After two years in public school we decided our 7-year-old might thrive in a class room with fewer students. Our upcoming move seemed to be a oportune time to make a move to a new school environment, so we decided to look into private schools.
My husband has already moved to Miami so we would like to move soon to reunite our little family. I quickly learned a mid-year arrival does not gel with most private school admission procedures described on their websites so I had to hit the phones.
I found a list of all of the private schools within a 15 mile radius of my husbands new job on an iPhone application called “Great Schools.” I dreamily smiled at the elementary schools that included preschool, imagining one drop-off and one pick-up for all 3 children.
The calls began, “We are moving to the area this semester and I have 3 young children…” BAM! Shot down… usually with a laugh. “Oh no ma’am, we have nothing…”
I quickly revamped my plan to a two-school strategy. Though two drop-offs and two pick-ups is not dreamy, it is doable; that is what I do now. I think the year I agreed to 3 schools I was still half asleep because I had to arrive at one of those schools at 3:30 a.m. to secure a spot for both girls. I was too late! Only one spot was left. The situation seemed dire on only 3 hours of sleep so I sought the third school.
Anyway, with the new strategy in place I found 2 options that could work for all of us. In each scenario a total of two schools had openings for 3 children.
But now, we had to prove ourselves to them! Both second grade spots required tests, which actually could be administered remotely, by our current school counselor. One of the kindergarten spots, however, required an in-person interview, so off we went!
It was hard to imagine how that interview with our 5-year-old might go…”So, where do you see yourself in 10 years?” or “Please contrast the work of Seuss and Goose then tell us the irony that you see in each?” Whatever the questions included, I think it went great! The little lady came out with a lollipop and a smile!
At school number 2 I waited for Charlie to complete his 2.5 hour test with Massimo’s mother. Massimo and his 3 siblings were also applying for spots at this school. The family is moving to Miami from Columbia where they moved last December from Singapore. The children were in 2 different schools in Singapore and before that attended school in both London and New York.
She said not to worry, with the young ages of my children a move will be easy for them. They will make friends quickly. The moves have made her darling children quite flexible and have taught their family to rely on each other for security. One of the hardest parts of each move, she explained in her accented English, was the school application process. Once I get through this, I will be fine! The only thing harder was the logistics of moving the family horse. Apparantly the stable they had visited that day was horrendous and the transportation plan was proving quite complicated.
So now I will wait. Wait and clean. Wait for our current district to send copies of my children’s transcripts; wait for the results of my sweet children’s tests; and wait for someone to fall in love with our house. I’ll work each day to keep this house spotless as if this will be the day that person will walk through my front door.
And inevitably when the fingers of anxiety begin to creep into my life (which will surely be at midnight… everything seems harder in the dark) I will silently chant my new mantra: “At least I don’t have to find a home for a horse. At least I don’t have to find a home for a horse.”
That really does sound like a nightmare!