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Please help me with your opinion! I would greatly appreciate it as I am now down to the... - Page 2

Poll Results: Given what you know about the decisions I have ahead of me (and trying not to feel biased towards private OR public school as an option)... Should OI

 
  • 16% (5)
    Just pay the deposit and go for it. Have faith in your dreams and trust that all willl work out!
  • 83% (25)
    Give up the spot. Financial security is more important than private school, and your daughter will be fine in public school!
30 Total Votes  
post #21 of 33

Can you open enroll your daughter in the other public school that you prefer?

post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 
I tried, and they told me I could write a formal request, but it looks like they only honor requests under extreme duress. I did contact the principal of my zoned school, who seems friendly (though all calls are routed through that rude secretary.) She has no problem with meeting with me. The secretary was still nasty when I called at principal's request. Mean people suck... That's all I have to say smile.gif
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tammylsmith View Post

I tried, and they told me I could write a formal request, but it looks like they only honor requests under extreme duress. I did contact the principal of my zoned school, who seems friendly (though all calls are routed through that rude secretary.) She has no problem with meeting with me. The secretary was still nasty when I called at principal's request. Mean people suck... That's all I have to say smile.gif

 

If you can meet with the principal, I would go with the public school. Private school is insanely expensive, and if you're pushing the budget to make it, its really a bad idea. Meet with the principal, see the school, and then take the plunge and sign her up (unless its really horrific).

 

If you aren't constantly worried about money you will be able to volunteer in the classroom more (even if you're working it is easier to find flexibility when you aren't majorly stressed about money), and will be able to take a more active role in her learning at home - with homework, reading to her, etc. The best thing for a childs education is having her parents involved, interested, and willing to help - when parents are crazy stressed its really hard to be those things.

post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 
I think you have all offered some great advice! Talked to the principal, who was actually quite lovely. That set my mind at ease.I'm glad mean secretary was incorrect, and wish I had just talked to principal first.They are testing now, so I.ll stop in and tour in a week or so. Im going to put dd on next year's waitlist at the private school, take some deep breaths... and take this year as it comes. Thanks for helping me work through this. It helped SO much!!
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tammylsmith View Post

Thanks for your replies and votes so far! really helpful as I mull over this decision. Just a note for clarification, but tuition at this school is 12.500/yr. My plan was to spread that into 24 payments, so this year would be cheap, but next year would jump, because I'd be paying regular tuition on top of "back" tuition, if that makes sense. So this year would be 450/mo and next would be about 1400/mo. When ds starts school in 3 years, it will be 1900/mo

If you have a spread a single year's tuition over two year period you cannot afford the school in no uncertain terms. Give up the spot, try the public school, and hopefully your financial options will improve such that you can make a real choice.

post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tammylsmith View Post

 When I bought my house, I didn't have kids, and I wasn't planning on still being here still. Dh and I had a lot more money. Now I feel trapped in my house. Trapped with the wrong school, and trapped without money. Certainly, lol the way to get out of my money trap would be to make a sound financial decision, which I will likely do. It's just hard, because I feel like I have little choice as it is, and I guess that is what is really frustrating me at the root of all of this!

 

 

I would reread this and work on making peace with your current situation.  

 

Hugs, mama.

 

Kathy

 

 

 

post #27 of 33

I'm so glad the principal got things sorted out for you :)  I hope your dc's teacher is wonderful, and that you have a great experience at the school :)

post #28 of 33
Thread Starter 

Aaw thanks Jen, and to everyone who helped me out so much in this discussion. It is wonderful to have a group of objective, thoughtful mamas to get ideas from. It's like going out for coffee with a few hundred of your closest friends to chat thumb.gif

 

I have done some serious soul-searching this week about what's really important to me in life, and what I want for my kids. I am a fiercely independent, thoughtful mom (which is why I'm on MDC, naturally!) and can be idealistic. Parenting completely tears down the idea of "always" and "never" in so many ways, because we really DON'T have complete control, only the right to guide these little ones in our care in the best way we can, and work with the hands we are dealt in life. I STILL value a good, progressive education free from homework and tests, etc, where kids are free to explore, HOWEVER... as several of you so clearly stated... freedom to explore life will be hindered if I am financially stressed to the max and there isn't an extra dime in the budget to do fun thing like travel and explore as a family. It has already caused stress between dh and I, and we hadn't even started paying tuition! Saving $ means we can afford to to tons of extra "field trips." I think I'll just have dd put on the private school's wait list for next year, and we'll savor life a day at a time, which is how it should be. Who knows where we will be next year? I need to just take a breath, because this kindergarten year is going to be here and gone before I can blink! Why stress over it, right!?

 

I also can't say that dd won't adore her public school, and the experiences she will have there. The principal of my zoned school called me the other night, well after her official work hours, because it's her policy to always return a parent's communication within the same day when possible, and we had a long, friendly conversation. She invited me to not only stop by today, but bring dd in so she could meet the teachers and see the classroom. Dd is THRILLED! I drove her by the school to show her, and she seems totally psyched at the idea. All of our neighbors go there, so she will already know kids in her class. There will be a fun bus ride around town for all the kindergarteners to take next week, which dd is very excited about as well.

 

I've also been a little hard on my town. The next town over (with the public school I would have preferred) is filled with doctors, lawyers, etc.. and the school's "extras" reflect that kind of extra cash inflow... while my town is teachers, plumbers, contractors etc. In other words, a solidly middle class small town, with parents who participate and well-kept houses and kids.   I might not have specifically chosen this school, but it is a perfectly nice place, in a friendly, non-pretentious, perfectly nice town. I think my bright and extremely social dd will easily make many friends. Whew! I feel so much better now! om.gif

post #29 of 33

We were recently faced with a similar situation, although our zoned school is not that great so it was ruled out early on.  Our choices were to keep DD in her current private school for kindergarten or go with a new charter school opening in August.  We could have saved money to buy a house faster but we ultimately decided to keep her in her current private school.  There were too many unknowns about the new school.  I asked a couple of challenging  questions at one of the information sessions and the speaker actually said that the school might not be a good fit for my daughter and that's my choice as it's a school of choice but this is how they do things!  The speaker was a vice principal at another school run by the same management company so that speaks volumes. DD's private school will cost us $6080 a year plus before and after school care.  We have elected to pay the tuition quarterly.

 

With that being said, I would never go into debt or stretch out the payments for private education.  It's just not financially wise so I think you've made the correct decision if you end up enrolling your DD in the public school.

post #30 of 33

Where I grew up, it was mostly public or Catholic school. My whole family went to public school and we loved it. Where I live now is very different from where I grew up. There is a lot more crime, poverty, etc. surrounding us (grew up in the suburbs of NYC, now live in the deep south). I thought about private school due to the problems in our community which effect our schools. There really weren't any non faith-based private schools, so looked into magnet and charter schools. Lucked out and got my kids into a magnet school. I feel bad sometimes because it is very challenging and one of my kids has some issues effecting his learning, but we are getting by.

 

I would say to try out public school for now. I understand that you will lose your spot, but if it doesn't work out, there are other options. You can get them back on a list, get a better teacher the next year, put them in a different school, move, pull them out and homeschool them or get a tutor. 

 

The main secretary at my son's school is SO intimidating. I am sure she is a nice woman, but she scares me. I have also had bad experiences with principals at a couple of schools too. Unfortunately, this seems to happen a lot in pubic schools around here. As long as you have a few employees on board and the teacher is nice, you will be fine. I wish they could all be nice....but for some reason, there are always a few that rub me the wrong way. I guess, when you are getting paid so little to do so much, and you have so much red tape, etc, it is hard to be accommodating to everyone.

 

I would try talking to the principal or assistant principal (the asst. principal at my son's school is fabulous!) I wouldn't give up on the public school just yet. I was in tears one year because my son's teacher rubbed me the wrong way the first week of school, and the principal was mean to me too....I was on the phone with the pre-k director complaining about them and trying to get my son placed elsewhere....she calmed me down and explained that the teacher was having some issues in her private life with her health....within a few months I LOVED his teacher. It all worked out fine.

post #31 of 33
Thread Starter 

I wanted to post an update... thought it might help someone else who might be in a similar place. THANK YOU to everyone who posted such thoughtful responses. It really helped me sort through my feelings. I was soo disappointed to give up on the idea at first, but I am starting to get into the idea. One thing that helps is that my dd's upcoming class seems to have an exceptionally cohesive and friendly bunch of parents. I met several at a fun school orientation event (the kids got to go on a bus ride ) and we exchanged emails and have been having regular play dates. Really nice people and adorable, sweet kids who dd is excited to have as classmates. Dd is really excited about school, and I am really excited about getting our finances not only back on track but better than ever. I think she is going to do just fine, and I am finally happy to say I am excited about her upcoming school experience (though, for the record, the secretary is still an ogre wink1.gif )

post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tammylsmith View Post

Dd is really excited about school, and I am really excited about getting our finances not only back on track but better than ever. I think she is going to do just fine, and I am finally happy to say I am excited about her upcoming school experience (though, for the record, the secretary is still an ogre wink1.gif )

 

That sounds great (except for the ogre part)!

 

I've thought a lot about choices over the years. We made a choice when we started our family to live within our means, debt-free, in a small, safe community surrounded by beautiful wilderness where our kids could explore / roam / play / grow up without fear. My kids have unique learning needs. Our school choice consisted of one under-funded public school, K-12, with fewer than a hundred students. Extra-curricular options for supporting my kids' passions and talents have been extremely limited as a result of our rurality.

 

I could have bemoaned the lack of educational choice. But that would have got me nowhere except to a state of feeling resentful and unempowered. I admit I've been through occasional phases where I've been mired down in those feelings. But I really had to reframe the issue of choice: we had made bigger, more global choices than School A vs. B vs. C. We chose things like simplicity, financial and personal security, and freedom, things that trump the smaller choices of this school vs. that school or gymnastics vs. dance or violin teacher A vs. violin teacher B.

 

So it sounds like you're doing the right thing: looking at your choices through a wide-angle lens. You have the choice of more marital harmony, less stress, more family freedom, etc. etc.. rather than private school and the concomitant stress / discord / financial strain. Sounds like you're making an important and very sound choice.

 

Miranda

post #33 of 33
What a great update! We meet wonderful kids and parents through public school! How nice that the year is getting off to a good start!
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