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Apr 07

Academic dilemma

Actually, I guess it’s not really a dilemma. We enrolled Jess into Worcester Public Schools and signed her up for the lottery to get into the “good schools.” Worcester has a really convuluted system, you have to sign up for your neighborhood school, but you can apply to get into a better neighborhood school or even enroll in a lottery to see if you can attend one of the magnet schools. Our neighborhood school was crappy (I love that word), so we had her enrolled in two of the lotteries and on the list for the top neighborhood school in our district.

Then the more I thought about it, I got nervous that we might not get into one of the better schools. So we went for a tour of New Jewish Academy and I fell in love with it. Tiny class sizes, serious academics, great faculty, etc. But it’s well over thirteen thousand a year, and we’re… well, we’re broke. Not really, but certainly not wealthy enough to even consider it. But consider it we did, and filled out the application and the financial aid paperwork and then prayed for a month. Hoped, prayed, hell, I even considered doing a ‘scholarship dance’, similiar to a rain dance. And it all worked, we got a big scholarship, and the actual tuition we end up paying will be a little more than what we pay for preschool. Granted, the next three months will suck, because we’re actually paying for preschool and private school at the same time, but we can swing the tuition after that without a problem, and we’ll be done paying for the year in November (just in time to save up for next year).

Yesterday and today, I got two letters in the mail – Jess was accepted into both of the magnet schools. I’m having a tiny bit of buyer’s remorse, that’s what Marc calls it. I know that NJA is far superior to any public school, but a part of me is still hesitant to send her to a religious school. I just always thought it was a little over the top – religion and spirituality should be taught in the home, not at school. But I guess Hebrew is something I can’t teach her at home. And it’s okay if she learns religion at school – I’m still in charge of her spirituality. Actually, what I want is for her to be in charge of her spirituality – and I can still encourage that. And Judiasm is not Catholicism. She won’t be criticized for asking too many questions. And she’ll learn and grow – it’s such a nurturing environment. I feel a lot better about her going to kindergarten now.

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