Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Too Much Growing Up For One Week (And Obviously None Of It Done By Me)

My baby turns two this weekend and yesterday I had to register my baby boy for Kindergarten. ALL-DAY Kindergarten. All Day Kindergarten is what the parents (not THIS parent) want so that is what the district has changed to. Sabrina had a nice transition from three days a week at pre-school (2.5 hours) to 5 days of half-day Kindergarten. And she STILL had a hard time adjusting to going all day in First Grade.

But my boy is resilient and I'm certain he will adjust. I'm not so sure we can say the same about me.

As for the registration process itself, oh what a CLUSTER @%*$!

Since the School District deemed it necessary to send all kids to all-day Kindergarten, they have no room to accommodate all the kids in each school. So registration is no longer the easy, walk in to the school, choose A.M. or P.M. Kindergarten, fill out some papers, and say hi to the principal on the way out process that it was when Sabrina started school. Now we register each child at his/her "home" school and they conduct a lottery in the summer to determine who gets to attend the home school. If you win, they go there. If you lose they go to the "overflow" school, which is housed in the Middle School building. But they still think this All Day Kindergarten is a good idea. Who am I to argue?

I get there and I think I'm pretty well prepared because I remembered I needed Jamie's birth certificate and social security card.

So I stand in line for 15 minutes chatting to another Mom - in the middle of the hallway of the elementary school. Now THAT'S a good place to have a table set up and Moms lined up on the other side waiting! I get to the table and the lady says, "Do you have your registration packet filled out?"


Oh yes, and hands me a FOLDER of about 30 papers that should have been sent to me to fill out beforehand and Gee, we don't know why you didn't get it. Oh and by the way you need TWO proofs of residency so my driver's license alone won't do.

Cause you know I might be living somewhere else and trying to get my kids into this school district. SNORT. Not bloody likely.

Did I mention I have Meredith and Jamie with me? So I sit down on a child-sized chair in the middle of the hallway. This thing is so little it would make Kate Moss feel like a Beluga Whale. Not that I need the help. I begin to fill out papers and of course Jamie and Meredith take the opportunity to stage an impromptu orientation. Would have served the school right if I let them. I think Meredith could probably teach the classes a thing or two.

Since I didn't feel like sprinting down the hallway after them 500 times, I took them and my Encyclopedia sized stack of paperwork back outside. Turned them loose to wreak havoc in the back rows of my van while I filled out paper after paper after paper after MORE papers with all the same info. Why the hell can't they photocopy my name, Dave's name, our address, phone number etc. ad nauseum for all the 50 different times they need it filled out?

Luckily my van is already a trashcan providing them with ample toys.

What? You mean your kids don't get to play with discarded Happy Meal boxes and gum wrappers? Only the best for my kids.

Get all paperwork in order, proceed back into the school, wait in line AGAIN. Have you ever noticed waiting in lines is not a specialty of almost-two-year-old girls and four year old boys?

Hand over my ream of paperwork and massage my crippled right hand and she gives me yet another paper to fill out. Because they don't yet have enough copies of Jamie's name, address, phone number, parents' names, grandparents' names, third cousins' names, blood type, favorite color, what he eats for breakfast lunch and dinner, and the color of his current underwear (Spongebob Squarepants for those of you keeping track).

The one good thing that did come of it all, is this lady feels Jamie would be MUCH better off at the home school as opposed to the overflow school. She said that while yes there is technically a nurse on duty at the overflow school, her office is in the Middle School next door, so in a separate building. And she informed me that last year they DID exempt one child from the lottery due to a severe food allergy. She suggested I have Jamie's allergist write a letter stating he needs to be at the home school so he has a full time nurse available. You know. In case he wants to actually live through a possible allergic reaction instead of waiting 30 minutes for someone to call the nurse from the other building to find his Epipen and then walk over to the other building to administer it.

Hopefully this will be accomplished without a fight but now that I know they made the exception once, fight I will if they give me any crap about it.

If I'm going to win a lottery I'll take my winnings in cash thank you very much.


Norkio said...

Nothing like fixing the outcome with a potential life threatening emergency and possible lawsuit. Good job!

Mary K Brennan said...

It's amazing with all the tax dollars we pay, that our schools can't be staffed with a full time nurse. Good luck. It will work out. P.S.- I also use my minivan to keep the children occupied!

Michelle Lynn said...

What, you mean you weren't given first class treatment on account of them being afraid of bad PR on your blog?

You fight the fight girlfriend. School districts can be so ridiculous. One year I had to have parents protest (they wouldn't listen to me) putting my kindergartners with autism in a classroom trailor 200 feet from the school - half of the kids were runners! On second thought I would have been pretty skinny that year...

Dani said...

I hate the shift to full-day daycare, I don't mean to offend anyone, but it's for the convenience of working parents who don't want to have to pay for day care anymore.

Luckily, my district still does half days because of the logistics you mention, they don't have room to house them, I'm hoping my kids get through it with half days. I want my babies home with me as long as possible with part time preschool at the appropriate time. UGH, sorry to go off, it's a pet peeve of mine.

I hope you get an exemption for Jamie and that the school doesn't give you a hassle. I'm amazed they don't have full-time nurses at your schools, we have one full-time nurse at each school, the bigger schools have more.

Irishembi said...

Actually they do *technically* have full-time nurses at all the schools in our district. But with the weird new situation with the overflow school being housed next to the Middle School, the Middle School nurse (who is full-time) serves double duty.

However my Mom's school district (which actually has a much better/larger/wealthier tax base only has part-time nurses who travel from school to school.

I remember when I was growing up the school secretary doubled as the school nurse. Not that she had any medical training whatsoever!