School has been in session all of 12 days, time to have Open House at the elementary school.
We were excited to sit in the classrooms and learn about Spokane Public Schools.
Our 3rd grader has struck a chord with his teacher, and she loves him already. Thankfully she has a soft spot for squirrelly boys and appreciates his charm and energy. His class consists of 23 kids, a fourth fewer students than his 2nd grade class. This can only be good.
Our 4th grader is in a 3rd/4th combination class. When I first learned that he, our most diligent student, was in a combo, I nearly lost my mind. I marched to the school office and said, “No way, no how.” That weekend, at a block party the weekend before school started, I met two moms with 4th graders in the same class. They told me the teacher was a dynamo and rest-assured that she will challenge my son and there will be nothing lost on his 4th grade experience. “Uh-huh, ok, let’s see.” The first day of school, I poured out my heart to this lovely teacher explaining that school is the one place my middle child gets to be himself and shine. I didn’t want my 4th grader to share a 3rd grade experience. She listened and appreciated my concern, told me “he will do just fine” and sent me on my way.
Sigh. I was concerned. Then, as time passed, information came home, and then sitting through the class presentation tonight, I am on board with the combo class and this incredible teacher. My kids have been in combo classes before and I don’t mind them typically, since I’ve known the teachers. Coming in blind, I was neurotic.
The 3/4 combo has 25 kids, again, a fourth fewer than his prior class. What an amazing difference in what a teacher can accomplish with 8 less kids!
The biggest noticeable differences from California to Washington schools are that music and art are separate classes. Fine arts lives in the northwest!! My 3rd grader proclaimed he was a singer and sings, out loud, every day. He does manage to carry a tune fairly well too!
The boys were first shocked that the cafeteria was indoors – and in the basement – not outside, not realizing that serious weather is on the way. One thing both boys love about their new school is the gymnasium complete with a rock climbing wall. Their all-time favorite difference between their old and new schools is the school hours. In California, the kids went to school from 7:45 AM – 2:15 PM with early release at 1:15 on Wednesdays. In Spokane, school hours are 9:00 AM – 3 PM with late start at 9:30 on Thursdays. I love the school hours too! No more early morning battles to get out of bed. They are hoping for snow days in addition to what is built into the calendar, little do they know that they make up those days in the summer.
We are thrilled with the boys school, teachers and classrooms. Hurray!
Next week we have middle school open house. From what I’ve seen already, and our 7th graders reports, our school research prior to our move has really paid off well. WHEW!