Elementary School Selection

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Jennifer11. Show Jennifer11's posts

    Elementary School Selection

    Since this board has been so helpful to me in the past, I'm hoping someone, anyone can help me with my quandry since I have been thinking & re-thinking it for weeks!  We live in a town with mediocre schools (elementary schools are ranked 400 to 600 based on MCAS scores) and, because of child care issues, moving is currently not an option.  Our older daughter attended a private (Catholic) school for kindergarten & 1st grade.  We loved the kindergarten program but were rather underwhelmed by the 1st grade curriculum (lots of worksheets and little creative thought)  and the price is a stretch for us ($8,000) so thought we would try the local school.  The problem is this:  since making this "decision" we have heard from a number of people that the local school staff is "great" responsive" etc. but the academics are weak, that our daughter will be ahead, that she won't learn as much, etc.  Now I am a wreck - my daughter is very bright and very shy and transitions are hard for her so I only want to make this change once, not pull her out again, if necessary. I am usually a decisive person but I am wracked by indecision here.  I hope someone has some words of wisdom!  Sorry this is so long & thanks for any feedback!!
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: Elementary School Selection

    You might not be aware but talk to the Catholic School Principal, there most likely is Financial assistance that you can get.  My son is in Catholic and for most of his time there I was a single mom that received some assistance.  I didn't get the whole thing covered, but got some to make cost a little more bearable.  We've since moved to a town with a decent school system, but my son (going into the sixth grade) has begged us to let him stay so he can graduate (from 8th grade) with his friends.  It doesn't hurt to talk to the school. 

    Also, not sure where you live, but my son goes to a Catholic school in a "rich city" and it's no where near $8,000.  
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Elementary School Selection

    I know a kid, all A's from 1st grade through 12th....he even did his homework on the bus ride home when he could and held a part time job after school and weekends.

    The kid...above average

    The school system mediocre at best....

    ...that being said, the kid got a full boat scholarship to Harvard!

    It's NOT the school alone - it's the student that applies the most effort!

    If your kid's an idiot a great school won't make him smart.....right???

    Read drobee's post....spot on!
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Elementary School Selection

    Since you categorized your daughter as both bright and shy, the best school for her will be where she is comfortable and happy in the environment.  That is, classrooms, teachers, and peers that she enjoys being in and around.  A staff that is "great" and "responsive" sounds pretty good, too!
    I really wouldn't worry about rankings - the rankings by MCAS pretty much reflect income.  They don't predict anything for individual kids about the impact of the school, and they are not useful for comparing schools as a causal mechanism unless the income variable is controlled for.
    I also wouldn't worry much about project based learning - as others have mentioned, there's not a lot of evidence that it actually helps learning particular skills.
    Honestly, to have parents who are deeply interested in the education, plus a school environment that is comfortable and happy -- I think those things are much more important than the format of the work.
    That said, I feel your frustration with worksheets.  But I do think as a vested parent you can help your daughter expand on those things outside of school.  Also, you mentioned being into project based learning, so I'm wondering if you have any experience or strength in a particular area.  Would it be feasible to volunteer to lead your daughter's class in a special project?  It's possible this could even become part of the school's practice if it goes well!
    GL with your decision!
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: Elementary School Selection

    Beware of any teacher or school you check out that wants to classify her as a "type" on Day One.  You don't want "bright and shy" to get her pigeonholed as the sweet little brainy loner nerd as self-fulfilling prophecy at 6.  Individualized attention is fine but it's not like there are subspecies of children.  It's OK to be who you are, but not so good to have traits reinforced, magnified...not sure what to call it but the feedback loop of exaggerating the personality.