Friday, February 10, 2006

School Daze (Shameless cribbing of title. I apologize.)

I have two children in Elementary School. Another is due to start Kindergarten in September. (Actually August since we start before Labor Day. Long story.) Kindergarten registration is on March 28 or thereabouts. So I went online to verify that I have to BRING the immunization record with me. (Maybe I could fill something out in advance and bring it then? No. No such luck.)

And I discovered that this is what I need to bring.

The following documents are REQUIRED for enrollment:

Birth Certificate (certified copy)
Immunization record (copy of official records)
Proof of [Name of Town] residency
(2 proof are required as listed below):

Mortgage coupon book with name and [Town] address
Rental/lease agreement signed by tenant and property owner
Purchase contract with anticipated close of escrow date


Current utility bill with name and [Town] address

Updated 2/5/06

I'm sorry. Are they freaking kidding??? My little anarchist heart is thumping with anxiety.

First, I don't have a mortgage coupon book. (Yeah, I know that I can bring a mortgage *bill* instead of the coupon book, but --whining-- that's not what the list said.) Second, I'm a sucker for overthinking, so I'm trying to figure out why I need 2 proofs from the first selection PLUS the utility bill. But then I unthunk the overthinking part and realized that the mortgage bill plus the utility bill qualifies.

And do I *have* a certified copy of her birth certificate? Eh.... This is the problem with having three kids; all t's are crossed for the first and you can't find anything relating to the third, because, you know, I already went through that anxiety and realized that I didn't have to carry the birth certificate with me to the doctor's office for the well-baby checkups, so I guess I can wait to order the certificated copy for this one from the Registrar. And Immunization Record? Eh.... I think that means another trip to the HMO with a request for her shot record. Which I have now done so many times for the middle child that, I swear, the secretary recognized me the last time I requested yet another copy. (One for day care. One for summer camp. One for sports. One for new day care in the fall. One to bring to start-of-school preregistration. Yeah, OK, keeping these highly important documents available to me is not my strong suit.)

Kee-riste. This sort of paperwork just makes my stomach turn over. (Which must be why my passport expired in 1986 and has yet to be renewed. And my signature has changed since then--will this be a problem? But I don't want to sign the new one as I did when I was 19. So maybe I'll just not bother with the passport renewal until "I feel ready to tackle it." And that will be in which century?)

Of course the kicker here is that I sit on the School Board. And I never want to feel as if I'm asking for special treatment (although it's VERY nice when that happens), so I want to have my little ducks in a row to prevent some school secretary from rolling her eyes. But my other two kids are already enrolled--I still have to prove residency? (How would I still be on the school board if I had left town? Doesn't that violate your conditions of office?) Oh Dear. Very much flustered by even reading the list. Now venturing into dark and squishy realms of overthinking. Gack.

In other somewhat related news, I have decided that I never, ever, ever, EVER want to be involved in another posterboard project for school. This year (one 5th grader, one 2nd grader) has been the ne plus ultra for posterboard projects. Fifth grader has brought in three separate posterboards demonstrating various attributes of Massachusetts, her chosen state for the State projects, and she has two more coming up that I know of. Second grader has had to detail his family tree and do (God help me) book reports on posterboard. And they are all due on weird days, like Tuesdays. (Who assigns a project due for a Tuesday???)

They all have ridiculously detailed instructions:

Only on posterboard, not foam board.
The entire posterboard will need to be covered in a solid color other than white.
"Take two posterboards 12" x 28, no larger, no shorter."
"The picture of the Environment goes in the circle in the middle, the picture of Food goes in the square in the upper lefthand corner. Please follow the enclosed diagram."
"Your second grader will need to write all sentences in pencil. You, as a parent, will need to go over his writing with a black felt tip pen. Please, no blue."

Tearing my hair out at the roots. This is educational?? I cannot believe how many trips I have taken to Michael's Arts and Crafts this year to buy posterboard and specific bizarre items such as 40 pink chenille pom-poms. And, of course, black felt tip markers.

And then there's the 100 Days of School project which made me crazy. Thank god my kids are too old for that. "Bring 100 items, but group them in groups of ten and then attach these ten groups to posterboard." Aigh! I forgot! Darling youngest child will soon be in Kindergarten where they do both a family tree and the 100 Days of School! Shoot me now.

I love my schools, and I love the teachers. But the posterboard crap is just insane. Maybe I can convince one of the stepford classroom mothers to adopt my neglected children and oversee the remaining posterboard projects. "Oooo," she'd squeal. "Come on, Johnny! Time for another posterboard project! How about recreating your immunization record on this BIG piece of paper? We can do it in pom-poms!"



CindyS said...

Holy Crap!!! The only time my parents got involved in my projects was this one time when I was probably in grade 4 and my dad bought rub on lettering. I had to do all the work but he thought that lettering was cool. So did I!

Then the only project I then needed help on was when my friend and I did a science project that involved saudering copper pipes. My dad showed up how and then let us do all the saudering. When we took our project in (grade 10) our so called boyfriends scoffed adn said there was no way we saudered those joints ourselves. I was so pissed I almost decked someone. I did prove my mettle when a concrete patch broke holding the point and I called my mother to bring me more cement. I stayed there through my first class and finished it while my partner kept saying, forget it, it's over. Bloody thing worked and we blew the teachers mind!!

Damn, did I make this about myself again!?

Anyways, having an adult trace over the childs words in black marker is ridiculous. Let the child do it themselves.\

Hmm, I should mention that my Godson is not doing well in school because he has a myriad of learning disabilites and I guess at the last teacher parent meeting Sue was told that the best they could hope for was to teach him a trade. Hi. He's 9 years old!! We're not giving up on him! In all honesty a trade is going to be the next big thing. At this point, finding skilled labour is hard and many people aren't going into those fields. It's just Zach loves science and I would love to see him excel at it and maybe find a job in the science field.

I just can't give up on the children.

CindyS - Canadian school board so very different from US.

Suisan said...

At nine? Okaaay.

Hey, if he's interested in science, get them to start thinking about engineering. A lot of kids with learning "tics" do really well in engineering. Hands-on, concrete, focused on probelm solving...

Yeah, the directions for the posterboard are so detailed, it's impossible for me to believe that by the end of the day it's anything other than classroom decoration.

Doug Hoffman said...

Ugh. Now I know why we homeschool. I hereby swear I will no longer whine about the time it takes to prepare Jake's homework and review/correct his stuff after the fact. It's far less work than what you are doing.

Sure you don't want to homeschool, too? We're teaching Jake American History with two texts: Lies My Teacher Told Me and Zinn's A People's History of the United States. Raising a li'l Marxist, we are.

Word verification: okay, the Republicans are really creeping me out. My word verification is arabz.

Suisan said...

I'd love to homeschool, actually. There are some really neat concepts I'd love to take part in.

I worry about not having the temperament to spend all day with my child, asking him/her to get stuff done. (I think I could homeschool someone else's child better.)