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Z starts school this fall. I feel very disconcerted by this new reality. Granted, Washington DC is exceptional in pioneering universal access to early childhood education, so families in Maryland and Virginia pay for private preschool. It's an extended school day, with $10/day aftercare until 6pm - a significant cost savings from our current daycare. I'm sad that Z will leave the daycare center - we love the staff and Z has been with the same cohort of kids since he was four months old - and we *could* keep him there until kindergarden. But the cost! I think our compromise is that Z spend his summer vacations at the daycare.

Our local school is part of a pilot program where in-boundary families have a guaranteed spot in PK3. We still have to do the lottery but it's a big relief not to have to do all the research, like attending open houses. Our local school has a good rep and we have gotten to know the other families with kids there as well as some of the PTA members. I'm very encouraged and comfortable with sending Z there. It's true that he's not going to an immersion French program but we figure he'll attend Saturday classes in French and spend time with the in-laws.

I've been organizing monthly playgroups with the neighborhood families so that Z will get to know his future classmates. I'll continue to attend PTA meetings. Once the weather warms up we'll start taking him to the school playground. The school has an early childhood education coordinator who let me know that she'll be organizing activities and an orientation for incoming students this summer.

So Z will be ready, even though I may not be.
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On January 17th, 2016 04:54 am (UTC), mokey4 commented:

Wow, that's awesome, guaranteed pk-3! Do you mind saying what school? I'm just curious because we wanted to spend Jan-Aug 2016 in DC and before it all fell apart I researched schools. We would have stayed with my MIL so Paige would have gone to 1st grade at Watkins and we were hoping to weasel our way into PK-4 at Peabody  (we would have been in bound but I know it's still by lottery ). Now I am trying to get us to DC for just the summer, but honestly it's not looking good. My darned agency is ridiculously risk averse.

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On January 19th, 2016 03:58 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Amidon in SW. In the lottery system you can put any school in DCPS and we do know families in SW who send their kids to Capitol Hill schools, like CH Montessori. It's such an onerous process that I can't imagine trying to do it long-distance. Our daycare actually has a summer program so that's an option, if you guys do come out.
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On January 19th, 2016 10:49 pm (UTC), mokey4 replied:
Ah good to know. If we do come to DC in the summer my parents will likely take my kids for most of the time though.
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On January 21st, 2016 04:55 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
let me know if/how I can help out!
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On January 18th, 2016 03:12 pm (UTC), curieuse commented:
School questions feel very high-stakes to me and I have a lot of anxiety about it. I'm glad you have a solution that feels good!
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On January 19th, 2016 03:59 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Thanks! Surely it's not so cut-throat where you are? DC doesn't seem as bad as NYC but it's still feels competitive.
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