I am sorry that I haven't blogging that much. I am afraid my reflection time has been taken up by pondering what do about Aay's school situation. I has taken up the majority of my mental computing power to try to come up with the right decision. In the end I think we have finally reach a decision and now we just have make peace with it.
The hardest part about it all, is that Chris and I having grown up in good schools have a very vivid idea of what our ideal school for Aay would look like, and that school just isn't available here in Brooks.
Our ideal school:
1. Academically challenging and responsive to her needs
2. Infused with a Reformed Christian perspective on the world
3. where intellectual curiosity is rewarded and the emphasis is in
4. engaging the world rather than being protected from it.
Brooks has three school options for us.
1. Interdenominational Christian School: Aay will likely get a good primary education, in that it has small class sizes. However we are glad we aren't going to see her go into middle school here because the school is definitely in the protect side of the protect-engage side of the spectrum. Also finances are dodgy there and the finances translate in to less that stellar facilities and opportunities.
2. Separate Catholic School: This is a brand new school (10 year old). It is the fasted growing school in our community and sets the academic standard. The principal was amazing, honest and candid. If we were Catholic we would have enrolled Aay immediately. However their religious education philosophy concentrate catholic instruction in the primary grades, praying the rosary, and the saints is big part of the curriculum in the early grades. We will continue to be supportive of those in our congregation that choose this option for their kids because it is easy to see why a thoughtful concerned parent has to seriously consider and even choose this school.
3. Public school. I have to admit we didn't spend a lot of time researching Public school. Academically they are well behind the first two schools, even thought they are well funded. If we had been seriously dissatisfied with Aay's chances at the Christian school or if we were long-term residents of Brooks we might have explored this further. My mother works in the Public system and I always remind people of that. Many good people work in the public system and I think they can be a good choice too.
In the end, Aay is just plain excited about riding the bus, and loves the schools campus. The school schedule is nice for us, Mondays and Wed and Friday's the second semester, in that it doesn't conflict with a lot of our established routines. We know that if we aren't happy with the school we will have two options in the end, continue pushing the Christian school in the direction we would like to see it go in, or pull Aay and transfer her to a different school. We are active engaged parents so wherever she is she will get a good education as we are already doing our best to enrich her schooling with physical and mental opportunities.