Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Class of 2023

Last week, we finally got our first glimpse of Liam's school as prospective student and parents. Since we were out of town when they ran their orientation night in May, we set up a time to go in and meet the principal and get a little tour. I had a list of questions at the ready, and though the principal was very nice and more than willing to answer them - I still feel like I know nothing. I mean, I know now how bad the weather has to get before the kids stay in for recess (-18C) and what the school's policy is on peanut products (tolerant but discouraging if there are no allergies in that classroom; zero tolerance if there are allergies in class), but I still feel like I know nothing about school. Liam will be in a JK/SK split that follows an AB schedule, meaning it is full days either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday plus every other Friday. For about two weeks, the school was going to switch to a 1-2-3-4-5 plan so that there would be an equal distribution of music and PE classes (meaning that they number school days 1 through 5 and around again, so a student could be a Monday/Wednesday student one week and then a Tuesday/Thursday student the next if there was a long weekend). But there was so much backlash from parents trying to make daycare arrangements that they quietly switched back. Thank goodness - I don't have enough mental capacity left to try to follow something like that!

Liam is more than ready for school. There will be an older boy at his daycare this summer, who he will enjoy playing with immensely, but through the school year he is the oldest one there some days and aside from Luke, who is only 1, Liam is the only boy. He is ready to be with kids his own age and older, and from the way we have seen him drawing and tracing letters at home, he is eager to take on the academic side of things (which will not be all that intense - it is only JK, after all).

I was also happy to get details on the staggered start. The first day is an hour-long one-on-one between Liam and his teacher (with us in attendance) and thankfully, that interview does not have to happen when school officially starts on September 1. Things seem to pick up fairly quickly after that - it sounded like there was just a single half-day after that before full day classes start. Class size is capped at 20 and there are 4 classes at ICRPS, which is a fairly large public school. We know of one (!) other student who is starting JK at that school in September, and since there are 4 classes... the odds of them winding up together aren't great. I'm sure once we get into things, we will realize there are more kids there that we know. And Liam will meet tons of new ones.

I am hoping to get an early-out-of-the-gate start on things like PTA. I want to be involved in my kids' school, so I'm hoping I can get over my own jitters (but I won't know any of the other parents! What if nobody will sit beside me?) and get involved.

Lastly, if you tune into any Mom-versation type discussions, online or otherwise, you will inevitibly hear the debate over what is appropriate attire in which to drop your kids off at school. There is one school of thought that says that pajama or yoga pants and a t-shirt are OK for that time of morning (i.e the just-rolled-out-of-bed look), and another school of thought entirely that thinks that moms should be putting some effort into their appearance even for school drop-off. One mom board I visit had a raging debate over the wearing of kitten heels to school (the argument being that flats are frumpy and what is so hard about putting on a nice pair of kitten heels to show your kids that you care?) Our tour of the school was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and the number of kitten heels I saw on parents coming and going was astounding. I think I know which camp ICRPS falls into. Looks like I'd better brush up on my wardrobe before September.