What a difference a year makes

During The Girl’s ballet class this morning, I spoke with Beth T. about the neighborhood, schools, and Australia. She had gone on a tour of Disney II yesterday, and reported that she saw both The Girl and The Boy happily engaged in their respective classrooms. Our conversation reminded me how stressed I was last year over applying to and visiting schools, The Boy’s Options for Knowledge Test date, etc. While next year, I may very well be back in the same boat*, it’s been nice to be blissfully ignorant of the flurry of activity occurring right now in rising-kindergartener households all over the city of Chicago.

Disney II is on course to be a good, sought-after school. Beth shared that the school has already received 550 applications — and there’s still a week to go before the December 19th deadline. So far, I am happy with the level of education that The Boy is receiving. His teacher, Mrs. Callaghan, is phenomenal. I’d like to see her nominated for a Golden Apple award, but I don’t want the school to lose her for the year that she’d be on sabbatical as a result. He’s halfway through the year and I can see that he’ll be reading at the end of it.

The Girl is an enthusiastic preschooler. Her teacher, Mr. Manesis, has nothing but good things to say about her behavior and interest in the various activities offered by the Preschool for All program. She is eager to go to school each day, and was more upset about missing school last week during a bout of mycoplasma than she was about feeling crummy for 5 days straight.

As for me, I’ve joined the school community wholeheartedly. Although it’s difficult for me to volunteer in the classroom, I’ve gone on a field trip with The Boy’s class, volunteered at the fall book fair, and am serving on the newly formed Disney II PTA. For those reading who are looking for involvement opportunities at Disney II, there is also an Interim Advisory Committee (IAC), which is a precursor to the LSC.

* Although there is a sibling preference system in place at Disney II, it’s still a lottery system when there are more siblings than there are holdback spots for them. With many of The Boy’s peers’ siblings set to enter kindergarten in the fall of 2010, like The Girl, there’s bound to be competition and angst over available spots. In addition, I’d like to have The Girl tested for gifted/classical schools, adding another potential element to the decision.

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