We met with our teacher yesterday afternoon. The classroom looked great. My girl seemed excited. The teacher seemed nice. I was getting comfortable with the notion of her going to school. Since I’m a newbie at this school stuff, I asked her teacher what time I needed to drop her off. I remember looking at the school website last year and classes began at 8.45am until 3pm, so when does she need to be dropped off? Already, I thought the school day was horrendously too long for a 5-year old. I’ve always thought that. My girl is used to spending 4 hours at the playground. She’s always had infinite energy that needs to be expended. And then bombshell is dropped. The kind teacher says she needs to be dropped off at 8am. Whhhhhaaaaattt? She tells me since “there’s that extra hour, I pick the kids up from the auditorium at 8.10am.”
I’m confused. What the heck is going on? Maybe there’s some super secret process I don’t know about. There’s nothing in the literature about this. What am I missing? Instead of asking her, because I already feel like an idiot, I go home in a state of shock. Aside from the average how-the-hell-am-I-going-to-get-her-to-school-at-8am freakout, I then remember I saw a sign at school that pickup is at 3.30pm. I turn to Google to research and to my horror, discover that her school performed in the bottom 33 of schools in our county for reading and the school board mandated that her school add an extra hour of studying every day. Oh.My.God. Now, the already ridiculously long school day just got longer. My 5-year old is supposed to attend school from 8.15am-3.30pm. I’m horrified. I’m devastated. I knew her school wasn’t the best in the county but oh dear God, I didn’t realize it was that bad. This board decision on school hours only came down 4 weeks ago so all my research, all my agonizing, over the past year was moot.
Last year, her VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten) hours were 9am-12pm, and she was burned out by March. This will have her strung out by Halloween.
Now I can’t stop crying. For the immediate future, my hands are tied. She will begin school Monday morning and I will see how it goes. I suspect that in a few weeks, I will be knocking on the doors of other local schools, requesting a transfer. If all else fails, I may have to turn private. I only know that I’m not having her completely jaded from school at the mere age of 5. Kindergarten is supposed to be fun. I know it’s only an hour more, but already the day is much too long for little kids. Now it’s just ridiculous.