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Old 09-08-2008, 08:53 AM   #1
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Choosing a school- would this bother you?

Good morning! I've been turning this over in my mind and decided to get some feedback here. We have 3 children and another coming in March, and the oldest will just be starting Kindergarten next year. We've been considering our schooling options for some time and because of her sensory issues, as well as personality in general, really want a smaller school with small classes where we can be very involved. She attended a MDO at an arts center last year which was great, but a lots of kids and activity and the environment ultimately caused her to clam up, not speak up for her needs and kinda fall between the cracks as she did not like to ask for help, etc. Really not anyone's fault, but anyway this year all 3 kids are going to a church MDO (dd is more in the preK class) and they love it. Her class is only 10 kids and the teachers are super attentive. They even put her in her change of clothes last week because she sat in damp grass--little do they know how extremely crazy it would have driven her to have damp pants. We love it so much we're determined to send the younger boys back next year, but that leaves us making the K decision and me not really wanting to commute back and forth to some of the schools we've visited.

Okay I'm not making this a short story! Anyway, as luck would have it, last week we discovered a charter school in the same neighborhood as the church shcool. It is small, small classes, classical curriculum (which we've looked at before), seems great. Not to mention tution-free would be wonderful for us right now, as we were planning on private school tution for her. Dh wanted me to call and schedule a tour right away so we'd know for sure, and I agreed. But when I called, I spoke with someone who, first of all, didn't identify herself so I don't know if she was a secretary or the principal. Then at first she was receptive but when she heard we were looking for next year said they're not doing tours for next year yet and to do it sometime in the spring. (Mind you we already toured lots of schools last year for next year.) She didn't volunteer so I asked if there would be an open house or something and she said yes, usually in Feb. or March. That was it. So what, we just can't come and see the school? There's no way I'm waiting till March to make a decision, since some schools require registration before then. I just thought it was really weird they couldn't let us come visit at all, especially since she said they're still doing tours for this year. I don't want to write it off because of this, because the location and everything seem perfect. But would you think that was weird? Thanks!

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Old 09-08-2008, 09:27 AM   #2
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Re: Choosing a school- would this bother you?

I would call & ask to speak w/ someone else.
Sounds like she dont know really what she is talking about.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:59 AM   #3
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Re: Choosing a school- would this bother you?

Many schools do it that way so they don't have strangers in their building all the time. It wouldn't bother me. I can understand as a parent not wanting strangers around my child's school all year. Schools are so busying getting the current year started, and when people come, it takes someone away from their regular job to show them around.
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:26 AM   #4
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Re: Choosing a school- would this bother you?

Our schools here have a neighborhood liason who does tours any day. I would call back and ask if they have someone dedicated to tours.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:00 AM   #5
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Re: Choosing a school- would this bother you?

I'd go by the school and go in the office and ask for more information on their school. Maybe they will do a quick tour for you or at least answer questions.
Our local school does everything in about February and March too, but if you go in they will speak to you and give you information.
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:16 PM   #6
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Re: Choosing a school- would this bother you?

Our charter school is like that. They do not accept applications from new (as in for next years school year) students until after april. That is to give the families with one child enrolled already a chance to early enroll their other childen, giving them the better chance of being accepted. So when it comes time for Tharen to start school I will have first chance at enrolling him because Kearnan attends. Assuming we chose to go that route or continue I am really a homeschooler at heart, Kearnan is just a kind of special case. Charter schools work a bit different than private schools, partially because they are publicly funded. So while they would send you literature, direct you to the website and probably have the superintendant call you to discuss options, you would have to wait till spring semester to go into the school and look around.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:33 PM   #7
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Re: Choosing a school- would this bother you?

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Originally Posted by iris0110 View Post
So while they would send you literature, direct you to the website and probably have the superintendant call you to discuss options, you would have to wait till spring semester to go into the school and look around.
Hm, I only wish they had offered any of that. I guess I am kind of a "front desk" person--if I don't like how the front man who answers the phone, greets me, etc. etc. acts, I get put off. Same with doctors offices, veterinarians even, you name it. I guess I think it is a reflection on the organization that they have an unhelpful person fielding the public.

I really am not even trying to enroll though. I just want to know whether it is going to be a viable option. She said they are still doing tours for this year, which means two things to me--one, they could just get me in on an already scheduled tour, and two, they have plenty of open spaces to go around, since the school year has already started and they are still enrolling. From what I've read they are working hard to grow the school (it's still pretty new) and working hard with limited resources and so forth. Which is why I guess I'm a little annoyed that I call up and they just turn me away without so much as getting a name or offering to put me on a mailing list.

I think I will probably take the advice to just drop by one day and see who I can speak with. Hopefully not the person from the phone!
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