Friday, August 23, 2013

First Priority

http://media.philly.com/images/pennalex.jpgYesterday I stopped by Penn Alexander to verify residency, check records, and sign a few papers.  And that was it.  I was told I didn't need to do anything at Aaron's former school, and was given a stack of handouts about the upcoming school year.  Well that was easy.

My friend, who was 8th on the wait-list (we were 4th), also got her daughter in.  Not sure if this means at least 8 kindergarteners from last year aren't returning for 1st grade, or if people ahead of us on the wait-list opted not to claim their spot, or if the school is increasing class sizes for 1st grade.  I'm sure soon enough I'll find out or can figure it out.  For now, I'm just glad Aaron's in.

I am a little sad to cut ties with his former school, Henry C. Lea.  By all accounts, it's an up and coming school, and it's not hard to root for it.  I'll be sure to keep an eye out and help out where I can, partly to contribute and partly to stay in touch. 

Back to Penn Alexander.  With all the hoo ha about kindergarten - long lines in sub-freezing conditions, last-minute decisions to go lottery, adding a class but capping class sizes - I've always thought that the focus should be on getting everyone in the neighborhood enrolled by 1st grade. 

That is, after all, what state law covers, is 1st grade on.  And it's the school's inability to guarantee 1st grade spots that made kindergarten spots so coveted - get one and you're set, vs. don't get one and you may be on the outside looking in for a few years - that parents were bracing to wait outside in the winter chill for four days straight. 

I know there are families on the wait-list past #8.  I hope to see their kids in 1st grade with Aaron.  It's what should be expected if you live in this neighborhood. 
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