Wednesday, June 08, 2011
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Yesterday I mentioned I was worried about what might happen with the Alternate Learning Experience (ALE) program my kids attend due to budget cuts by Washington State. Governor Christine Gregoire hasn't signed the bill yet, but the cuts are much worse than I expected.
The program was awesome. It went all the way to high school with amazing teachers. High test scores. Even higher parent involvement. You are required to be in the class three hours a month. They use block scheduling so kids received an hour and a half instruction in various subjects two days a week. The other subjects would be taught at home or through enrichment courses.
I was so excited when I picked up the kidlets' schedules for next year. They got all the classes they wanted, on the days we wanted and with their friends. Mackenna even made it into the high school Algebra I class! She was so excited for eighth grade.
All that has changed.
At the meeting I learned the school is moving. Rather than being 5 minutes away, it'll now be around 30 minutes. The facility is smaller, too. There will only be spots for approximately 200 students. Enrollment at the current school is approximately 600. Spots for next year will be first come first serve on Friday morning.
And the classes aren't the same. Both the 3/4 and 5/6 classes went from three blocks to two. The 7/8 blend class used to be four blocks. Now it's two.
There was lots of shock, disbelief and tears from parents. But my concern is the kids. Mackenna is so sad. She's been talking to friends and classmates trying to find out who is going to try to get into the school and who's leaving. The more she learns, the bummed she gets.
The worst part is I can't do anything to make it better. It hurts so badly when your kids hurt. I will get in line on Friday and hope I can get her and her siblings into a class, but she said it won't be the same. And she's right. It won't be the same as this year. Change is never easy.
My heart aches for these kids, especially the students who will be seniors next year. But all any of us can do is make the best of the new situation. And hope we can be a part of this new chapter of the school. If not, we'll just have to figure out something else.