Proud to be a product of Public School - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Proud to be a product of Public School

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Mike and I are both products of public school.  While neither of us is from this area, today we live in a school district that we feel does a decent job educating children.  So when it came time to register for kindergarten, we didn't even discuss it we went right to the school in our neighborhood and planned to enroll our daughter.  What a big surprise it was to learn they do not have the options for Kindergartners, in fact, no options at all. It's a one-size-fits-all approach (that I outlined in previous entries) and we are very disappointed.

The lack of options has created the platform for several conversations the past few nights.  How do we feel about public vs. private school?  Do we feel we received a good education?  Are there better options?  Of course our discussions expanded into taxes, school levies, and all those deep and frankly depressing topics that create an overwhelming sense that the public school system today isn't the same as it was when we started thirty-plus years ago.  And it's sad.  We're paying taxes-some pretty steep taxes-yet public schools can't seem to find the right combination for the students, for the teachers and for the taxpayers. This blog is not intended to be a forum for debate on this topic so I'll steer clear of it. And frankly I don't claim to understand the complex issue well enough yet anyway.

What I do feel comfortable saying is we decided we will be enrolling Macy in public school.  We have confidence our school district will do a good job and we plan to give the educators every opportunity to prove us right.  We looked at other options and there are some good alternatives out there-even optioning her into another school district with full-day kindergarten or Express programs.  But in the end it came down to one simple factor that tipped the scale: we want Macy to make friends with other kids in our neighborhood and we feel going to the school here is the best answer. 

Let me take a time out and share that Macy is an only child and we want her to develop a strong sense of herself among kids her own age. While we cannot guarantee she has the same positive experience we had going to public school, we can create a situation where she's likely to have a similar experience playing with other kids near our home and going to school with those same children.  As Mike and I got to talking about our childhoods and this decision, the one thing kept coming up for us was we have great memories of friends who lived nearby. 

Today, it's no longer acceptable for kids to shout out that they'll be home in time for dinner and jump on their bike (I did that A LOT!)-we get to always ask WHERE, WITH WHO, and know those kids and their families.  Yes, the world is a different place today, but we want her to have friends who live nearby; to create a network of friends and fun because that's an important part of childhood.  Attending school in our neighborhood doesn't ensure all that, but we believe it creates the best environment for it to happen naturally.  Conversely, this decision also reduces the chance that her best friends will be across town and it would require purposeful planning by us and the parents of the other kids to make sure they saw one another outside of school.  

We remain unhappy with the way our district ignores the challenges of working parents, but we have a few months to try to come up with a solution that is best for our daughter. And if any of you have ideas please let me know...we're definitely open to suggestions!  

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