I think I may be... but I was caught off guard today be my 8 year old's best(ish) friend's mother calling to tell me that her son and my ds's other best(ish) friend are leaving our montessori for a public school next week. There are only 15 kids in their class and these two are/were my son's closest friends. I feel pretty down about it because I know that Milo will be so sad to lose his friends. (We will see them, I'm sure, but it's different when you see them once or twice a month instead of nearly everyday.) I think this will really turn his world upside down for a while, and that's making me feel a little sick to my stomach.
So, against that backdrop... I went to look at the website for this new school the two boys are going to. It's a smallish school, with only one class per grade and I actually know the building fairly well because it's the building my dh worked at until his work moved a few months ago. So, in a way, it should feel *safer* to me than some huge anonymous public school. But I am used to dropping my kid off in the morning with his TWO teachers, both of whom I've known for a couple of years and feel very good about, at his 15-kid class where the teachers are very involved with all of the ins and outs of the kids during the day. There are only a couple of adults that work at his school that I don't know fairly well and I know all of the kindy through third grade kids personally except for three who just started this year. So, when I think of the idea dropping him off at this new school, I feel horrified! I don't feel scared that he'll be abducted or something, it's more like I worry that he will feel sad or lonely or get picked on or something along those lines, and nobody will be there to watch out for him or let me know what's going on, and that I wouldn't have any control over it. Like, if it happened, you can't just pack up and move to the next school or something. I didn't feel this way about camps over the summer (and he went to several different ones with large variation in degree of supervision and adult/kid ratios), and I think it's because school seems SO important and because you can't just walk away from it if it isn't working.
I'm really feeling kinda freaked out by the whole thing -- both the idea that his friends are leaving and he's going to feel pretty hurt by it and by this idea of him going to such an unprotected feeling school (he's not going, but I think the other moms would love it if we did move him and there are some issues that moving there would resolve, like where he'd go after 3rd grade since his school ends there and the never ending battle to come up with the tuition that we can't really afford -- which is why my mind is going in the direction of what it would be like to leave him there). So, I keep telling myself that the vast majority of parents are fine with the idea of dropping their five year olds off at a public school, I went to a public school and didn't have any disastrous outcome, why is this idea so scary to me???
eta: One thing I can't seem to get past is that in cali they've just upped the permissible student/teacher ratio to 28:1. When we were looking at schools for kindergarten, we went to the orientation for our first choice public school that he got a spot at and asked the teacher if she thought she'd have enough one-on-one time with the kids if the class size went from 22 to 25 and she basically said it wouldn't make any difference at all because there has never been any one-on-one time because classes were too big to begin with.
Edited by rubidoux - 10/7/11 at 1:53pm