Monday, August 20, 2012

So....I'm a mother of a High Schooler - WTF?


In May of my daughter’s 8th grade year, I got a letter in the mail for her annual IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting. Listed as attending this meeting were representatives from EHS.  I quickly shot an email to the IEP Administrator to point out that The Child was zoned for GHS, not EHS. She emailed back stating that I was incorrect, and The Child was zoned for EHS.  

In every town, there is a school that has the reputation for being THAT SCHOOL. EHS has always been THAT SCHOOL to me. I immediately starting shooting off emails left and right, petitioning the school board for a Zoning Transfer on the basis of academics, and even a McKay Scholarship (which allows IEP students to transfer schools for disability reasons).  This went on for a good 2 months, and we finally heard back that our Zoning Transfer was denied. Our McKay scholarship was approved, but still she was zoned for EHS.  I was getting very frustrated, I appealed the Zoning Transfer denial, and was denied again.  I was defeated. 

Eventually, in August, we went to the EHS AP (Advanced Placement) Orientation.  I’d done some research before (which, in retrospect, I should have done before flying off the handle to begin with) and learned that EHS is #17 out of the top 100 high schools in the COUNTRY. Not state – COUNTRY.  The Child was put into all AP classes, including art, which she adores, and the entire campus was great. It was clean (old, but clean). The library was huge and had great books in it (I didn’t see a “Twilight” anywhere!)

The teachers were all nice and helpful, and, well, we kind of fell in love with it.  When we took a tour of the campus, I was impressed with all of the technology – Smart Boards, computers, laptops, cool TI calculators that talk to the computer (I can’t even wrap my head around the tech there; it’s just awesome) – it blew me away.  GHS was not this nice, and GHS had the rep of being THE SCHOOL you wanted your kids to go to. 

Go Figure.
After AP Orientation, we came back the following Monday for general 9th grade orientation and to pick up her schedule.  It was a madhouse, full of annoying teenaged high school freshmen, but we walked around and got to see the cafeteria (very nice), the “quad” area (you know, the hang out area in the middle of it all) and the auditorium, which I was so happy to see separated from the cafeteria (cafetorium, anyone?).  We were ushered into the auditorium for a presentation from all of the staff and teachers at the school and was treated to a performance by the Rams Marching Band and Cheer/Dance Squad.  Oh my! What a performance. It was quite unexpected, and had us both laughing at the fun of it all and dancing in our seats at the same time. I attempted to get a video (old ass me was going to say “I taped it”!), but I can't figure out how to upload it for your viewing pleasure...

So, after the AP orientation, and then the general orientation, we asked The Child if she liked it here. She told us, “oh yeah – it makes GHS look like crap!”

Thanks School Board – it turns out that we were both fighting the same side of an argument here.  Too bad you couldn’t just tell us that in MAY and my entire summer would have been much less stressful!