Thursday, December 11, 2008

Curley school preview - Dec. 11

This was the school preview that wasn’t. We had to leave soon after the introductory remarks because I could tell my son was headed for a world-class meltdown, and I didn’t want to be disruptive. So I grabbed the last Kindergarten packet (in Spanish) and beelined for the door.

He didn't disappoint. As soon as we opened the doors outside, “Up! I don’t want to walk! I DON’T WANT TO WAAAAALK!” That continued the entire three blocks to our car. He’s pushing 35 pounds so he’s beyond the point where I can easily carry him (for three blocks in the rain).

I didn’t get a head count, but this was a large tour group, possibly up to 50 parents.

So as not to leave you with a post completely devoid of school information, I’m posting my notes from a Curley parent’s presentation at a West Zone Parents Group meeting last month, supplemented with information from my packet.

The Curley was two separate schools until last year, when they merged into a K-8 system. The upper school is on Centre Street, and the lower school is on Pershing. The two buildings are connected by a hallway. Co-principals run the schools. The parent said that the merger has made the middle school feel more like a part of the community than it had in the past. In total, there are about 740 students at the Curley with two classes per grade plus an ESL class. They have advanced work beginning in fourth grade with some French instruction. I'm not sure if the French is for all students or just advanced work.

Because they have so many students and used to be two separate schools, they have two cafeterias, two gyms, two libraries, two art rooms, you get the idea.

Their special subjects include art twice a week, and music, gym, and science once a week. I have in my notes that they also have a drama and dance teacher, so I assume that’s a special too (these notes are a month old and not exactly fresh in my head).

The Curley is a Superintendent’s School. This means that the Curley is among those deemed to be at the high risk of state intervention unless they improve student performance. So they have 20 children instead of 22 per class in the youngest grades. They get an extra hour of instruction (8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). And they get a full-time family and outreach coordinator. They have one more year with this status. If they lose that money, they will likely shorten the day because of teachers’ salaries.

For more information, you can check out their parent-maintained website. Some of the information in the packet is also posted on the website.

They’re getting a new playground soon through the Boston Schoolyard Initiative and are over designs right now. Here is the master plan.

Although it would be nice to be in a K-8 school to avoid the dreaded middle school transition, the Curley isn’t high on my list simply because it’s nearly 5 miles from our house. I’d prefer something closer to home. Nonetheless, I’ll try to attend a later school preview to get a better feel for the place… sans screaming child.

No comments: