Monday, March 17, 2008

Roller Coaster Parenting

Some days when you are parenting, it all just feels like a crazy roller coaster ride. This morning things went fairly well. We've had less tantrums and we got to school on time, even a wee bit early.

Things were looking good as I headed for the Assistant Principal's office to verify she'd received my message confirming we would indeed prefer half-day kindergarten (the free kind) for our daughter next year.

BOOM -- we hit the first curve -- turns out she was headed into a school district meeting because the district wanted them to have more full-day kindergarten slots than they have room for... I pondered that for awhile in my noggin only to realize that probably meant no half-day kindergarten option anymore (although I couldn't quite allow myself to believe it yet).

Then I took the girl to school and we had a nice drop off. We were riding high again and I even managed to come home, make a grocery list, get all the groceries, meet the boy for lunch and do lunch at the girl's school too.

I decided to check my work e-mail and my personal while I was at home only to discover that in their ridiculously un-infinite wisdom, our school district officials and the teacher's union, rather than coming up with a public process and finding a true solution to their screwed up teacher hire and transfer policy, they did a behind-doors deal which one quickly realizes fixes nothing, and actually makes things worse!

Then I went to work which was nice enough. A little office time, a meeting downtown with grownups and coffee and chat. Then I came home. Still good until I once again checked my email only to find out that * Poof * (heading over the cliff) there will now be NO HALF-DAY KINDERGARTEN. We are now back to facing just over $300 a month in kindergarten fees! I'm ticked off no end by all this educational wrangling that's not so much working for me.

And how was your day?


  1. Belinda3/17/2008

    One day this sucky system will be fixed. But of course it will be too late for us. Sorry to hear this, Sue.

  2. Thanks Belinda... sorry for all we all are going through on this one. I was really hoping they'd fix the system before we got here. Oh well... I didn't want to be able to use the $3000 for anything other a few extra hours of my daughter going to school (which should be free) - public education and all!

  3. Well, I guess that settles that. Sheesh. You know, if they're going to make you do it, they at least shouldn't charge you for it!

  4. Well... kbeeps (and everyone else in the state of Oregon)... when this comes up again at the next legislative session (and it will) - we need to push our elected officials to actually deal with this issue once and for all.

  5. Fortunately our district does not charge for all-day kindergarten. This is a change that went into effect shortly before our oldest (now 12) went to kindergarten.

    It's a reall bummer to have to pay that.

    My day? Happy. 3 years ago we were hiring someone in our office. My boss didn't want to interview a particular candidate, and I suggested she reconsider. She took my advice, and ended up hiring the person. Because I suggested she take another look, this young woman moved here from another city and found her future husband. She showed up at work today, engaged. I am priveleged to have played a small part in bringing them together.

  6. Cathy, that sounds like a positively awesome day!!!!

  7. Something to consider about roller coasters... the "down" part is supposed to be the fun part. Not sure exactly how we can apply that to your post in a positive manner, or whether we should just junk the whole analogy altogether -- but I'm a writer. I'll work on it for ya.

    Hope today was better.


  8. What?? $300/month for public kindergarten?? What??

    Is someone doing something about that? Protests? Rallies?

    Guess I won't idealize life in PDX anymore!

  9. Oh yes actually this is statewide for now. If you qualify for free and reduced lunch you can qualify for a scholarship but there are a whole bunch of people who don't fit that and for whom the fee is a hardship. There haven't been protests per se but someone did sue saying this was illegal and sure enough a big ageny said they agreed but the legislature gave the schools 2 more years to do it before they grapple with whether to pay for it across the board or abolish it and make everyone do half day! Fun.