes, gifted and talented ... I don't actually think she's especially gifted or talented in a school-evaluation sense, but I figure it can't hurt to take the test just to know if there's another option out there.

      Perhaps I will have a G&T while I'm waiting.
  • The number of parenting decisions I made which I thought would be very weighty and serious, but which came down to something much more practical and easy... well let's just say you're not alone. And they have come out just fine.

    I spent so much time researching pacifiers (PACIFIERS!) but when it came to putting him in daycare and we liked the first place we called, I was like, eh, fine, search is over.
    • Someone asked me once how much reference-checking I did for our sitter, and I was all "uh ... two?" because she has two kids herself, and I felt like her kids were really happy and really smart.
      • There's another family we know who takes educational decisions very seriously. They've got a son in the kid's grade and then an older daughter. They live in a not-great district and have done everything from private schools to other-district-publics to boarding school as their two kids have aged out of various schools or they stopped working well. I feel like we've ridden on their coattails a bit, like how validated I felt that they were at Emerson for middle school, and then when they picked the high school the kid is now at.

        They're just as serious about college, and their son has already absorbed a lot (and visited many) due to his sister's extensive nationwide college search. So I was thrilled when at our first college fair the two boys found each other and went to tables together to talk to reps.

        Honestly I wish I could keep riding this thing to the end and declare my kid will go wherever their kid does, but their son is a very serious student so they won't get in to the same places. It's really too bad; they could do all my due diligence otherwise.
  • (no subject) -
    • In upstate NY, they're still delivered within the schools, which is how mine was (it had an acronym but I can't remember quite what it was or what it was supposed to stand for, but it wasn't "G&T"). Of course, once you're out of the city, the idea that you have to apply for public school of any kind is laughable -- you go to the school near your house, of course. I'm not parsing that right: sure, I think any large city district probably has application-based magnet, honors, or other specialized schools, but in NYC, you have to apply to your neighborhood school and you will probably get in, but you MIGHT not. I guess with the separate dedicated schools, it probably takes a really large city to have enough kids to populate a whole school.
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