As many of you know, my husband and I have been struggling with our decision about where to send Vivi for kindergarten. Providence public schools are strapped for money and all of the teachers were issued pink slips several months ago. The city is planning on closing some schools and spreading the students from those schools to the ones that will remain open. Our neighborhood school will remain open but with twenty-eight kids in a class already, many from highly impoverished homes, I have a hard time envisioning how this will work.
On the contrary, there is a lovely private school walking distance from our house where Vivi was admitted. The kindergarten is play-oriented with lots of recess, the curriculum is progressive, the classrooms are small, and there is dual education in English and Hebrew. It is expensive, of course, but the school gave us a generous financial aid package.
So it's a simple decision, right? Unfortunately, no.
When we began the process of looking for schools for Vivi, we were not thinking about the financial implication of sending three children to private school. We wanted to find an environment that would support and nurture our precocious first-born. While it is hard to predict what sort of educational needs Jude and Ellie will have, we are almost certain that they would want to go to their big sister's school. That would mean more cash than we are comfortable shelling out.
Ultimately, we felt that we couldn't make the financial commitment to send all three until we knew absolutely that public school wouldn't work for Vivi. We are looking at kindergarten as a chance to see what the public school has to offer. If it turns out not to be a suitable environment for Vivi, the private school will admit her mid-year. At least then we will have tried the public option.
I think this is probably the best possible decision we could have made given what we know. If that's the case, I'm just not sure why I burst into tears when my husband notified the private school that we weren't enrolling Vivi.