Tuesday, July 20, 2010
That line makes me tingle. It just paints such a perfect picture for me, of a world I love. The first snap in the air of early fall. The post-Labor Day excitement. I love the blank notebooks and big pink erasers. The clear plastic protractor, the scissors with dull, round tips, the compass with a point so sharp you could impale yourself and often did. Blank paper and a full schedule. Ahh. The promise that is back-to-school.
Yesterday, was Jonah's first day of kindergarten. But, it is only July. That is because we live in a "year-round" school district. At first, I was very disappointed. And, I will admit, back-to-school in July is just not the same. There is the raging heat, for one thing. But it has not been all bad.
I worked up a pretty good level of excitement, as did my junior scholar. And, the best part. The local discount stores opened their back-to-school departments two weeks ago! Last Friday afternoon, Target was packed with moms, and would-be students, and teachers, all visiting over the stacks of binders and book covers. Reams of paper were stacked in big yellow card board bins. There were new backpacks waiting for new owners. Lunch boxes, and pencil boxes, and boxes of crayons. All new, and fresh, gleaming with the potential of the new school year. And, the air conditioning was up so high, it almost felt like fall.
So, I am adapting to year-round.
A few of you have asked me, what, exactly, do I mean by "year-round"? Well, feast your eyes on this my pretties.
I have, honestly, spent hours gazing at this thing. You see, before Jonah entered school, I had to request a "track" and I wanted to make sure I requested the right one. Because once you are on a track, you are on it for life. All subsequent students in your family will be on it, too. It is a big decision. Not one that could be taken lightly because we are not planning on living in this district forever. Plans can go awry. I had to think long term.
There are four tracks, A (green), B (yellow), C (red), and D (blue). Like most districts, only the elementary and middle schools follow the track/year-round system. The high schools, for reasons of competitive sports, go back to a traditional schedule (purple). Our district has also started using something called a "modified traditional" schedule (orange). In fact, some of our elementary schools aren't year-round either. Samuel and Jonah are in different schools this year, and on completely different schedules, though that does not usually happen until one of your kids moves on to high school.
They do this to save money. They can squeeze more kids into the school this way. If you look closely, you will see there are only three tracks going on any one day. I am not quite sure about the classroom logistics, but they tell me it works.
We are B Track, the yellow one. That's the lingo. And we go "off track," not on summer vacation.
It's craziness, I know, but it is what I have to work with. So, like I said above, I am adapting. I don't see any point in crying on my bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.