thinking far in advance/ charter schools - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-26-2011, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is so hard to know where your child will be in 3 years! That is where I am at now, having to make a decision about 6th grade when my oldest is going into 3rd grade. DD1 is dyslexic, struggles with anxiety issues, she is a good student, it just isn't always easy for her. She has attended a very small private school for the last two years that has been a wonderful fit, for now. We soon will have 4 children, it is only going to get more difficult to do private for everyone with extras like sports which DD1 is heavily into. And while the lower grades are strong in her current school, 5th-8th are currently lacking, 5/6th are ok, 7/8 are the problem grades. They know that and are trying to fix the issues but with the way the school is set up, I don't see how they will be able to make the school academically strong for the older grades. It isn't a new problem, something they have struggled with with years. 

 

 

I don't see the regular public schools as an option because of her issues, they haven't been so willing to work with us in the past. She also thrives in a non-traditional settings, which is her current school. We live in a very rural area, school options are quite minimal. A  charter high high opened up 2-3 years ago, based off the High Tech High model. Charter schools in the past have always failed miserably here, for varied reasons, these are the only ones in the entire area. This one seems different, I think it will stick. They are opening a charter middle school based off the same model this fall, they already went to a lottery in Jan, there was that much interest which is amazing for such a rural area. From what I've researched about this model and from what I can see of DD1 now, I think she would do very well in this charter school.

 

 

DH has been approached to work on the school's phone and computer systems. It is many hours and if we choose, we can not bill for those hours and instead count them as volunteer hours and lock in a spot for DD1 that also guarantees our other children will go there as well. The high school operates differently and we would still have the brave the lottery system when that time comes. There is no guarantee of course that the school will still be around at that time and we could take our chance at the lottery but this year, before there was even a school, they only took 75% of families wanting to go. At enrollment, they mark down siblings ages and birthdays and lock in spots for them, and then 20% of all school spots are reserved for volunteer families, we could lock in a spot this year for her, they keep a running tally of open slots years in advance on their website. It appears to me that it will just get harder and harder to get in. We are seriously considering doing this, as happy as we are at our current school, just to have options for a child who does need alternative schooling. Any thoughts?

 

 


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#2 of 8 Old 06-27-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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Is there any chance that your DH could do the work now and they will hold the spot for 2 years until you know for certain that it's a good choice for your DD1? There's no harm in asking. 

 

If your DD tries this school next year and it doesn't work out, can she return to the private school or will she lose that spot forever? I'm wondering what other families at the private school do when their children are in 7/8, the grades that are lacking. Is there another option?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#3 of 8 Old 06-27-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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I don't think I'm fully understanding the problem. Your DD is going into 3rd grade now right? Your DH working at the school will allow him to lock her in for 6th grade correct? Well, you aren't under contract to actually go there come 6th grade. You aren't going to lose the private school place just because your child's name is on another list. I'd just snatch up that spot but not decide until the time comes whether you want to take it or not. Charters are very successful in our county and people apply for many at a time. In fact, our kids have gotten into 2 charters that we were interested in but in the end, we gave up the spot because other options were better at the time. It's no biggie at all. You just make someone who didn't get chosen happy!

 

We have the origional High Tech programs in our area and it is REALLY tough to get in. We know families who have tried 5 years in a row to win the lottery. If you get into the elementary you are in the program and have your choice of campuses the through 12th. Same with the middle. If you get in, you are in for high school. It's not a model for everyone but we know many very happy kids in them. We do feel it would be a perfect fit for DS and we are going to start the lottery for 7th grade in hopes that he will get in by 9th (we didn't try for 6th because we wanted him in the immersion program at least another year for his 3rd language.) Of course, in our case, if he gets in for let's say 8th grade, we would have to move him out of a middle school we love but we are willing to do that for the high school (as is he.)

 

Put her hame on the list if you are willing to forgo the income of the job. No final decisions need to be made now.

 

 

 


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#4 of 8 Old 06-27-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

I don't think I'm fully understanding the problem. Your DD is going into 3rd grade now right? Your DH working at the school will allow him to lock her in for 6th grade correct? Well, you aren't under contract to actually go there come 6th grade. You aren't going to lose the private school place just because your child's name is on another list. I'd just snatch up that spot but not decide until the time comes whether you want to take it or not. 

 

 

 



I was a little confused too, hence my questions. But I think the OP says that they have to make a decision whether to lock in a space for the next school year at the new-not-yet-opened charter "middle school". It must be a school that starts in 3rd grade or earlier, if that's true. IME, middle schools start in 6th or 7th grade, which is what I find confusing.  

 

 

 

 

Quote:
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 They are opening a charter middle school based off the same model this fall, they already went to a lottery in Jan, there was that much interest which is amazing for such a rural area. 

....

DH has been approached to work on the school's phone and computer systems. It is many hours and if we choose, we can not bill for those hours and instead count them as volunteer hours and lock in a spot for DD1 that also guarantees our other children will go there as well. The high school operates differently and we would still have the brave the lottery system when that time comes. There is no guarantee of course that the school will still be around at that time and we could take our chance at the lottery but this year, before there was even a school, they only took 75% of families wanting to go. At enrollment, they mark down siblings ages and birthdays and lock in spots for them, and then 20% of all school spots are reserved for volunteer families, we could lock in a spot this year for her, they keep a running tally of open slots years in advance on their website. 

 

 



 

OP, could you clarify what decision you have to make? Would she have to change schools this fall? If she doesn't and you can keep the spot in reserve, and make a decision for her 5th or 6th grade year, then that's probably a good strategy. 

 

I understand that your DH may not want to devote a lot of work hours if you aren't going to choose this school. If he can afford the time, it's probably worthwhile to secure the spot. I'd consider it a deposit. 
 

 
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#5 of 8 Old 06-30-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

I was a little confused too, hence my questions. But I think the OP says that they have to make a decision whether to lock in a space for the next school year at the new-not-yet-opened charter "middle school". It must be a school that starts in 3rd grade or earlier, if that's true. IME, middle schools start in 6th or 7th grade, which is what I find confusing.  


OP, could you clarify what decision you have to make? Would she have to change schools this fall? If she doesn't and you can keep the spot in reserve, and make a decision for her 5th or 6th grade year, then that's probably a good strategy. 

 

I understand that your DH may not want to devote a lot of work hours if you aren't going to choose this school. If he can afford the time, it's probably worthwhile to secure the spot. I'd consider it a deposit. 
 


I agree.

 

I also wanted to add that all your children don't have to be in the same school (i.e. all in private school). Though it can be more difficult to have children in separate schools, if one child has a special need that is better met in another school, you could have just that one be in that school. We were nearly in that situation, and I know other posters have children is separate schools. Our state charter school laws don't mandate (or allow, I forget which) sibling preference, so there was a chance dd wouldn't get into ds' charter for K (she did). I think dd would be fine in our neighborhood ps, but it is not a good place for ds.

 


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#6 of 8 Old 06-30-2011, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, pg exhaustion has gotten the better of me, and I didn't keep up on my own thread. redface.gif We have to make a decision now because DH will either bill for those hours or not starting now. He owns a IT company so he would have to make sure it is him doing the work there if we are counting it as volunteer hours instead of one of his employees (he doesn't usually work on smaller projects like this) and if he billed for that time, it would be thousands of dollars. We can afford not to bill currently, but then if we do that, we really should use that school when it comes time for her to be in 6th grade!

 

She is going into 3rd grade and the school would start at 6th grade. We can lock in a spot now for her in 6th grade by doing this work. The amount of set up the school requires would have us meeting the the hours required probably in 6 months. 

 

 

 


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#7 of 8 Old 06-30-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

Sorry, pg exhaustion has gotten the better of me, and I didn't keep up on my own thread. redface.gif We have to make a decision now because DH will either bill for those hours or not starting now. He owns a IT company so he would have to make sure it is him doing the work there if we are counting it as volunteer hours instead of one of his employees (he doesn't usually work on smaller projects like this) and if he billed for that time, it would be thousands of dollars. We can afford not to bill currently, but then if we do that, we really should use that school when it comes time for her to be in 6th grade!

 

She is going into 3rd grade and the school would start at 6th grade. We can lock in a spot now for her in 6th grade by doing this work. The amount of set up the school requires would have us meeting the the hours required probably in 6 months. 

 

 

 


Ah, thanks for clarifying. I still tend to support doing the work and securing the spot. I realize that it's asking a lot of your DH, but if your DD doesn't use end up attending the school I don't think you've wasted anything. The "deposit" of volunteer hours is manageable for you and your DH and it buys some peace of mind. Clearly, you've been concerned about future schooling decisions. If you decide that the school isn't suitable, or something better presents itself (the current school improves significantly or another school option appears), then nothing will stop you from making a different choice. "Locked in" doesn't literally mean you're not allowed to leave. 

 

If you don't send your DD to the new school, another way to look at the work your DH does for the school is to consider it in the spirit of true volunteerism. Charity without an expectation of any personal reward. By helping the school, he's supporting more educational options for your community. Even though your DD doesn't benefit, lots of other children will. There's nothing wrong with that and your family can be quite proud of him. 

 

ETA: When I was working, I did pro bono work and I remember the personal conflict I sometimes felt about it. You're conscious of the fact that you could be devoting the hours and effort to billing clients. Nonetheless, there were some personal rewards for helping others out that had nothing to do with money. 

 

One other thought: By working with the school, your DH will gain some valuable insight into the administration and operations. He'll get a good idea whether it will be a good place for your children. 

 

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#8 of 8 Old 06-30-2011, 04:01 PM
 
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I agree. If you can afford it, secure the spot. If he owns the company, I wonder if this project could also be a tax write-off since it's technically a donation to a non-profit organization? That might be "something" should you take the spot but decide to let it go come 6th grade.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post




Ah, thanks for clarifying. I still tend to support doing the work and securing the spot. I realize that it's asking a lot of your DH, but if your DD doesn't use end up attending the school I don't think you've wasted anything. The "deposit" of volunteer hours is manageable for you and your DH and it buys some peace of mind. Clearly, you've been concerned about future schooling decisions. If you decide that the school isn't suitable, or something better presents itself (the current school improves significantly or another school option appears), then nothing will stop you from making a different choice. "Locked in" doesn't literally mean you're not allowed to leave. 

 

If you don't send your DD to the new school, another way to look at the work your DH does for the school is to consider it in the spirit of true volunteerism. Charity without an expectation of any personal reward. By helping the school, he's supporting more educational options for your community. Even though your DD doesn't benefit, lots of other children will. There's nothing wrong with that and your family can be quite proud of him. 

 

ETA: When I was working, I did pro bono work and I remember the personal conflict I sometimes felt about it. You're conscious of the fact that you could be devoting the hours and effort to billing clients. Nonetheless, there were some personal rewards for helping others out that had nothing to do with money. 

 

One other thought: By working with the school, your DH will gain some valuable insight into the administration and operations. He'll get a good idea whether it will be a good place for your children. 

 



 


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