It is only February 27. The Magpie will not be turning five years old until June. She will not be attending kindergarten until September. Yet, we have already submitted applications to three schools: one we really want, a language program in our district and our catchment school.
We had to apply to our catchment school. By the end of February. There is actually no guarantee that they will take us.
I’m slightly horrified.
Have I bitched about this yet? Oh, yes, I have. And, until we have a spot somewhere, I’m unfortunately prone to bitching about this again.
I mean, really, choice is lovely. It’s good to have options and niches and variety. But when it results in the inevitable desire and demand for schools that offer all manner of specialties or simply have limited enrollment available – whether the awesomeness and limits are real or contrived – we’re left trying to assess our kid’s goals, learning style and life long education scheme before she can even read. Just so we can make the appropriate applications. All this while her favourite tv shows, favourite activities and best friends change weekly.
We love living in the city because we have access to the choice. We can have options of restaurants, concerts, events, classes, lifestyles and schools. But just because the options exist does not, apparently, mean that they’re accessible. Even signing up months in advance, filling in all the appropriate forms correctly and living within the right geography doesn’t guarantee a thing.
So, now we wait. For eminent emails. For eminent phone calls. For application review (at our school-of-choice) and lottery drawings (at the language program) and population assessments (at the district level). And it’s only February 27th.
I wanted to know last week. I will not become one of Those Parents who phone and harass the poor folks trying to do their jobs. I am already one of Those Parents who applied to private schools and language programs. And I’m left wondering why, exactly, I feel the need to know right this second. I have done my duty and have no further control over the situation. It will be what it will be and I’ll have an opportunity to accept it or pitch a fit later.
Fortunately I have a distraction: sign up for preschool classes at the arts centre begins at midnight, March 1. And, if I’m not online then, those classes will fill up before I have a chance to sign the Magpie up for her current favourites.
Because, with all the demand for choices, turns out that sing-a-long and play-acting classes are just as difficult to get into as private schools.