Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Random Thoughts and Frustrations About My Son Starting Kindergarten Next Week

1. My oldest son starts Kindergarten next Tuesday.

2. He's excited, and so am I. I don't feel sad at all. Maybe that will change when the actual day comes, but right now I can't wait for him to start. One daycare payment gone, one to go.

3. Even though we live only 3 miles from an elementary school in the town we work in, our house is technically an inch or two (okay, a mile, but still!) over the county line, so he will have to go to an elementary school in a different town, different county, 12 miles the opposite direction. The school is literally in the middle of nothing...just fields all around it.

4. Apparently the school doesn't feel it necessary to send the parents a copy of the school calendar in advance. Because, you know, parents don't need to plan ahead for what the heck they're gonna do with their child on days school is not in session and all the million half-days and such. I've learned now that one must call and bug/plead/beg the Central Office in desperation in order to receive a school calendar.

5. Afterschool program? Why no, there isn't one because "we tried it once and there wasn't enough interest". Hello? Have you tried re-accessing the "interest" level again lately? Just because one year who knows how long ago there wasn't enough interest, does not mean there will never be enough interest. Okay, so, if there's no after school program offered by the school, where are other after school options in the area along the school's bus route? What? There are only 2 ladies in the entire school district that watch kids after school? And no daycare centers within the bus route of the school? So what do other families with 2 working parents do?

6. School bus times apparently are not something parents need in advance either. One week before the start of school I called to ask if these times would be mailed to us, or how we go about finding out what time our child will be picked up and dropped off. "If you come by the school on Monday night we should have a better idea of the bus stop times by then." Um, yeah! I certainly *hope* they "have a better idea" by Monday night...that being the NIGHT BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS! Geez! Thanks for the notice. So glad I will have a whole 12 hours notice of whether I will need before school care or if I will have time to wait with him for the school bus before going to work the next morning. Oh and after school care? Yeah, we might not need any if the bus drops him off late enough, but the night before school starts is plenty of time to arrange for that too, huh? Ugh!

7. I have worn the path between home and the school already yesterday. They had a practice day of school yesterday, just for a few hours. I thought this was a wonderful idea! Too bad we were mistakenly told it started at 7am, to which I got up extra early and drove him there only to find an empty parking lot and door locked. I called the school, and someone answered. She said she thought it was 8:00 that it started (she was the cleaning lady, no one else was there). Went back at 8:00. Secretary was there this time. She looked surprised to see us, and promptly told us that it didn't start until 9:00. By now I'm already late to work (supposed to be at work by 8am about 25 miles away from the school). I have to come back and pick him up at noon- this would mean a lot of driving for only about an hour at work before driving back to get him. So, I drive him home and we wait and go back AGAIN at 9:00am. I called work, let them know. And I already was taking the afternoon off because Brendan's daycare was on a field trip so I couldn't drop him off late there. So, I ended up not going into work at all yesterday. Now I have to figure out how to make up 8 hours of work since I didn't previously request permission for a vacation day. Because I didn't know I'd need one!

8. Did I mention that Joe is going to be gone at a conference the first few days of school? So no help there. This makes #6 above even more frustrating and difficult!

9. No I'm not usually this sarcastic and negative. I'm really not one of *THOSE* parents who complain about everything ;)

10. I *do* know everything will work out :)

11. But I don't know how the school expects working parents to function on this last minute type schedule. Especially for incoming Kindergarteners with parents who are clueless on how the school system runs, more information needs to be communicated!

12. I'm really starting to wonder if we are one of only a very few families with 2 working parents in this school district.

13. I know what all of you experienced parents of school-age children are going to say..."Just wait!" Yes, I realize there's a whole new world of things to come! And I'm looking forward to it (well, most of it anyway). And if you stick around I'm sure you'll hear plenty about it here on my blog :) (Okay, now I've bored you all to death and you'll never come back. Please don't run away. lol)

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Kimmy said...

God love ya!!! I feel your anxiety. Yeah. It shows ;)
Seriously... can you NOT transfer your son to another school? Preferably the one closer to you? That's just crazy!
You are in a country school for sure! Everything's slower in the country ;)
Jacob's school is polar opposite... more meetings info sometimes than I care to have. But I'm also the person that HAS to know what's going on MONTHS before it happens. I am not good at last minute things. ESPECIALLY something as TRIVIAL as bus pick up/drop off times. Oh... that would drive me crazy! It's not like you're asking for class schedules.
Bless your heart! (And I am usually this sarcastic ;)

FrogLegs said...

ROFLOL! Oh gosh, I got a kick out of your stress... why? Because I was like that- until I found out about the schools website (back then.) which has everything-- maybe your school has that?? And like Kimmy said- I'd ask about tranferring too- because everywhere I've ever lived you can do that. On the grounds that they have no bussing- you take them, you pick them up. Seriously- you call and find out! I'd be astonished if they wouldn't let you do it.
School here is going to royal stink. I have no clue what the dates are for anything- or what time school starts. BUt they don't go back till the 5tyh- so it's not next week. But it's why I also wanted to go into teaching- so we would have the same schedule... and you could be right- they might not have many families where both parents work. Oh-- you shoudl have a party about no day care costs for him- YAY!!! BTW: I can't wait to see more "first time schooler" posts! Reminds me of my own back thens, LOL!

Lisa said...

Heck, I'm not a working Mom and I would have been frustrated and more than a tad upset as well.

Karen said...

Courtney, that has to be my number one complaint with the school systems - not ever knowing what is going on? And then they have the audacity to look confused and wonder why no one ever shows up at games, etc. Because no one knows about them! lol

I think that is one of the biggest reasons I started volunteering to maintain our sons' school websites, so I'd know what the heck is going on (and even then, not always!)

Hang in there. I hope things start running smoother for you. It IS frustrating not knowing how to plan your schedule.

Lifecruiser said...

Wow. I don't envy you at all on that part. It sounds very ineffective. Why make this harder than necessary, I just wonder. No wonder you complain.

I hope you get everything sorted out and it all be smooth as a baby tush ;-)

Courtney said...

Yep, the school has a website, I checked that first, but they do not update it at all over the summer, so it was no help. lol And, nope, they do not allow transferring to another school. We tried. lol Oh yes, hubby called a few different times asking, seeing if he'd get the same answer. The district we'd like him to go to (with the school that's only 3 miles away) doesn't make any exceptions. The only way is if a parent teaches at the school, then their child(ren) can go there with them. That's it- the only exception. Even if we drive him to school. You can apply to pay full tuition and take him there, but then that's outrageously expensive. So we're stuck. Unless we move. Which we're not. lol

Katherine said...

Yipes, that is really rough! I would be so annoyed at the total lack of communication from the school. It's unreal. I think you should write a letter to the principal and superintendant.

Kendra said...

I love back to school time! But wow sounds like that school is crazy! And it's sad because this is your first experience as your oldest starting kindergarden. Well I'm sure things will work out. Happy Thursday!

baggage said...

Makes me glad I'm homeschooling!

Laura said...

no worries about your venting here. this all sounds so frustrating and i say preach on sista!
i can tell you kindergarten seemed to be the hardest while trying towork and yes, sometimes it does seem that school personnel don't get that some parents do indeed work.
hang in there.

Susan said...

Oh my goodness this has been a busy week for you. As an educator in the public school, I can identify with many of these things from the school's perspective...and the parent perspective. It's hard. Hang in there. I am sure you'll get in a routine.

It's so hard to draw boundary lines. Someone has to live on it, right?

My TT is up, too. Hoping all goes smoothly with the rest of "start-up".

Carolyn F said...

I got Connor's class assignment yesterday, 9 days before school starts, along with the supply list, two weeks after the tax free weekend. They give us a twenty minute window as to when the bus will show up, and you PRAY that it's accurate...

You'll get your first school fundraiser probably a week after school starts, and he'll come home day one and need DIFFERENT supplies than the list they gave you...

Don't forget your camera day 1!

LaShawn said...

Last year when my oldest started K I felt the same way about the lack of communication. TELL US SOMETHING!!!

K T Cat said...

I love the tone of enthusiastic, hopeful anxiety. What a wonderful time of life!

factor 10 said...

Oh, hang in there! My son's school is also one that doesn't see a "need" for any sort of after school program. And oh, by the way, kids are to vacate school grounds immediately after school, no hanging out waiting for parents to pick them up. They give like a half an hour window, then start shooing kids away...grrrrrrr
I hope the transfer idea pans out!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

oh my gosh! that is stressful and difficult! i hope it all works out for you!!! I sure hope you can tranfer him!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

oh I just read your comment that said you can't transfer. That is too bad. Good Luck!! :)

Norma said...

A few wrinkles to iron out! Quite a list.

Thanks for visiting.