Wednesday, November 5, 2008

About me

I’m a mother of a nearly 3-year-old son, and we live in Roslindale, a neighborhood on the southwest side of Boston.

I really want to send my child to public school in the city, and this blog is intended to document that process and record my impressions of various schools. I haven’t really seen anything else like it out there. There’s Y/BPS, West Zone Parents Group, and Countdown to Kindergarten, but I haven’t really found anything from one parent’s point-of-view. I guess you’re supposed to learn all about this sort of thing by networking at the playground, the tot lot, or preschool. I’m prone to shyness (and social awkwardness), so my interactions with other parents who’ve been through this have been… let’s say… minimal. I’d encourage other parents to comment and help me find my way through this thing.

So why am I so gung ho on public schools in Boston? I went to a public school in a small Midwestern farm town. Ok, so I didn’t really have a choice. It was the only school in town. My father was briefly a teacher in the LA school system. He went on to serve on two school boards. I believe in the mission of our nation’s public schools. Everyone deserves a quality education, not just those who can afford it.

I also value an education in diversity. That’s something I really didn’t have growing up. My school was 95% white. I’m afraid my son wouldn’t see much in the way of ethnic or economic diversity at a private school in Boston. I don’t have any facts or figures to back that up, just my impressions.

Look, we could have moved to the suburbs like a lot of parents. We certainly looked at affordable homes in T-accessible towns like Revere. I know Newton has an awesome public school system, but we would have had to live in a shed… in someone’s backyard… by the garbage bin. So instead, we bought a house with a yard in Roslindale just over a year ago. I think a lot of people, including acquaintances in the distant suburbs, thought we were crazy raising a toddler in the city. But we’ve managed and I’m sure we’ll find a way through the school system as well.

This blog is also intended to keep me organized and motivated. I’ll lose my handwritten notes if I don’t store them someplace electronically.

I hope other people can learn along with me. Remember – these are just one person’s impressions and aren’t intended to replace actual site visits or your own research. What I value in a school might not be what you value.

Wish us luck.

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