Updated at end: She got in!!! / seeking advice on how to get perfect preschool - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 08-03-2004, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have two daughters. Gracie will turn three on October 29. She and I would like her to go to preschool.

Please, I know this is long, so I will put my question up front: does anyone have any ideas for persuading this preschool to take my daughter, even if it means bending their rules for her?

I have looked closely at about half a dozen preschools, but found the perfect one in my own neighborhood.

The perfect preschool is around the corner from our house, barely two blocks away. The school is small, follows the Emlio Reggio approach, has a five to one student teacher ratio, and even parents who plan to homeschool send their children there for preschool. It is a cooperative with lots of AP parents, some who go miles out of their way to attend this school. We even know and socialize with some of them already. The kids go to school twice a week for three hours and, according to the kids and their parents, have lots of fun and enriching experiences. Parents can stay the entire time if they want to. And it's cheap, only $150 a month!

Unfortunately, when everyone was telling me to put Gracie on the waiting list shortly after she was born, I refused, planning to never let my precious little angel out of my sight. I waited a while, and now the classes for this fall are filled and she is number five on the waiting list.
I want to cry.

I have found that the school occasionally bends the rules for exceptional circumstances, like identical twins, etc. Also, they occasionally put a younger or older child in the next class in order to fill a class a certain way. This is all the information I have. They have a three year waiting list. I put Rosie on the waiting list the week after she was born and she's still not guaranteed a slot, but they said her name is high on the list and she has a good shot at getting in!!!

I feel like this is an exceptional circumstance -- my dd and this school are a perfect fit in every possible way, and the others I looked at didn't even come close. Either the ratio, the religion, the weird obedience things they had going, or the fact that they would not allow parents to even so much as set foot in the classroom ever, not even to drop off or pick up, made the highly rated alternatives unacceptable to me.

As far as I am concerned, it is either this school or homeschool. And I am a mama who is desperate for a break for a few hours a week so I can have some one on one time with the younger daughter.

Does anyone have any ideas? One of Gracie's best friends is six months older than Gracie, and that friend goes to this school, btw.
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#2 of 13 Old 08-04-2004, 12:29 AM
 
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I think number five is very high, and that the chances of her getting a spot are good, though probably not until school is already in session. People move during the school year. Children turn out to be unready. Some people will be unhappy and pull their kids. I suspect you will get a call.

However -- if you don't, can't she just attend next year?
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#3 of 13 Old 08-04-2004, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your encouraging words, but it feels to me like nobody ever leaves this school. A few families turn it down, not realizing what they have done until it is too late. But once they are in, they seem to stay forever. So I don't think she will be able to get in next year unless someone leaves.

Maybe I should call everyone who is enrolled and try to persuade them that the school is run by a demonic cult. Then maybe someone would leave and Gracie could get in. That should go over big with the director!
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#4 of 13 Old 08-04-2004, 12:30 PM
 
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I have seen this at my children's Waldorf school. Call about once a month and see if she has moved up on the list. Indicate your willingness to have her start mid-year. Make sure they know that you have another daughter who is already on the wait list for when she is old enough. Emphasize your family's commitment to their schooling philosphy. Read up on the school's philosphy and implement it at home so they can see your commitment. Volunteer at the school if you can and donate money if they have fund raisers.

Schools want committed and supportive parents. Let them no it is that school or no school. I have seen several parents who got their kids into our Waldorf school this way. They just wouldn't take no for an answer. It was always, if not now, then when? They weren't obnoxious but they were very persistant.

Good luck! I know how nerve wracking this can be. I still can't believe how incredibly lucky we were to get my son into preschool-Kindergarten at our Waldorf school when we only applied 6 months before starting and he hadn't attended a Waldorf preschool! Apparently there was a long wait list but because of some teacher changes (old ones moving away and new ones coming) the wait list vanished. We didn't know it at the time but we were very lucky!
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#5 of 13 Old 08-04-2004, 01:36 PM
 
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I agree with all the ideas already stated. I have seen many parents get their kids into school simply by being persistant.

You may also want to go ahead and start getting involved with the school even though your children do not attend yet. Call and see what kind of help they need and what you can do to help. This will allow you to show the school how comitted you are, even at this early stage.

And as much as I hate to admit it, I have seen several parents get into a school with a waiting list into the hundreds by way of writing out a nice donation to the school. But this usually requires several zeros, and I don't know that I would even want to go that route.

Good luck and just stay persistant and patient...
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#6 of 13 Old 08-04-2004, 02:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy22
And as much as I hate to admit it, I have seen several parents get into a school with a waiting list into the hundreds by way of writing out a nice donation to the school. But this usually requires several zeros, and I don't know that I would even want to go that route.

Good luck and just stay persistant and patient...
They suddenly found room for another child after a big donation on the parent's part.
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#7 of 13 Old 08-04-2004, 03:05 PM
 
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What the others have suggested - but try to calm down a bit, it's preschool after all, not med school!

It may be 'the one' so far as you're concerned, but if for some reason it doesn't pan out, well hey, life goes on and you could have worse problems...

I know it's so easy to get caught up in each parenting decision and next life step for our kids: sometimes it's good to step back and take a deep breath and realize that if we provide them with something slightly less than perfect, that'll be fine too!

Good luck, though
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#8 of 13 Old 08-04-2004, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Intellectually, I know you are right, Mammastar. But emotionally, I wish I had the money to fund a new building or whatever for them.

Thanks for the advice. I guess I will read the books on their suggested reading list and try to get and audience with the director so that I may beg them in person. I run into her from time to time and reintroduce myself and she assures me that she knows who I am, LOL.
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#9 of 13 Old 08-04-2004, 11:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar
What the others have suggested - but try to calm down a bit, it's preschool after all, not med school!
Yes- keep in mind it's only 6 hours a week! No matter how great it is, it will not dramatically alter your child's life if she does not get in. But good luck!
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#10 of 13 Old 08-27-2004, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh zippetty doo dah, zippetty-ay, my oh my what a wonderful day!!!

Thank you for all of your help. We just found out this morning. Someone dropped out and everyone else on the waiting list already had other schools lined up!
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#11 of 13 Old 08-27-2004, 08:18 AM
 
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Congratulations! I hope she has a great time!!

 
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#12 of 13 Old 08-27-2004, 09:45 AM
 
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Congratulations!!! Best wishes at the new preschool!
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#13 of 13 Old 08-27-2004, 01:25 PM
 
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Yeah! These things often seem to just work out. I have seen it happen again and again at our school.

I hope she has a wonderful time and I hope it is everything and more than you wished for.
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