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Stuttering Shell: What to do?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What to do?

The school board voted to end the year-round school option effective immediately at the end of this school year. My children attend one of the four elementary schools in Virginia Beach that operate on a year-round calendar, Corporate Landing Elementary. It is our daughter's third year at the school (she's been there since Kindergarten) and it's our son's first year there (he's only in Kindergarten). Our neighborhood is technically zoned for a different elementary school; however, we had the choice of "opting out" of our zoned school (which operates on a traditional calendar) for CLES since the year-round school was "super zoned" for our area.

We love the year-round calendar. Love it, love it, love it! I wouldn't change it for anything. But, budget cuts and all that jazz are forcing the program to come to an end. It's kind of sad to think about, really, but what weighs most on my mind is what happens now? Fortunately, the principal sent home a letter on Friday addressing a lot of my questions and concerns. My biggest concern was whether or not our children would be able to stay at CLES -- and the answer is NO. Not without a zone waiver approved by the principal of the school. Basically, this coming September, they would both be back at Ocean Lakes Elementary -- the school our neighborhood is truly zoned for.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking OLES, but I just don't like the idea of my kids switching schools. Maybe it's the change. Maybe it's the fact that we just love CLES. Maybe it's because the kids are already a bit upset about the prospect of changing schools....the way they look at it is that we're not moving so why do they have to move to a different school?? I know without a doubt that my children will thrive at OLES and they will receive the same superior education that they are receiving now. I am a bit biased in that respect only because I am a product of the Virginia Beach City Public School system having lived here since 1986 (I was in the 4th grade when we moved here).

Bottom line is this -- Adam and I have a lot of decisions to make. This isn't about pros & cons, but what works for our family and what would be best for the children. I'm sad that my son might not have the opportunity to have the same first grade teacher as Malia and I'm sad that Malia might not have a chance to be in a friend's third grade classroom (she's a teacher at CLES). But, I do know that they would be in good hands at OLES -- a close family friend is the guidance counselor at OLES.

Adam and I need to decide whether or not we want to pursue an attendance zone waiver to keep the kids at CLES -- then all transportation becomes our responsibility (no sweat, we would only need to drive them to school). Or, do we just want to go with the flow and keep things simple by sending them to OLES. Some of their friends might be there (there are a lot of children from our neighborhood & surrounding areas who are zoned for OLES but opted out to go to CLES). The only major change despite being at a different school would be the fact that school would start a half an hour earlier than what they are currently used to. (The way I see it is that it's a blessing in disguise and I would actually be a half an hour earlier to work...) The only issue with OLES is whether or not Parks & Recreation offers an after-school program at the school like Malia currently attends at CLES -- if not, then this raises even more issues for US as a family due to childcare issues.

So, as you can see, there is a lot to think about. A lot. And, I want to have a decision soon.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I figured it was only a matter of time before they did away with year round school. People are resistant to change-which is kinda ironic-considering you have to change BACK to regular school.
*snicker at the irony with me girl*

Personally-take the kids switching schools out of the decision making process. Trust me-one will still bitch about the arrangement regardless. ;)

Feb 7, 2009, 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Michelle L. H. Chissler said...

Yeah, I gotta agree with ya on both points.

I talked to my daughter about it some this morning...she comprehends more than my son so is like, "Eh, whatever." (scary how men start out that way at such a young age!)

My daughter is a bit distressed about the whole "switching schools" scenario, but I reminded her that a good majority of her friends are in the same situation -- there are quite a few families in our 'hood and surrounding area who opted out of the traditional calendar school year.

Hmm...maybe if I just tell her that her summer vacation becomes longer she might not seem as distressed about the whole situation. ;-)

Feb 7, 2009, 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger becca greene said...

as a former teacher, i am a proponent of year round school plans. it prevents having to spend the first month of school reteaching much of the info lost over the long summer break. in fact, we were just talking about this last week at work. so sorry your kids are losing this. good luck with your decision.

Feb 10, 2009, 2:32:00 AM  

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