Monday, August 24, 2009

Being the New Kid In Town

I am so proud of my kiddos. They handled the first day of school like pros. Like they've been doing it all their life.

Well, actually, they kinda have. This is Linus's second year of school. And second school. This is Charlie Brown's 4th year of school, and his 3rd school. This is Peppermint Patty's 5th year of school, and 3rd school. I really hate the fact that we keep moving them around from school to school, but between moving and finding the right academic environment for them, we haven't been able to provide much stability in that area. We are praying that the stability of our family and our faith life is a good foundation. But anyway....

I cannot tell you how much I hate being the new kid parent at school. It seems like every time we start a new school, there is SO much stuff that goes on, that's just like an unwritten code. Unfortunately, the only people who know this code are the people who went to school there last year. And God forbid they share the secret code with anyone else.

For example: two schools ago, in Illinois, Peppermint Patty started Kindergarten. Every day they would get crackers for a snack at around 10:00. This I knew, because I had to send a box of crackers to school with the school supplies. Then, about two weeks into the school year, I get a note home that I owe the school for 10 milks. I was all WTF??? I asked her, "Have you been taking extra milks at lunch time?" Of course, she answered no. I wondered what in the world was going on. I asked, only to find out that they serve milk to the kids at snack time along with the crackers. Not that I care about spending an extra 25 cents a day for my kid to get some extra calcium, but why didn't they tell me that ahead of time? Why didn't I know that? And, when they asked me to send "gym shoes" for my child, why can they not wear them for gym class when it's held outside? Only after a whole year of school did I find out that gym shoes are only for when gym class is held in the gymnasium. When gym class is held outside, you must send your child to school in tennis shoes becase GOD FORBID they wear their designated "gym shoes" outside.

So this year my kids are starting a new school. Again. And when we went to meet their teachers at the school last Thursday night, I see all the kids bringing in their eleventy-hundred bags of school supplies. I wondered why we didn't bring ours... oh MAYBE BECAUSE NO ONE TOLD US TO DO SO. I also have to ask about the school bus. Where does it pick up my child? What time? What is the bus number? The principal tells me that they don't give out that information unless people ask for it. Because, you know, unless you live more than 2 miles from school, the bus is not for you. So here's the phone number for the bus barn - you have to call it and make arrangements with them yourself (she hands me a phone number on a post-it note).

Okay, don't even get me started on how pissed I was about that. I specifically registered my kids for school on the night for NEW STUDENTS ONLY. Kindergarteners and people new to the district. So, you can assume that we all know squat about your school and the way "things are done". So NO I don't know anything about the bus.

Yes, I filled out a form (three times, once for each child) to tell you what is the primary language spoken in our home. Yes, I completed the form indicating that we would not be needing free or reduced lunches. Three times. Yes, I filled out a release (three times) for records to be sent to Military agencies, should they request it (even though this school only goes up to 4th grade). Yes, I answered a questionnaire about whether or not our family is a group of migrant workers, if we've been relocated in the last 3 years to pick fruit or cotton, and if we are living in accommodations that are not actually intended for housing people. Yes, I filled it out three times.

But no, you never told me nor listed it in the online student handbook, WHAT TIME SCHOOL STARTS IN THE MORNING.

Thanks for that.

12 comments:

Bridgett said...

Ok, laughing now.

My kids' school is usually pretty easy going and therefore things are often simply trickled down by rumor and innuendo instead of official documents. Like, there's a no dessert rule at lunch (which SUCKS) but I found out later that a cookie the size of an oreo is ok. WTF? And it was November before I learned that Sophia (2nd grade) was supposed to be there by at least 8:20 so that everything is ready to go by 8:30, but that Maeve in the preschool wasn't supposed to be in the dang building until at least 8:35. I had been dropping them both off at 8:29 or thereabout. Failing on both accounts.

And I'm not a new parents. Sophia was in the first kindergarten class...

Buggys said...

Ok, take a breath, the kids had a good day. Stop by my blog when you have a minute, I have an award for you.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Agggghhh, my head hurts for you.

There is no reason for school people to be so ridiculous, none. Sorry for you guys.

And may tomorrow be a better day. :D

Jennifer said...

Oh Lord. This does not make me happy for next year.... or the 16 plus years after that (counting the baby). But I'm so glad to hear you use the bus. I don't think anyone in our town uses the bus. The traffic is so horrible when school is in session. Drives me nuts.

Michelle said...

I am with you! My kids started their new school in March and I am still trying to figure out the ins and outs of everything. It unfortunately is my son's third school and he is going into 4th grade. Oh well sometimes you don't have control over these things.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

I would be pissed, too.

Matter of fact, I'd print off this blog post and take it to the school principal.

Emily said...

Ugh. What a pain. I can only imagine how difficult it has been for you as it's been tough for me this year and my son is just a kindergartner. I hope it gets better and you find this environment nurturing for your family.

Robin said...

Ugh! Shouldn't things like that be easier? Anyway, good luck!
-Robin
www.robingillis.blogspot.com

Vicki said...

Thank you for saying it like it is, with poise and grace even!

dddiva said...

I am so sorry you got a doozy of a school seems like. I have to say if it is anything like here it is THE WORST school system we've ever been in and until we moved here they didn't have two years in the same school. You have my sympathy. :(

jude8753 said...

Hearing all these school horror stories from different blogs makes me grateful that I'm a Nana and all those hassles now belong to our children, I don't recall ever having all the problems I now read about, ahhhh the good old days.

Anna See said...

Wow. We are switching M to public. I'm freaking out. I know what you mean about the secret code of a school. I'm a wreck. Prayers, please!

I'm so glad your resilient kids had a good day!