Thursday, February 09, 2006

Big changes for Melissa

Melissa - Jungle Tigress
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Melissa starts school at the Traditional school on Monday! This is a sudden and big chance for Melissa and our family.

It was only just a couple weeks ago that I put Melissa and Michael on the wait-lists for Grades 2 and 1 at the Traditional school. I stopped by yesterday after Maddy's dance class to drop off the application forms for next year. I asked what the odds were of her getting in next year were. They told me it didn't look like she would be in for next year "unless you would be interested in transferring her now"!!!!

They have had a student transfer out just this week and all the people ahead of us on the list said they wanted school year 2006/2007. They also told me if I took the spot for her - all the sibs get first preference to get in from here on out.

So she starts Monday. The plan is that Allan will drop her off on his way to work (except *I* am going on her first day!) and the kids and I will walk over to pick her up after school. It's just under a mile away, so it will be a walk, but Maddy and Michael can walk that far now and I have the double stroller for the twins.

It's also located next to a bank and Starbucks on one side, and a walk-in clinic and pharmacy on the other. It's a block away from the dance studio and 2 blocks from the library. There is an IGA in the plaza across the street and we walk by the Safeway to get there. So we'll be able to do other quick errands in combination with picking Melissa up. Contrast that to the regular public school, which is the opposite direction and not near ANYTHING.

This is a public school, but they do have uniforms. They don't have to wear exactly the same thing and exactly the same thing everyday, but they do have to stick to the colors/style restrictions.

Navy blue jumpers, skirts, skorts or pants.

Tops have to be plain white or powder blue (the only logo allowed is the school crest from the uniform company any tops not from the uniform company after to be completely plain).

Shoes have to be navy blue, black or white, no writing, no flashign lights, no characters, no obvious name brands.

Tights and socks have to be navy blue, poweder blue or white as do hair assessories.

No coats in school - all layering (fleeces, sweaters, sweatshirts, vests) has to be navy blue, powder blue or white - with no logo or brand name visible unless it's the school crest.

No high heels, platform shoes, tank tops, bare midriffs, flared pants, torn clothing, no characters, writing or logos other than the school logo on any clothes.

So that really relieves me as a main concern of mine with public school was the dress issues. I can't believe how inappropriately so many little girls are dressed. This avoids that issue but does still leave some room for indivuality.

Last night Melissa and I went shopping for school clothes. This was completely necessary because out of her overflowing closets and drawers we came up with all of 2 items that could be worn to school: a white t-shirt and navy blue shorts! Melissa has up until now preferred to wear pink and the most colorful clothes she can find. So shopping was in order!

We were able to find a navy jumper and navy skirt at the thrift store. There was absolutely NOTHING at Walmart. If you are a boy you can find basic clothes at Walmart, but NOT if you are a girl! They didn't even have basic, non-character, non-flashing shoes for gym! What a complete waste of time!

From there we went to Payless shoes and found a pair of white runners on sale for $7 - gym shoes!!

Next stop was Zellers (the Bay already being closed by 8pm) where we had better luck. At Zellers we found a powder blue plain front zip hoodie, a plain white button dress shirt, and plenty of white, navy and powder blue socks and tights as well as a package of hair elastics in varying shades of blue.

At the end of the day I needed to order some items from the uniform company (fleece vest, hoodie, navy jumper, powder blue l/s shirt, white short sleeved shirt - all with school crest and the name tags to label it all. The name tags are iron on and come with her phone number and name printed on them. "M" instead of the first name so we can pass clothes down).

Today we picked up the uniforms and the supply list from the school. We saw where her classroom will be tomorrow - but the teacher had already left for the day.

We were able to find some of the needed supplies at the Shoppers Drug Mart across the street but I ended up having to go out again this evening to round up the rest of the required supplies. While we have art supplies and such in the house, they weren't the right type. The list was very specific about which brands, which sizes, and quantities. But it's better she has her art supplies still here for her at home anyway.

One unexpected development is that while we were at the school Michael saw the Kindergarten classroom; which I have to say is one of the best stocked/kid friendly looking Kindergartens I have ever laid eyes on. We were also told we should send Michael as well, as they do have an opening in the afternoon K session.

Michael was all eyes and ears and has now launched a campaign to go to school as well. But K is a half day and I seriously don't think Maddy could manage the walk out 2, possibly 3, times a day every day. She just simply couldn't do it. If Allan has an early meeting, we have to walk Melissa to school in the morning, then walk home. Then we will be walking every day to pick her up and back home. Adding another Michael drop-of just isn't practical.

So to Michael's sorrow, the current plan is for Michael to start 1st Grade this coming September. The plan is for Maddy to not start K until 2007/2008. She's much less mature for her age compared to Michael and Melissa and we think she would do better being 5 turning 6 in K versus 4 turning 5. Whether she will homeschool or go to school for K remains to be seen. That's a long time away.

Melissa is actually very excited about school as well. We are hoping it turns out to be a positive thing for her.


Sunny said...

Cherie, Please e-mail me.
I tried to post a comment and it didn't go through.
Basically I wish the boy could go to kindergarten. He'll alwasy regret he didn't.
Can Maddie ride the stroller with a baby in her lap?
Can you get her a scooter so the trip is desirable?
Can you pay a neighbor to watch her?
Can I help you in any way?

Cheryl said...

I'm thinking we'll need to see how it goes with Melissa first - maybe I can find another parent there that would be willing to drop off Michael or bring both kids home if I paid them. It's a long walk is the problem - it's over a mile each way. Our double stroller as a 40 lb per seat weight limit - Maddy's almost on her own and it's a compact double stroller "double umbrella". I could theoretically try and put maddy in and backpack a twin but I'm not sure I"m up to that - at least for a few more weeks.

Sunny said...

Is it a safe enough walk there?

SBH said...

How Exciting!!! I am sure she will just love it.