Back when Tigger was a charming and precocious three-year-old, I enrolled her in a hoity-toity private school (HTPS), fully intending to keep her there through 8th grade, and thence to a private high school.
HTPS fit our family quite well. Small classes geared for the heavily-enriched children of the elite, or perhaps the elitist. Friendly community of highly functional parents with similar values around education and achievement. Standard Seattle liberal attitudes and platitudes. Tigger loved the place and thrived there for eight years (through 5th grade, last year). Since Little Bit was born when Tig was in preschool, the campus felt like a second home to her. She finished first grade there last June.
And that was the end of that. I pulled them out.
Not that it wasn’t a good school. Not because of social issues or behavior problems. It was money. Specifically, it was a lot of money.
Over the years the tuition went from “perfectly reasonable amount to pay for a good education” to “are you freaking kidding me?” to “I could retire and spend the rest of my days in a palazzo in Belize for what you want to charge me for second grade.” We just couldn’t pull it off.
I was not happy. The girls were even less happy. Tigger said she would never forgive me (though I hope that, in fact, she will).
Last week they began classes at our Local Public School (LPS).
You would think I’d be a big public school booster, given that I am a former public school student and a former public school teacher, not to mention a liberal with a fully jerking knee. But these are my kids we’re talking about.
So far it’s been ok. The classes are big (29 kids in Tigger’s 6th grade class, compared with 12 in 5th grade at HTPS). The district is bizarrely obsessed with standardized tests, the way they all have to be now, thanks to No Child Left Behind.
There are some advantages. LPS has an accelerated program for which both girls qualified. They can get to and from school by themselves. And for the first time in her life, Tigger has a pal who lives in walking distance of our house. Her HTPS friends live all over the city.
And have I mentioned that it’s FREE?
So stay tuned for updates on the LPS experience. Will Tigger go goth before she hits 7th grade? Will Little Bit inadvertently violate the dress code by wearing a skort that doesn’t quite reach her fingertips? You’ll find out right here.