Well what do you know, the Kindergarten information meeting and open house I was very nervous of forgetting about, has come and gone,. I have mixed feelings about Evan going to Kindergarten, for sure having him gone for 6 hours 5 days a week will take getting used to (I already miss him just thinking about it) but I am also excited of the possibilities of what I can do with my time. Best of all, we will only be paying $120 for the entire school year as opposed to the $300 a month we are shelling out for his part-time 3 days a week private pre-school.
It took sometime for me to understand the US educational system. In the Philippines it’s Nursery, Kindergarten, Prep (Preparatory), Grade School (Grades 1-6), High School (another 4 years), College. Here it’s Pre-K (pre-school), Kindergarten (age 5 years old), Elementary (grades 1-5), Middle School (grades 6-8), High School ( grades 9-12), College. That is why in the Philippines we enter college at the age of 16 while here in the U.S. college age is 18. It didn’t help when Tom talked of grade school he would use the term “grammar school” something even his nephew didn’t understand (just goes to show what era my husband belongs to =).
So before college Evan will be going to 3 schools in 3 different buildings in 3 different areas (but all will still be less than 2 miles from our house) after pre-school. As is common knowledge the quality of public school differs on what area you hold residence, which explains why schools are a big factor when purchasing a house. Something of which was a new concept to me because public schools in the Philippines doesn’t require district residency as long as you are a filipino citizen. When bachelor Tom moved to the northern part of Chicagoland 20 years ago I doubt it if the quality of public schools was what he had in mind – it was more of liking the vibe of this city but we also got lucky in the school area.
A couple of years ago I have started to asking around for feedback from parents regarding the public school where Evan was going and was heartened that it was positive. Same as online reviews. Back then I didn’t understand why they talk about the sense of community as being an asset of this school but now from my experience as a pre-school mom I know how involvement of parents would be a big factor.
When I went to the open house, my first time inside the premises, I was very impressed to the extent how the teacher’s were completely hands-on with their students. From the district’s website I found out that the average salary of their teacher is $70,ooo which sounded to me quite a lot compared to the $30,ooo I heard filipino teachers are paid in other states but listening to how these teachers go out of their way for the 15-25 pupils (not to mention accommodating the concerns of obsessive-compulsive parents of each) they will be handling made me see how they are worth every penny we are paying them through tax.
What also caught my eye during the open house were the iMacs lined up in their library (remember these are Kindergarten to Grade 5 students). I couldn’t help but feel jealous so I approached the librarian who was also in the meeting since she mentioned about teaching computer to the Kindergarteners too. I asked her if my son will be using the iMac, she said that eventually he will but they will be mostly using laptops and visiting websites like a virtual library with read-along books. Part of the $22,000 this school spends for each child per schoolyear – more than double the tuition fees for private schools here.
In a few weeks will be the registration. But before that there will be several activities that will involve the would be classmates and parents for the students to get used to their new school before classes begin during the last week of August. This mom is counting the days.