Thursday, June 21, 2012

Confirmation ...

I love getting confirmation that I am on the right path or that everything is going to be alright.

Tonight was orientation at my son's new school. He is my youngest child and will be entering high school in the fall, but this is my first experience with the New York City public school system as a parent (I was a public school kid). Overall, it was a good evening. I think he is a bit more comfortable about the school after seeing some of the classrooms, the cafeteria and getting a sampling of the clubs and extra-curricular activities offered. I think it also helped when a rising senior told my son that he is lucky to be going to this school and he knows my son will enjoy it.

One of my biggest concerns about this school is that my son was in a graduating class of 40 students. The high school has a population of over 5,000 students. That's massive. The building is colossal. The classes are much larger. It's a huge change. He is going from being a big fish in a little pond - where everyone in the school knew him by name from teachers, to the principal, to maintenance workers - to being a grain of sand on the beach.

Where does the confirmation come in at? Well, yesterday I received a phone call from the parent coordinator at the new school (our old school didn't even have one). The coordinator let me know that she had the package I sent with his medical forms, etc. However, my son was not on the roster; according to her, he was not enrolled for the fall semester. She thought she should contact me so that I could start advocating on his behalf because clearly I thought he was attending their school and she didn't think there were any more spaces available. So after a visit to his old school, numerous calls/emails to the enrollment office, guidance counselor, and other administrators, and duplicate online submissions, the parent coordinator informed me that she now has my son on her list and all is well.

When the dust settled, I thought about the incident. This woman could have said to herself that she had a lot of work on her desk and pushed aside my papers since my son wasn't on her roster. What she did was pick up the phone and call me. She called my cell phone. Then she called my job until she reached me, not my voice-mail. She said if it was her child, she would want someone to be considerate of them. She didn't want me finding out that there was an issue when it was too late to correct it. I see that although this new school has a vast number of students, there are people in place who look out for the individual. I know the school has a high academic rating and their program ranks amongst the top in the country. However, I discovered that they back up their boast of being available for their students and families when needed. Confirmation that we made the right educational choice for this moment in time. 

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