Ooh, this is SO typical!

So we had a tour scheduled at our second choice charter school down near my hubby's work. It's pretty much literally down the road from choice #1. I called this AM with the intent to cancel, since a couple of weeks ago I had been told that their open enrollment was closed and that they were full for next year, but that we could always register to be put on a waiting list. After talking things over DH and I decided to simply enroll Dane in a traditional public school in the same general area, that way it would be relatively easier to reapply to our first choice school every year until we could get Dane a spot.

Anyhow, as I was on the phone with the receptionist at school #2 she asked "what grade are you looking at for next year, again?" I told her first. Well, as it turns out they have FIVE open positions for 1st grade for next year (I'm guessing that in the time between talking to her and today that several families who had applied there and at our first choice school finally notified this school that their kids would be attending school #1). Huh. So we went on the tour and plan to apply.

Here's where it gets sticky. I really liked the school. Hubby liked it too. I think I like it just as much as the Montessori school of our first choice--maybe even more. It's more traditional in the actual classrooms (which I'm not as fond of, knowing how free-spirited Dane is), but they have a VERY heavy emphasis on visual and performing arts, as well as vocal and instrumental music...and dance. They have dedicated band, choir, theatre, and art teachers (and beautiful, well-designed spaces for these subject areas...the kind of spaces that no other elem. schools have that I have ever witnessed) in a school of only 400 K-8. In many ways it would be similar to the school I attended as a child, but with even more emphasis on the Arts and incorporating necessary skills and knowledge into Arts education--something I am VERY strongly in support of. And Dane definitely has a natural affinity for Music and graphic arts...I have a feeling that Drama will be something he enjoys, too--he's definitely known for his flair for the dramatic.

So...I see what will likely happen. We will register him for this school and as soon as we do we will get the call that he has a spot in school #1 (we're almost expecting this, as so many people are leaving MI for work). And now I really love both schools. I know that he does well in the Montessori environment...but they don't have much in the way of any concrete Arts, Drama, or Music programs, so he'd not have as much immersion in these things until HS as I would like. And both schools FAR exceed state standards in terms of test scores and the rate at which they teach the essentials. Ugh, what to do, what to do....

I think I may talk to his current teacher to get her take on things. She is a Montessori educator, but she knows Dane as well as we do and is very open and honest. She will likely have some perspective on things.



  1. That's awesome that you guys liked the school- definitely a nice problem to have! Sounds like wherever Dane goes, he will be in an atmosphere that caters to his needs in a significant way and thrive! :) I think it's a good idea too, to have him enrolled in the area...that way he will be used to the commute (assuming you guys are still up in whitehall), and the general neighborhood, when he finally does get in to WG.....

    oh...one thing to keep in mind with WMAAA....they do require the parents to put in 100-200 hours of volunteering. I actually kind of like that philosophy...makes the parents more involved in their child's education and allows them to know what is going on in the school....But i can see how that would be tricky, especially for parents who work FT/overtime and/or who live further away.

    what is the class size like over at WMAAA? That was probably the biggest thing i don't care for at WG...the kindy class has 28 kids...

  2. You know, I think the volunteer requirement is only 25 hours, now...piece o' cake! I'd be happy to help drive for field trips and chaperone and stuff. It's unlikely that I will have full-time employment any time soon, anyhow (MI economy...woo woo.).

    Class sizes are no larger than 22 in the younger grades, I believe--which is nice.

    I think I still probably prefer WG--I love the Arts emphasis at WMAAA, but that traditional desk-oriented classroom set-up still doesn't appeal to me as much. One thing we noticed when we toured WG is that the kids in pretty much every grade level ignored us as we went through, but the kids were much more easily distracted by just the two of us at WMAAA. I think that does say something. Though it could also be that they were so accustomed to all of the tour groups that they were no longer curious about our presence.