Thinking ahead isn’t far enough!

I just returned from an open house at our local church for preschool enrollment. I am really dumbfounded at how stressful this has become for me and other Moms in the same position as I am.

At issue, S. and I are discussing whether David will attend Catholic school or public for Kindergarten and beyond. I am on the fence… I want David to receive a good, well-balanced and thoughtful education. It’s really all about the best environment, and S. agrees.

Getting in to the local Catholic school is very difficult. It comes down to connections and who you know (and how much you throw into the collection plate week to week). It has a very good reputation. It’s not “expensive”, well, let me say that I am spending $9-10k a year for 4 full-days of preschool (yup, only four). Tuition for the Catholic school runs about $4k/year. So, to someone not paying already, it’s a big expenditure, but to us, it’s waaaay less than what we have been paying for the last 3 years.

Our public school system is not bad, but it is horribly overcrowded. The reputation locally is better than others, but certainly not at the top of the heap. We pay an incredibly high property tax here in our state. Most goes to school taxes… in theory, public school is “free”, so to speak, but the school taxes I pay are thousands of dollars a year.

So, we heard thru the grapevine of parents that in order to get “preferred” status at the Catholic school, you are best having your child already enrolled in the preschool and be a parishioner.

Well… we are parishioners, but David obviously not in the preschool program. So I go there today with 50 or so other parents only to find out (after a 40 minutes presentation) that there is only 2 slots for the fall. IN THE PRESCHOOL. for 4 year olds, because, most of the 3 yr olds are already moving up to take most of the slots.

So, I walked out. Annoyed. I will not camp out on March 7 for registration with hundreds of other parents for just TWO slots. I’ve heard about registration day there, and it’s not pretty. However, I bet it’s entertaining watching Christian parents push and shove and act in a very UN-christian like manner for a slot in preschool.

So, if we still want to start David off in Kindergarten there, we will need a wing and a prayer come this time next year.

I growing very grumpy with all of this, and it’s totally stressing me out.

On top of everything, if he goes to public school, we will then have to deal with the half-day kindergarten thing, and there is not any decent before/aftercare in my township which throws a whole other wrench in my plans.

I love the preschool he is in now, but it’s sadly in another township, so we won’t be able to continue there or use their after-school care since they won’t provide transportation to our public school. I am very bummed about that.

Any Moms (especially working moms) out there having similar issues or thinking about this subject? I’d love to hear what you are thinking about. I need ideas!!

Please tell me I am not the only Mom stressing out about this.

2 thoughts on “Thinking ahead isn’t far enough!

  1. Bag Momma -Kindergarten admission is tough. But not impossible! Some parents attempt to enter their children’s name for the right school at birth, but eighteen months is usually young enough. But filling out the application is just the beginning. Here are the tricks for getting into private school (in this case Catholic school). – Yes parishoner status is first consideration. Also, find out from the church what they consider “good standing” (i.e. weekly attendance/annual tithing) for school admission. Amounts vary. – Are you in the mom’s group at the church? If not, join. It is good to meet other moms and you will learn the “system” that much faster.Once in, start arranging play dates and getting to know the other moms. – How are your child’s skills? Most schools have an entrance test (put the block in the right set, etc). Get ready. – What volunteer work have you done for the church? Have you considered teaching Sunday school (especially the kids program), working in the nursery during Mass, or CCD? This weighs heavily in the decision.- Have you met the Director or Principal yet? They will decide who makes the final cut. Keep your name on their mind. Make sure that same person meets your child!- Is there a soccer team or other activity for children of your son’s age at the church? Join. Every little bit of interaction helps with the process. Finally, don’t give up. Whether it is moving to the right school district or standing in line for a private school application, your child is counting on YOU. Help them win!

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