I was disappointed in the events at Irving Primary today. I've heard from many people that we have one of the best school systems in Jersey, I am a little skeptical about how unprepared these people seem.
Our school opening is late this year because of contruction to all 4 of the public schools. Lauren's first day of pre-K will be Monday. Today, we attended a bus orientation and an open house.
My first clue should've been that the bus orientation was at 10 AM and the open house was at 4 PM. This is very inconvenient unless you either have a stay at home Mom with only one child, or both parents at home. The instructions for the bus orientation stated that we should expect to be dropped off at home. We live about 1 1/2 miles away from the school, which the school system feels is too far for Lauren to walk. Riiight. You're starting to see a problem.
Alec stayed home today, because otherwise, there would've been no reasonable way to coordinate both kids and the parking problem at Irving. He dropped us off at Irving at 10, where we stood with about a hundred other combinations of Moms, a smattering of Dads, kids, and siblings in a dusty torn up yard with a newly poured sidewalk. We were handed squares of laminated construction paper with our kids' names on them which will serve as their bus passes.
Most of the older kids destroyed their bus pass within 3 minutes of receiving them.
When we returned at 4 PM for open house, it was bedlam outside the school while the principal detained us for their staff and school board tour guides. The school is still a construction site, its hallways are littered with construction debris. While the classrooms were mostly cleaned up, they had all of the furniture in the middle of rooms and boxes scattered everywhere. The teachers seemed as though they were frantically trying to unpack while kids milled through their rooms. The tours left randomly as you entered, and my tour group had a bunch of older siblings who were disinterested, and spent the whole time talking about, y'know, whatever the tweenies talk about. They were a little less distracting than the moms who also talked over the narrative of the school board president who led the tour.
When we got to Ms Murphy's room, I stopped and made a point of talking with her to find out when we're supposed to report on Monday and introduced Lauren to her new teacher ("Ms Murphy, this is Lauren, and she wanted me to tell you she is feeling too shy to say hi herself"). I was instantly relieved, because when I met the teachers at parent's night back in June, she was the one I liked most. She told Lauren she was looking forward to having her in her class and Lauren grinned. So all ends well, I guess.
It's fine that they chose to have the open house despite the conditions at Irving, but I think the invitation should have said "The site is under construction, please dress appropriately in closed toed shoes". Half of the kids were wearing flip flops. Also, the note about the first day of school from the principal stated "all students should report at 8:30 AM", which meant all students who are supposed to report at that time should, but the PM pre-K kids were supposed to report at 12:30 PM. Um, huh?
The tours would've been a nice opportunity to also meet some classmates, if they had been organized by year rather than at random. It would've, at least, put Lauren's mind at ease if she knew a couple of kids from daycare were going to be in her class...
After spending a solid 15 minutes complaining to Alec about their missed opportunities today, I said, "Y'know what really pisses me off?"
"That I'm going to effing have to be on the PTO. And I'm going to be that bitchy Mrs Stoll who complains about everything."
Alec grinned. "You'll probably be the president."