Thursday, August 16, 2007

School Orientation

Yesterday, we went on a tour of the schools. Sous Chef's school is quite a bit larger than his older school with two multi purpose rooms, about 1/2 the size of a full sized gym, and one gymnasium. The multipurpose rooms are attached to the kitchen and they double as the cafeteria. His school seems fairly easy to get around and the staff we met were very friendly. During orientation, he was excited to hear they have a fully functional science laboratory with animals and all kinds of science equipment for experiments. We will be meeting his teacher Monday evening at Meet the Teacher night. We have heard from several people that she is very nice, which is great! At orientation last night, they asked where the new students were from. There were several from within the US, but some students came from as far as Japan, Kenya and Cost Rica. He is also really looking forward to being a bus rider!

Damn, Big E's school is HUGE, physically and in student body size! It is quite a bit bigger than the high school I went to. There are 800 fifth graders in his building, plus the same number for 4th and 6th grade. This is probably not much different than other intermediate schools, but it is new to us! I like the fact that they have "pods" or "wings" which is very similar to Big E's school in OP. I think this school could take a while for me to get familiar with. I am not good with directions or maps, so I see a few lost moments before I learn my way around. On the other hand, Big E could immediately get me from one place to the other, so I am not too worried about him wandering the halls trying to find his way. He is happy to learn each student has their own locker and he won't have to share with anyone. He was very excited when the new students broke into small groups with their grade counselor and he met a girl who also moved here from Overland Park this summer! It turns out, her mom is best friends with the mom of a friend of Big E's in our OP neighborhood.

We met Big E's teaching team tonight. It's two very young women and they both seem nice. I have heard they are very strict, which will be really good for Big E. His school has "Friday Night School" from 3-5pm for those kids who need a little "encouragement" to behave, follow the rules, do their work, etc. When I was a kid, we called this detention and it took place before school started. I think the principal of his school is very much cut out for her job. She is a "no bullshit" kind of woman but also has a great sense of humor and you can tell she loves her job.
Everyone is excited now about school, including me. Some of my anxiety has passed, at least until the actual day gets here! Big E and Sous Chef seem to be doing fine and just want to meet more kids.

We are heading to Pittsburgh tomorrow for Aunt B'svisitation on Friday night and funeral on Saturday morning. New questions have not cropped up, but some of the same ones have reappeared. I hope I am consistent with my answers - or maybe not if I answered it poorly the first time. Big E was worried that Jimmy had "a lot of work to do" to be at all four visitations and then a funeral. I hope I eased his mind by reminding him Jimmy's children and their spouses are there, along with all of his brothers and sisters and their families, to help him.

Have a safe weekend.

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