I gathered all the records I needed to prove Simone is a real person: a birth certificate, Social Security card and immunization records. Then I gathered everything I needed to prove we live in the school district: gas bill, water bill and a mortgage payment stub. I am not keen on providing the payment stub, but I understand why the school district requires it. If all of the schools were good, administrators wouldn’t have to worry about children attending schools outside of their zone. But I digress.
I carried all of the documents to the school, handed them over to the secretary and filled out three sheets of paperwork. All of the forms came in more than one language, including Arabic. When it came time to answer the race question, there were no little boxes to check. There was a small space, where I wrote “biracial.”
Simone has been registered for Kindergarten, and it was easy. What may not be so easy is taking her there in the fall. I don’t think I will need to attend the Boo-Hoo Breakfast, an annual rite of passage for parents sending their children off to school for the first time. I also don’t think I will cry. I am told, though, that parents have a hard time sending their children to school for the first time, and there must be a reason why schools host those Boo-Hoo Breakfasts. I am not one of those kinds of mothers, am I? No, I am looking forward to waving good-bye to Simone as she embarks on her educational career. Next stop: Breakfast with all of the Kindergarten teachers at Simone’s soon-to-be new school.
The little boy just wasn’t having it. He was crying, putting on the brakes, and making a ruckus as parents and grandparents tried to get him to change his mind.
“You don’t have to stay,” they told him.
Those words didn’t seem to help, but he was outside of the car and being lead away to some horrible place. Just before the car left, the adults inside promised to return with a hamburger. What had the little boy so upset? School, elementary school.
Ken and I were checking out a school near our home. It was open house, a day for children to meet their new teachers. (No, I don’t want to think about what it says when parents show up a whole year early without a kid in tow to check out a school.)
The school, the one the boy was refusing to go inside, could be Simone’s new school in a year. We walked through five kindergarten classrooms and saw hundreds of parents and children preparing for the first days of school. We liked what we saw – happy kids, enthusiastic teachers, colorful rooms. There also was some diversity, mostly Asian children. I was pretty much sold when I learned school supplies for the entire year may be purchased through the school for about $70.
Then there was that little boy, arms flailing, tears running down his cheeks. I’m sure the school is not at fault. We, though, will definitely continue to do our homework, making stops at a church-based school and another private before making the final decision.