We found out a few months ago that Curly was chosen by lottery for the Montessori school near us. We were happy, a little anxious, and went to work coming up with a carpool plan with our nearby neighbor friends whose son was also beginning there in the Fall. And then we waited. We were told that we’d receive a letter regarding when Curly’s first day would be. But first we got a letter stating that a new principal was starting. We continued to wait for the second letter, still not having received it in mid-August (our county’s schools began classes Aug 20, and even knowing that Curly would not be starting until a little later, we were getting worried…). Finally, we got the letter…only telling us which teacher he was assigned to and not giving us a start date, but telling us his teacher would call us with that. Clearly, things were very disorganized.
Last night at 9pm(!), we got the teacher’s call. And that was just to arrange for a time when we could come to the school with Curly to meet his teacher 1-on-1 and get him acquainted with her and the classroom. We’re doing that Friday at 10am. Today, Nutella and I had an 11:30 meeting to meet all the teachers and other 3 and 4-year-olds’ parents, and have a general information session. Still no start date for us, although our neighbor-friends’ son is starting Tuesday Sept 4, so maybe us, too? Unfortunately our boys are in different classes so they won’t have each other to fall back on. We’ve been telling Curly about all the new friends he’ll make, and got him the backpack he wanted, and he seems pretty excited about his new school (always easier in theory than practice!).
The teachers explained today that the kids must be 100% independent. For instance, the teachers will tell them if their shoes are on the wrong feet, but only if they happen to notice, and they won’t help them fix it. An “older child” will accompany Curly to the bathroom when he needs to go, but he must take care of all business by himself when he’s in there. Oh, and there’s only one stall in the boys’ room, the rest is urinals, joy. If he has an accident, he must be able to change his clothes by himself (as far as #2 accidents are concerned, I can only see us being called at work to pick him up because he’s going to be a gross mess…suuuuuuuuuuuucks). There is no snack break (school is in session 9 to 11:30), so he can munch on something in the car on the way there, and on the way to his current daycare/pre-school when we pick him up midday. He will not be able to suck his thumb without being told to immediately go wash his hands (good! it will help him kick the habit). And all the kids will have a “probationary period” of 6 weeks, during which if they have problems that do not improve, they will be told not to return until January.
There was more, but basically it’s a huge change and things are about to get very, very interesting when he starts. Which might be in 2 weeks. We think.
[Post script: There were a couple gems that the teachers said this morning, including “It’s Summer time, which means shorts, and if your kid has an accident it will go straight down the legs to the shoes…and I don’t want a kid with pee-pee shoes walking around the classroom” as well as “Check your kid’s pockets and backpack…if you see an adorable little koala toy..awww…BRING IT BACK! It goes with the world map!”]