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ds will be in K next year and i'm trying to figure out all of my options...since public school is an option, i wanted to hear about any positive experiences from fellow mdc mamas.
 

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I absolutely love our public school. Granted, we moved here because the schools were known to be among the best in the Bay Area, but I cannot believe just how wonderful it has been for my kids.<br><br>
It is clean and cheerful, and we have very small class sizes. My daughter is in 2nd grade with 17 students in her class, and my son is in 5th with 20 students. The principal is caring and has a very loving way to deal with the kids, and I think the children's voices are respected.<br><br>
Their playgrounds are lovely--nice equipment and landscaping. Just up the hill from the playground is a very small farm, so you can hear the geese honking and turkeys gobbling during recess (and we are only about a 25 minute drive from San Francisco!).<br><br>
Both of my kids have had special needs. My son has Tourette Syndrome--and although he is advanced academically, he still has needed help socially and with some issues in class. He has seen the school psychologist once a week since first grade, and I am going to miss her so much next year when he moves on to Jr. High (how can that be?? It seemed kindergarten just started for him!). They were so kind in dealing with his issues--every teacher he has had has helped him to cope so well.<br><br>
My daughter has dyslexia, and they have risen to helping her beyond my wildest dreams. When she was struggling to learn to read last year they gave her an aide and 2 hours per day at the learning center, and now in second grade she is reading just over grade level. She continues to have an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) and I meet with the principal, her teacher, the special ed coordinator and the school psychologist once every 4 months to talk about her progress.<br><br>
Anytime there has been any issue at all, I feel that they take me seriously and do all they can to help. When there are problems with other students, I love how the principal and teachers help them to work it out in a gentle way.<br><br>
I have been a SAHM since my son was born 10 years ago, but before that I was an elementary teacher in the city, so I feel like I am very education savy. I cannot say enough good about our wonderful public school.<br><br>
Go to the school your child may attend and talk to some of the teachers and the principal to get a feel for it. I got the ultimate in "good vibes" from our school the first time I went to check it out before we bought our home here--and I feel it helped me to make that choice.<br><br>
Good luck,<br>
Lisa
 

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I absolutely loved our elementary school! We had moved here from a very rigid school, everyone in their seats, hands folded on top of the desk, etc.<br><br>
At this school, kids laid on the rug and read, kids shared info from their books. No desks, just tables and plenty of work surfaces. Kids were expected to act like kids, allowances were made for excess energy and bad days.<br><br>
The kids learned lots, had fun, made friends. Most important, they begged to be allowed to go!<br><br>
Jr high and high school here was a different story. We pulled our kids and school choiced them into the Amherst Public schools. What a difference! Last year my 8th graders took trips with the school. ONe went to the winter carnival in Quebec, and the other had 10 days in Japan!!! Not something I could have provided.<br><br>
Look around, your local school might not be great, but another one may be.
 

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I like our public school very much! It's small (all buidlings on the same campus), the requirements for graduation go above and beyond the state requirements, parent volunteers are welcomed and encouraged. And our "state report card" is the highest in the whole area. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
I have kids in grade 9, 6, and 2; and my youngest will go to kindergarten next year. I've been an active volunteer in their classrooms, in the library, and at book fairs. Lots of parents have morphed their volunteering into paid p/t positions as classroom aides, cafeteria help, office positions, etc.<br><br>
My second-grader has Asperger's and receives wonderful OT services in the school. My only complaint is that the school cut their f/t OT program a couple of years ago; and due to space constraints the OT dept. is holed up in a too-tiny space. However, DS gets the services he needs and the improvement has been noticable.<br><br>
I'm an active participant in my children's education. Their teachers are used to hearing from me, and I have made myself known to the staff. DH attended this school, and many of the teachers are people he grew up with or had as a teacher himself. I am fortunate that the asst. principal in the HS is a second cousin of mine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> When there are problems, I write letters and follow up with phone calls; and things are usually worked out to my satisfaction.
 

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I'm also very happy with our public schools. We bought our house in order to be in this district, although there are also quite a few good districts in our area (and some bad ones). It is the same district I went through for high school, and several of my nieces and nephews have gone through.<br><br>
My dd is in 2nd grade. Her teachers have been great. This year, her teacher is nominating dd for the enrichment (gifted) program, which will start for her in January. In the interim, she has gone out of her way to encourage dd to challenge herself, by giving her alternate or additional work.<br><br>
My nephew, who is now 25, has Asperger's. The district was very helpful with his special needs, although my sister did have to assert herself from time to time. To be fair to them, Aspergers wasn't widely recognized at that point, and for many of those years the psychologists he was seeing had misdiagnosed his problem. A niece and a nephew who went through the district got into Princeton and felt well-prepared for their college years there.<br><br>
There are a few minor things I don't like about the school, but they are few, and overwhelmingly our experience has been great.
 

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I like our school. What I do not like is some of the school boards rules. I help out in the school every monday in my dd's grade 1/2 class. There are 23 kids in the class. She will be in this school untli grade 6 and then I am not sure what I am going to do. Personally I would like to move to my hometown where she would attend public school. The schools there are good too. I do not want her to attend the middle school that the kids in this area go to. Right now I have 3 reasons why(but with her only being in Grade 1 I am sure many more would come up by the time she hits grade 7). A friends dd is in that school. Her dd was threatened by another student with a knife(that kind of stuff does not happen around here but as the city is getting bigger more things like it are happening which is another reason why I want to move to my home town). The students base friendships on the types of clothing they wear and I cannot(and will not) buy my kids $100 jeans. The school is a middle school, grades 7-9 and the teen pregnancy in that school is very high. If we cannot move by then I will drive them to a different school.
 

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I didn't use to like our public school but we did some research, found one in a town not too far away and our oldest has been going to that district for the last few years through school choice. It's a fantastic school district and we've been thrilled. In fact we are selling our house and moving into the district so that we don't have to worry about getting our other kids in through the choice program.<br><br>
There is tons of communication with parents, they have wonderful extracuricular programs, etc. We couldn't imagine finding something better in the private sector, we wouldn't trade this school for the world. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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We love ours - it is an alternative program of our local public school district. Not really "advertised" anywhere - you just kind of hear about it word of mouth. Kindergarten through 5th - three classrooms (K/1, 2/3, 4/5). So the entire elementary is just 68 kids! We love the family feel of such a small school with only 50 families and three teachers.<br><br>
It is very respectful (you don't have to ask if you need to get up to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water - just go quietly), has high expectations for the kids - both academically and behaviorally - and the kids really rise to that. I love that they work at their own level in each subject, no waiting around for the rest of the class to "catch up" or vice versa. So say they are on grade level for most classes but advanced in math - they just work ahead; every student is self pacing. The kids are given a lot of responsibility - classroom jobs, etc. and they are just so proud of themselves.<br><br>
I could go on but must get my Xmas cards out! Go to your local school district web site and read through the list of schools - ours has elementary, middle school, high school, and alternative programs. Look for multi-age under alternative or elementary. Ours is free but you have to jump hoops to get into the lotto for the 10 new kindergarteners each year.<br><br>
Good luck finding the right spot for your child! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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My boys attend the classical magnet program in our school district but dd goes to our neighborhood elementary school. I wouldn't have it any other way.
 

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Right now I'm happy with our public school experience. To be honest, I really, really wanted to homeschool, but dh fought me on it. So I put my energy into making sure that my dd got the right teacher in k and that the faculty and staff knew me. I LOVE my dd's teacher and I'm thrilled with the counsellors in the school. My dd feels very loved by them. Parents are welcomed into the school and the classroom. My 2-yr-old is always welcome as well. I LOVE the curriculum and its strong focus on reading. They use the Saxon Phonics program and my dd, after 4 months, is reading incredibly well. My dd can read better now than her 7-yr-old cousin who spent three years in a very expensive private school.<br><br>
There are things I don't like, naturally. I hate all of the rules. I hate the punishment of loss of recess time for children who are "repeat offenders"--it just doesn't make any sense. But right now the positives far outweigh the negatives. And my dd loves school, which is important to me. But at this point I'm taking it a year at a time. I'll be actively checking out the 1st grade teachers this spring to see who will be the best fit for my dd.
 

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I am an unschooler whose kids wanted to go to school-<br>
i will finally admit that I am thrilled with it- they attened a public charter school
 

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I can't elaborate right now -time crunch-, but I *love* our kids' public school. Sure, there is some bs; we choose our battles. I am very involved in the school--volunteer, pto, etc. I enjoy it.<br><br>
Lori
 

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When dd was in kindergarten, there were two Waldorf kindergarten classrooms in the public school and she was in one of them, at my request. That was pretty cool.<br><br>
Now, two of my children are in public school and two are homeschooled. I'm really pleased with my sixth-grader's public school. Her English teacher is working very hard to help the kids with analytical writing. So far, I'm pleased with the literature she has chosen for them to read. Also, sixth grade dd was allowed to skip 6th grade math and has been placed in a 7th grade level class instead. In fifth grade, she was doing 8th grade science. My seventh grader is taking high school algebra for high school credit. He's also taking high school French for h.s. credit. I love it that my kids are allowed to tailor their classes to their needs.<br><br>
Also, our public school system has one of the best orchestra programs in the country. I was at a concert recently, and the high school orchestra sounded like a professional orchestra. There's also a superb program for kids who are gifted in the arts. This is a huge boon for us, because dd has artistic talent, but art lessons are super expensive. She's getting great art classes for free, and has the opportunity for her work to be exhibited all over the city.<br><br>
I also met a homeschooling mother who was allowed to let her kids participate in the public school orchestra. This means *free* music lessons five days a week, plus opportunity to perform.
 

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I was very skeptical but ds started Kindergarten this year. He loves it, school days are his happiest, and he is growing in all kinds of ways. His teacher is a great lady and the whole experience is really good for him. We sort of planned to yank him if it was bad, but he'd be furious if we did it now!
 

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I love our public school. DD started k this year, and I've noticed a real love of learning in her. Behavioral issues that we experienced in preschool are non-existent. Maybe part of it is that she's a year older, among other factors but the school is very different. Both her teachers in preschool and K are wonderful teachers. Her preschool was a less structured. At times it was downright chaotic. Some kids are okay in a joyfully loud environment, DD couldn't handle it. She gets overstimulated very easily. In the past few months she's experienced lots of change and (positive turmoil) at home. We bought a house and moved away from her neighborhood friends, she's about to become a big sister, she started a new school, my work schedule changed. And yet, she's really blossomed, risen to the change. She had a very successful transition from pre-school to K.<br><br>
The K classes are small, about 17 kids and 2 teachers per class. The lead teacher has taught kindergarden for 30 years and obviously loves her job.<br>
We had a parent teacher conference on Friday. One thing she said that really impressed me was, "everyone has a different learning style." She was referring to the fact that dd is a bundle of energy, constantly in motion, and even when engrossed in a story or activity, tends to fidget. DD's teacher noticed this, but also recognized that through all of dd's fidgeting, she's paying attention in her own way. I'm just starting to realize this myself. It's great when a teacher offers some incredible positive insight on your own child.<br><br>
Most importantly, not only do we love dd's school, *she* loves it.
 

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I like aspects of public school, but there are days I want to homeschool. What you'll find in a public school really varies from district to district, school to school, and teacher to teacher.
 

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my 12 yr old son does well in public school.<br><br>
he has really enjoyed it , and seems to have learned much.<br><br>
the only down side, that we have had, is that BULLYING goes on.<br><br>
other than mean bullies, his school is great.<br><br>
im working on the bully thing with his teachers.
 

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love my school...<br><br>
small class size - 17 kids - oh yeah!<br>
small school<br>
beeyootiful liberry<br>
dance studio<br>
art studio<br>
very very diverse in all ways<br>
and not a hyped up elitist school either<br><br>
peace
 

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I too taught public school for years. I am glad I did so I felt comfortable sending him to ps. He has gone for 3 years now. He was advanced in reading and they sent him up to 1st grade to read when he was in K. I have not enjoyed one of his teachers and my ds got her 2x. That has made it rough had it not been for her I'd ahve been so happy with ps. Not the school I'm unhappy with but this one teacher. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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