Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kinder Flash

Today feels big. Maybe it won't turn out to be, but it feels that way now.

Today I registered Jarrah for kindergarten. But perhaps I should start at the beginning.

According to the San Diego Unified website, we were supposed to hear from schools a few weeks ago. We didn't. I told myself that once the play was over, I would investigate. Today seemed like the day.

I took a deep breath and dialed Green, our first-choice school. I felt like a teenager calling to ask someone to Sadie Hawkins. (At least I think I did. I never actually went to Sadie Hawkins except in the capacity of chaperone, as I was on the newspaper staff and we had to.) I giggled a bit and finally got it out that I was wondering about my daughter's status. The lady went to check. When she came back, she said "She's not on our list."

"Not on your list? What does this mean?" Seemed she wasn't sure, either. It might mean we could join the list later, or not. It might mean our file had moved to another school. Or not. It might just mean they were slow. She suggested I call the Enrollment Options Office (misleading name, that) and they might have more answers.

I called. I waited on hold for 10 minutes, and then hung up in a huff. Hmmm. What to do now? I ate some breakfast, deciding that hunger was the reason for my huff. I have a policy of not answering the phone while I enjoy my morning coffee (please don't hate me.) The phone rang a few times.

But color me surprised when I went to check the messages, and one was from a lady at Dailard, our second-choice school. "Call me if you're still interested in Jarrah attending Dailard." Uh, do I have a choice? Was this a coincidence? Must be, since I very much doubt that Green and Dailard are in cahoots.

I decided I needed to speak to some BTDT folks. I called around for the number of a gal I sometimes see at the park whose son goes to Dailard and who also struggled with the choice process. She wasn't home. Her sister-in-law called me (I'd called her looking for the number) and I confessed everything to her. She said I should just call Linda (the Dailard lady has a name!) and she might sort me out. It occurred to me as we chatted that I didn't really have a choice, except to ignore her, and that seemed hardly wise or mature.

I called Linda. I started to tell her about Green and she cut me off. "I don't know anything about that. You need to call Green. Are you on their list?" I told her I'd called and we weren't. She said that there wasn't much likelihood, then, that we ever would be, and did I want the Dailard spot? I figured I should say yes, and also discovered I felt okay about it. We really liked the place, and liked the principal. But then she said she wanted me to come by and pick up a registration packet and bring her some stuff like a birth certificate and shot records.

"When?" I asked.

"Today." Um, okay. That made me nervous. I called David. About six times. He didn't answer. I have noticed the man has a way of "losing" his phone when I am in crisis over broken bones or academic careers. Finally, I got through to him.

"Are we going to lose our place in line at Green if we do this?" I moaned.

"Probably," David said. That freaked me out. How did he know? He admitted he didn't. I asked if he would call Enrollment Options and wait for hours for them to pick up the phone. He said yes. Good man.

I took a shower. When I got out, David had called. He said that Enrollment Options didn't think we were going to get into Green and we should just move ahead with Dailard. Alrighty, then.

I headed over with my binder of essential papers. There was a LOT to fill out. Took me a long time. My hand was cramping up--how often do I write anything by hand anymore? Linda didn't blink an eye at Jarrah's "Delayed Certificate of Birth," issued in San Diego but confirming her birth in Chongqing. She did get a bit cranky that I brought her a bank statement for proof of address. That is not going to fly.

I also got a flyer about a barbecue this summer, a mixer for incoming kindergarten families. How cute is that? And a nice woman at the table with me offered me her contact info so we could keep in touch about any updates. I wasn't sure if that made sense, but I didn't care because I was so grateful to her for reaching out. It seemed like a good sign that the kindergarten moms are being friendly already.

As I headed back to the car, some plushy gray clouds were building over the browny-green foothills that surround Dailard's neighborhood. They were lovely. Maybe this is going to work out just fine.


Jen said...

Oh, my, what a day! It is so scary to have to make a decision like this, isn't it? But I am sure Jarrah will do great there, Miss S. You did everything you could to research your options, and now Fate has handed you this one. It will be good!

Congratulations on completing the paperwork, too!

xo Miss J

Logical Libby said...

Argh! I can't think of anything worse than the school conundrum. Oh, except prom...

Stephanie said...

Here we go! Nice to have it all settled, this is the school many of her current buddies will be going to as well right?

Myrnie said...

Good luck with the new school! Hope it's a great fit for you guys :)

Paul and Heather said...

Congrats on having a school! #1 isn't all its cracked up to be. Sometimes #2 is JUST RIGHT!!!

Jennifer said...

Wow...sorry about your crazy day. It's always interesting to me to hear how different states and school districts do things. I would be a freak over the waiting. I'm not good with waiting. I like to have a plan and know what is going on.

How do they choose what school a student will go to? I mean how do they decide who gets into which school? Oh the drama! I couldn't take it!

I guess I'm glad I'm a teacher because I can choose what school in my current district I want my child to attend. That and the summer vacations sure are nice!

Jarrah will have a fabulous time no matter where she goes. I'm sure of that. She's got a great mom who will make sure of that! :) Enjoy your summer...the first day of kindergarten will be here before you know it.

Aunt LoLo said...

All this over kindergarten still BAFFLES me. At least I still have two years to wrap my head around it!!!! (Silly cut off dates...my daughter is going to have THREE YEARS of preschool. Grr.)

Mary said...

Congrats on enrolling!

I hope all three of you love it!

Call me with any kinder questions!