Before answering, I need to clarify that some of the above options where schools where she was high on the waiting list but did not have a 100% for-sure spot when I started writing this and when I started discussing the issue with DC so discussing schools has been really challenging. We do not have the option for private our county schools so I had to be careful about being protective of all her options so that, if she got "stuck' with something, she was not loaded with a lot of the negative aspects of the school. I hope that makes sense.
She's like me. Up until last week she was very optimistic about her choice, which has been the Design program/school. But, that was not without reservations...but she is pretty 'good' about keeping her reservations in perspective and looking at the positives. She and I both knew that the Design school would have wonderful elements but that it would have been a very challenging transition.
I am also starting back to school full-time in the fall so the idea of both of us having a transition year was pretty scary!
So, I visited the neighborhood school and really liked it. It's small (200 kids in the middle school), the building is a 4th-8th grade facility, which I think will be good for DC to transition where she will not be the youngest, I loved the traditional curriculum, and they have a bunch of good "extras" and strong leadership.
I was worried about talking to her about this curve-ball because I was pretty decided and I wasn't sure how to deal with that if she was set on the Design school. Also, I still didn't want to discuss the negatives of the Design school. For one, we have a friend going there so I didn't want to trash their school to DC but, also, DC may want to go there for high school. And, just because it seemed like a negative thing to do...
So, I just told DC about the neighborhood school without comparing it to the Design school. I told her first about the facilities (which pale in comparison to the Design school), the neighborhood (both are cool but the neighborhood school will offer her some urban freedom before the Design school even if the Design school neighborhood ultimately has more to offer), the curriculum (that DC loved the sound of) and some of the more traditional perks like soccer and swimming.
She told me right away that she prefers the neighborhood school. So we went over to look at the facilities, walked to the little commercial village and made the decision to do a last minute switch.
One other thing that influenced all of this pretty strongly is that DC seems to rapidly coming out of her reading delay. She's officially "advanced" in reading based on state testing. So, we're no longer that worried about her having limited options for highschool. I'm still scared of having to do this over again in three years...but I think I'll have better perspective next go round. If she goes to college, we'll be experts by then!