Yesterday was my older son’s last day in his school which only goes through third grade. We are having mixed emotions about this. One on hand I’m happy to see him growing up and reaching different milestones but on the other I’m sad that he won’t be in this elementary school anymore. We have been so happy with the school he’s been in (LES) and have a bit of anxiety about him going to the intermediate school. LES is a small school with a very high quality of educators, a very involved PTO and a nice group of students. It is nice to know that the principal knows exactly who my son is and that the school has been winning national awards for character, etc.
Not that there is anything wrong with the intermediate school but it is a lot of things that this school isn’t and vice-versa. The fourth grade will be five times the size of his third grade class so that will be an adjustment. Though I have learned that the fourth graders are kept separate from the fifth and sixth grades. This at least helps their adjustment to the size of the school and they don’t feel as intimidated. I’m also a bit sad that there is less communication with the parents in the new school compared to the old. I liked knowing exactly what was going on with my kids and having access to the teacher if needed. I guess this is part of letting go as they grow up but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
I’ve also heard that there are considerably fewer parents volunteering there which probably makes fund-raising harder. I was surprised since there are so many more students and therefore more parents. I understand that many parents don’t have work flexibility but I think some parents just don’t prioritize this. Even in this school there are plenty of families who just think that they are entitled to all the extras that their kids get through PTO efforts without lifting a finger themselves. I guess in this world there are many more takers than givers. However, I hoped that people would do everything they could to make their children’s lives and education better if they could. I suppose that is not the case with everyone.
With all the competition in today’s world and our national education system ranking pretty low, every bit we can contribute as parents helps them. I try to help as much as I can since I am home and able to make the time but there are others who try to help for evening events or other things that aren’t during work hours. I think there are many parents who are just focused on putting their individual child in extra activities or tutoring but aren’t concerned with trying to do what they can to help our schools. They see fixing the shortcomings of our educational system as someone else’s problem. I think that being aware and involved with the schools and our children can only bring good things. I hope the intermediate school is as wonderful for my son as LES was and I’ll try to stay as involved as I can!