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anyone besides me think their public school is wonderful?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
reading these posts it sounds like not many of us are happy with our children's school

i love my son's school.

we do work on stuff at home too, so he is getting extra help.

i think our school does a great job.

if i didn't, i'd either move...or go to private school

anyone else think their school does a good job?
post #2 of 12
I do! My kids go to a great public school. Two of the three kindergarten teachers are Waldorf teachers. There's a Spanish Immersion program which my kids participate in. Ds can speak Spanish pretty well after 4 years in this program. There's a very active PTO that puts out fun family-oriented programs each month. This month's was our annual international potluck supper. All families were invited to attend and bring a dish that represents their ethnic heritage. There's a contest with student and teacher judges and prizes for various categories: spiciest, etc. I sit on the PTO board and edit the monthly newsletter and I really enjoy it.

This is not a lily-white suburban school. It is in downtown Charlottesville and has a diverse group of children--some from rich, well educated families, others from a housing project, and everything in between. The principal is friendly and accessible, parents are welcome in the building. You don't even need an "excuse" (like volunteering) to visit your child. I can drop in and have lunch or hang out during recess with my children. Most of the teachers are bright and enthusiastic and the students are very friendly for the most part. One day, my 2 year old fell down and was crying, and one of the students came up to me and gave us a band-aid that she had in her pocket. My daughter's class had a Christmas celebration with a pinata. My 2 year old didn't get any candy, so a boy in the class gave my son ALL of his candy.

The building is clean and bright with lots of windows. There's a fabulous playground with garden space. Pick up time is a social hour with the other parents. It's just a great community. It breaks my heart that ds will move to the upper elementary next year. (Ch'ville is so small that it has just one upper elem, middle school & high school--but they're big schools, not intimate like the elementary schools.
post #3 of 12
My ds17 will graduate from high school this year. He has always done very well in school and has made a lot of friends. He started out as a very shy, quiet boy, but with the help of some great teachers he really blossomed. We also did a lot of arts and crafts at home (I had a home day care when he was younger) and went on a lot of day trips.

My ds5 started kindergarten this year. He has the totally opposite personality. He doesn't have a shy bone in his body and never sits still if he can help it. I thought it might be a hard adjustment for him, but he just loves school. He has an experienced teacher who seems to appreciate his outgoing nature.

That said, there were a couple of teachers I wish my oldest didn't have and some that I've heard about that I will make sure ds5 doesn't get. It really depends a lot on the teachers your child has and your school system. We live in a small town that has a reputation for good schools. I grew up in a small city and it was hard for me as far as making friends because I was shy and we were sent to bigger schools each time we began Jr and Sr HS. In this town (where my dh grew up) the same children go to school together from K through HS.
post #4 of 12
What a great thread! I'm facing the dilemma about what to do about schools for dd, and it's good to hear some people talk with confidence about their children's schools.

I often wonder when reading this forum how much of the problem that many people have with schools is from their personal experience of school. Which I suppose would just goes to show that the effect that a bad teacher can have can last right through adulthood!

I see it that my reponsibility as a parent will be to get involved, know what is going on in school, and help where I can. And try to remember that teachers are people too!
post #5 of 12
I'm really glad you started this thread, because it's true, we tend to focus on the problems or the things we would like to fix.

So far, so good with my son's school. It is a welcoming and nurturing place. Both his teacher's so far have tried to understand his strengths, have met with me to problem solve, etc. He is a fairly strong willed, active little guy, wonderful academically, fairly hard to deal with socially. Anyway, I've been pleased. My daughter looks forward to when she can go, and i think she'll have an even easier time of it than my son (easier temperament).

post #6 of 12
My two oldest girls attend a public citywide specialty school that has an emphasis on creative arts. Families are very involved and it is a very nurturing place.
We are white, and the school is very integrated which is important to me.

If you only read the newspaper here you would think that the public schools are awful, but everyone I know who has kids in public school is pretty happy with them. You really just have to visit a school yourself to get a good idea of what it is like.
post #7 of 12
My kids have had wonderful nursery school and public school experiences. Our nursery school is run by the YMCA following the Reggio Emilia methods and the elementary school is French Immersion. They have given my kids a wonderful complement to the things we do in our home to help them learn, and they have provided a great community of parents for me to work within.
post #8 of 12
My daughter is in kindergarten this year and so far we have been absolutely THRILLED! Her teacher is very energetic and caring. The school is beautiful - brand new.

(Hi Lauren, it's Meghan in NJ)
post #9 of 12
Unschooling mom here...been toying with the idea of putting my oldest in first grade next year....I have a preschooler and baby and feel the need for a break! I feel I'm being selfish to put kids in schol for a few years, but I do think it could be great for them too! Reading some of the above posts makes me think, hey ps might not be such a bad thing. I want to go back to school at home when all the kids are a bit older and I don't have so much demands...any thoughts out there...just feeling drained these days...need advice!!!!

post #10 of 12
It's good to see this thread re-energized because there really are some great things going on in some public schools. My son loves school, still, first grade, with a great teacher this year. My daughter loves (and I mean LOVES) the little preschool she goes to, which serves children with special needs as well as those with regular developmental needs. We have been very pleased.

Momofthreecuties, I think you should do what's best for your children at each particular time. If you choose public school for awhile, it doesn't mean you can't homeschool again later when you have more energy for it. I suppose some homeschoolers would disagree, but I think a mom has to be able to do what seems best for her kids, which often means doing what is most feasible, and what the mom/dad can practically commit energy to.

Meghan, glad to see you here again! I'm glad public school is working out for R. this year too!
post #11 of 12
My ds and I both love his public school too. He is in kindergarden and has had a great year after some adjustment difficulties at first. I taught in the school system where we live and so I feel really confident with it. It's a very good school system with (mostly) wonderful teachers and administrators.

One of my favorite things about school for ds is how it exposes him to diversity and helps him to become friends with different children. He has children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds in his class and a student with a disability as well.
post #12 of 12
I was in the same situation as momof3cuties. Three kids and one mom together all day can lead to a bit of stress. Good schools like ours enrich the children's lives so that when we're all back together we've got some new things to talk about. I think you have to be clear about what you want from the school, though. It is easy for some parents to get caught up in the drive for higher marks and greater achievements and confuse that with genuine education. With a rich home life, though, school falls into place as one more interesting thing we do, and then it succeeds very well for our family.
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