Today is the big day. The day the school of our choice sends out a letter that will change the course of our daughter’s life. Forever. We have sent in all of the paperwork including application, teacher’s letters of recommendation, report cards and financial aid forms. We visited the school on numerous occasions. Attended the various Open Houses. Shook hands and smiled a lot at the meet and greets. And divluged out our inner most secrets at the parent interview. Our daughter did both small AND large group assessment. We’ve gone to the question and answer sessions with the faculty. We’ve toured the campus with current students as our guides. And most recently we attended a Diversity Breakfast. Now we play the waiting game… to see if all of our time, energy and hard work will pay off. No, our daughter isn’t a high school senior trying to get into Harvard or Yale, she’s 4 and we are trying to get her into private school Kindergarten in Los Angeles.
To some this process sounds bit absurd for a preschool child, but to parents of children that live within the LAUSD borders it sounds all too familiar. Our neighborhood school is (to put it nicely) less than desirable, and even though we live in a great area, there are good and not so good pockets on every other street in Los Angeles. If our daughter does not get into this private school, and we do not get picked in the various lotteries of other excellent local charter/magnet schools that we have applied to, we will be forced to move. We feel it is our only option, and last resort.
I grew up and went to school in Burbank where they have their own excellent school district so all of this is new to me. There was never a question about what school I would attend. Private school was never even a thought in my mother’s head. I mean why on earth would you pay for your child to go to school? We lived in a house across the street from a great elementary school, so we went there. After graduation, we went to corresponding middle school, and then high school. They were all good schools, and I had a great learning experience with excellent opportunities. I will accept nothing less for my own child.
So for the next few days forgive me if I seem on edge. I AM ON EDGE. I’m also distracted and nervous, which when blended all together, make a really lovely combo. Just ask my husband. The last few months have all been leading up to this moment, this one little letter of acceptance or rejection for our four year old.