Monday, October 14, 2013

Lucky us!!

When we bought our home, I didn't really look much at the school district, since I figured we'd be gone before our children started school (hah!).  I sort of vaguely knew that it was supposed to be good, but I was only thinking about it in terms of resale value.

Fast forward a few years and my children's elementary school is suddenly SO important in our lives! Fortunately, we have an amazing amazing amazing school with fabulous teachers (it's even a federally recognized Blue Ribbon School).  I cannot even tell you how much I love our elementary school, and how grateful I am for the wonderful teachers who have been so influential in my children's lives.  (Seriously. They are out of this world.)  Did I mention that I love their teachers?

And incidentally, one of the (many) cool things about our school is that it has 2 courtyards that the students regularly use (Abigail's first-grade class often had writer's workshop time out by the lily pond).  The photos in this post are all taken in the outdoor classroom.

The school that my older two children currently attend (Isaac's preschool is equally amazing and I love his teachers dearly, who also taught Juliet, but that's another post) is a really cool melting pot.  Last time I checked, it had students from 45 countries, many of whom are here for a few years while their parents complete graduate degrees.  There are 1060 students in the elementary school (it's the biggest in the district, if I recall correctly), and about 50% of them are in families whose income falls below the federal poverty level (hello, graduate students!).  One thing that's pretty neat is that a lot of the students are either the children of professors or graduate students, so education is a top priority for many of the parents (sadly, that's not always the case, but I've been really impressed by so many of the parents that I've met & worked with in the classrooms).  And they have a fabulous principal--he knows all of the kids by name and enthusiastically greets me by name as well (probably because I have a horrible habit of jamming the copiers so he knows to watch out for me).  Both of my children's classes had lunch with the principal & the vice-principal in the past two weeks, and many times when I've been working in my children's classrooms or attending a classroom event, one or both of the principals is there.  And of course, I am still so amazed and grateful that the school has dedicated high-ability classes that both push the kiddos and make learning fantastically fun (i.e. for their economics unit they've been helping to run the school book fair).

Abigail's class has been studying the moon for the past month or so--she's been keeping a journal every night where she draws & describes the position and appearance of the moon.  One of the atmospheric science professors from the university came in to talk to the class (his son is in her class) about the moon as well, and they wound up the unit with a moon-viewing party for students & families.  (Okay, I don't know about you, but my elementary school experience was not like this at all.  Did I mention that today Juliet attended a play at the university for a class field trip?)

They had a half or dozen or so telescopes set up and focused on the moon--you could just wander up and check it out whenever you felt like it.  It was really neat to use the various telescopes to see particular features.  I seriously loved it!  (Abigail, Isaac, and I were the only ones who went; we didn't stay super long because we wanted to get back to visit with Neil's parents, who were briefly stopping by on their way to begin their second full-time church mission.)

And since all fun parties have fun treats, the teachers had kept going with the moon theme--there were Moon Pies, Milky Ways, and--such a great idea--a whole bunch of sugar cookies that the students had coated with various amounts of frosting to represent the phases of the moon.  

As we were driving home Abigail told me that she will miss her school most of all once we graduate, and I had to agree whole-heartedly.  We have been so, so, so blessed in our time here, and I am and will be eternally grateful to the amazing opportunities and teachers my children have had thus far.

(And this really has nothing to do with the post at all, but I was thinking today about how mature Abigail's getting these days--she made a batch of lemon bars all by herself after school--and tonight I wore a pink velvet blazer that I would never have dared to buy on my own, but she was with me and talked me into it, and then told me several times how much she liked it tonight. So fun to be with this kiddo!)


Jen said...

She is so grown up! And she has great taste...that's a pretty rad blazer.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post and photos!
Aunt Pam

Dani said...

We loved our time at KES! I will never forget how shocked and disappointed I was (and still am) in California's schools. Great teachers make all the difference!

I can't believe how big your kids are! They are so darling! You totally rock that pink blazer! Excellent choice!

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