When we first talked about moving, and I am talking YEARS ago, the ONE thing I was most worried about, was school. We can always find a better home, a better area, but the thing I had heard over and over again was how horrible the schools were in FL. So what do you do with that information? Well, we researched, we asked others, and we prayed. Yes, we prayed. I believe that God won’t lead me into something I can’t handle, including school for my kids. So we attended Open House for Emily tonight- here is how it went.
We arrived at the Main Office to pick up Emily’s schedule, a map, and the ins and outs paperwork. I was a bit concerned that we didn’t get a say in Emily’s classes at all, so I was hoping that she got classes that would challenge her and use her full potential. For her first semester, she has Advanced Math, Gym, Exploratory Wheel, Advanced Reading, Science, Language Arts, and World History. I would assume she has Art and Music next semester, but I am looking into it to make sure.
We took the time to find each class, which was very confusing at first. Keep in mind, the schools in WI are laid out differently, and 6th grade is still a “one-class” atmosphere in Appleton. Whereas here it is Middle School, which is a big deal in an 11 year olds eyes. The once safe feel of a constant classroom is replaced with moving every hour along with the stress of remembering where each class is located. We wanted Emily to feel safe tonight, so we made sure to walk from her first hour to her seventh hour class.
Luckily, most of her classes were very close together, and close to the cafeteria, so the only hike for Emily will be heading to the Gym area. For some reason, it seems like it was built after the school was, because it is a ways off from everything else. Emily has to walk a covered sidewalk area, through a forest, and then to the gym and soccer fields area. I am not going to lie, I am a bit nervous about the long walk to gym class. I know with time she will be fine, but thinking of her these first days doing that alone just terrifies me- I am going to have to find something to distract me this coming Monday.
We met all the teachers, and they were all very nice. The gym teacher was a bit off, but everyone else seemed very easy to talk to. No new gym shoes needed, which I have bought for every grade for the past 6 years, so that was a nice thing to hear. The thing is, if she just dirties up her regular shoes she wears to school, then that one pair is going to be kaput after a month. I’m going to have to send her with another pair I think- they must have gym lockers. We met the gym teacher in the cafeteria so no one had to walk all the way out to the gym area, but it didn’t help to not see where the kids enter for their regular gym area.
Lockers are visible in the school, but they are not using them this year. Each child carries their backpack from class to class- with their notebooks and pens and pencils. It sounds like the books stay in the classrooms, unless they have to go home. We had to wait on picking up Emily’s backpack because we had heard about the kids using them in other years between classes. If there aren’t many books ever going home, she should have a light backpack and thus making it easier on her during the school day.
I remember watching “Beverly Hills 90210” in High School and thinking that their school looked like a College campus- now I know why. It must be the warm climates that have schools laid out like outlet malls- not your typical one building with several hallways. The school has hallways behind the main doors, where you can find several classrooms inside. Most of her classes were small, so not huge numbers- this I liked because she really likes to learn and when there are less kids, possibly less social issues.
We figured out where to drop off and pick her up, and as we had come to a place of peace with all of it, Emily’s tears started to fall. At that moment I felt like the worse mother on the planet- was I hurting her by putting her in this school? She is so scared, and so am I, and I know the good Lord is on my side, but I have to let her face this on her own. I can only take her so far, but I feel like if I could I would hold her hand all day at school.
After a late dinner at our local Sizzler, we came home to indulge in mindless television. Emily seems to be doing fine, but I feel like I could crumble at any moment. Emily is my baby, and Kyra is always my strong one- to let my baby somewhere for 8 hours at a crack and have no clue how she is or what she is feeling is terrifying to me. I signed up for this, and I just have to find my strength next week, that’s all there is to it. Kyra’s open house is tomorrow night, so again, please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers. Have a great evening everyone.