Yesterday was a big day for us. The one-month anniversary of the boys and I moving to New Orleans AND the first day of school!
I guess I should start by saying the schools in New Orleans are notorious. Most of the public schools have been taken over by charter schools. And the charter schools have a lottery process, some with testing, that happens in the spring. So moving here in July, we were short on choices. When I first started calling around, no one answered since school was out for the summer. When I finally did start getting a hold of schools we got the "no vacancies" message. Finally I found a school and it is not too far away. But of course, if it was a school that still had openings it wasn't a "first choice" with other parents.
After I went to the parent orientation night I could tell that this was an inter-city school with a big focus on discipline and "preparing all of our students to attend a college-preparatory high school, graduate from a selective college, and contribute positively to their community." It was definitely going to be a change.
And the first visible change was that we needed to go uniform shopping! Uniforms were a totally new concept for my kids! And the strictness of them got me, "all black shoes, including the soles."
Finally the first day of school arrived.
And then, I was heartbroken when they both got in the car after school and said, "We like our old school better!" I learned that Grant had eaten NOTHING at lunch, despite packing a lunch of his favorites. Greyson told me they just talked about discipline and values all day, which he thought was unfair.
Grant did tell me he liked that they have PAT time which was picking your own activity, but Greyson said the only thing good about school was coming home.
Greyson also said to me, "I'm the only white kid in my class, everyone else is brown. In the other 4th grade there is a white girl, but she was home schooled and has no idea what school is." All I said was, "Oh, really?" I guess I want Greyson to make up his own mind about what that all means.
So this morning as I woke up the boys I was greeted with cries of, "We don't want to go back there!" Well, you don't really have a choice. I want to help my kids see the opportunities and good experiences, but I'm not sure myself what those are right now.