Sunday, October 19, 2014

A little closer to coming to terms

Yesterday morning, D, N and I attended the convention of schools in our district.  Every middle and high school has a "booth" and can answer questions, provide information, distribute pamphlets.  One-stop shopping, as it were.

Even though I was most definitely not gung-ho about attending, it did help clarify some things that I already knew about my kid.  I had, though, allowed other people's views to muddy my own original thinking.

N is a bright girl.  Creative and sweet.  She has great test scores.  But ultimately, her personality is not the kind that would allow her to thrive in a setting where there is great competition.  She doesn't want to master any one thing but would rather try a lot of different things.  She admittedly wants to be Peter Pan and is not at all prepared to grow up with anything that resembles enthusiasm.

We are having her take the gifted & talented (G&T) test again next week, but even if her score goes up, D and I determined that the G&T program at a downtown school is not for her.  Even if intellectually her brain is capable of G&T stuff, her spirit and her esteem are not.  She is not a competitive person in the least, with herself or with others.  Grit may come to her as she matures, but she struggles with it now.

All of this means that she will be staying close to home.  She wants to apply to an optional program (Cro) only because her BFF is, and we will let her (even though it rubs me the wrong way).

I would be totally happy if she didn't apply and went to our resides school (Car).  Honestly, after talking with the folks from both schools I really didn't see anything substantial enough between them that I think, "OMG!  Cro offers SO MUCH more stuff and should be an obvious choice!"

There is a 3-point difference in these two schools in state test scores which says more about Car than Cro because Car doesn't hand-select a sizable chunk of its students.  It is a resides school and gets what it gets.  It, like Cro, is in the top 10 middle schools in the district.

If N is admitted to Cro there is no bus transportation, which means we will either have to carpool or D and I will have to take and pick-up every day.  For three years.  Even if Cro does have like 2 additional bells/whistles that Car has, I personally would rather have bus service to my front door.

What all this does is make me yearn for a district in which bells & whistles are offered at all schools so there is none of this rigamarole.  Where there is no hype and no grandiose efforts to make a minor benefit seem like or feel like some GREAT BIG HONKING DEAL.

But I am coming at this from a "my kid is AP" place, and a lot of parents are coming at it from a "my kid is not AP" place.  Ultimately, I have two more kids coming up the ranks, and so their experience will be different from N's.  They might not test into AP classes, and so then I will face a different kind of challenge, although I think there is also tremendous fear and hype about having one's child in a comprehensive or honors class.  It's not Rikers Island, for pete's sake.

I will talk myself down from that drama when the time comes, I guess.

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