Sunday, December 9, 2012

School Report #5

The girls and I did our 5th school visit on Friday, at the Mozart school. It's one of our neighborhood K1-5 schools, and another small one, with only one class per grade.

Other than the general coziness of the school , I was struck by the impression I got of the Principal. He was older, a parent, and gave off a serious no-nonsense vibe. He talked about knowing every home owner that abutted the school property (and it's quite a few!), and I didn't doubt it. He talked about knowing every child in the school by name, and I didn't doubt it. He talked about knowing everything that goes on in the school, and I didn't doubt it.

The other great impression I got was that being a parent there could be a full-time job if you wanted it to be. He pointed out some of the things that had been accomplished by parents: grant-application for funding and design/construction of an updated playyard/playground, brochures and website for school marketing (yes, you have to market your schools here in Boston if you want people to apply for them), and updated library with funds for re-stocking/growth. I saw parents helping with crafts. Parents run the PE program. 

My notes were scribbled on a small notepad I had in my pocket, so here are some other details:

  • There is a before-school program for K1, but after school they have to go to a different school for afterschool programming.
  • Uniforms are worn M-Th.
  • "Specials" include visual arts, woodworking, music, science, PE.
  • There are designated rooms for music and science, and the library is large enough to do classroom activities in.
  • The school is tiny, but the classrooms were large enough, cheerful, and felt airy, with great windows.
  • They participate in the yearly Roslindale parade, as part of civic-mindedness.
  • The nurse is shared with the local Bates school (discussed in an earlier school report).
  • They have a lovely outdoor classroom, which is a garden-ish space with benches and different plants. It's used for every type of class (writing, math, science) across every grade. There was a tiny greenhouse in use, and a compost bin to help maintain the garden.
  • They have an urban gardening program, named SLUG (something-something-urban-gardening).
Overall, it's another school that I think the girls could thrive in, and I'd be happy to send them there. I saw many parents that I've seen at other school tours, and it affirms my idea that there are lots of parents like me who care about their children's school options, and would be very active in any school that their/my kid went to. I see this as a good sign for my girls' education. We get a break from school visits until after the New Year. But this Wednesday is a meeting that talks about the process and strategy of applying to schools in Boston. Yes, I said strategy. (sigh). But I want to be fully informed, so I'll go. I'll be happy when this application process is over.

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