Way back in March, I had a friend over to our house and we were chatting about school since her son went to a charter school. I had so many negative experiences with charter schools that I vowed to never send my children to a charter school. But as my friend and I were talking, I had a sort of paradigm shift and realized that my own negative experiences were mostly because it was so long ago and the schools were start ups, which meant there were a lot of kinks in the beginning.
So basically, my friend changed my mind completely and I found myself that very same night looking up all the local charter schools and getting Norah's name put into the raffles. But since most of the lottery dates had already passed, Norah was put on a wait list, which meant there was probably a very small chance we would get into any of them.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. It was Thursday, August 23rd and Norah and I were getting ready that morning to go to her Kindergarten assessment at the public school. Just 30 minutes before we were supposed to leave, I received a call from John Hancock Charter School. Julie Adamic (The director) said that there was suddenly an opening in Kindergarten and we were the first on the waitlist so she wanted to see if we were interested. So many thoughts flew through my mind in just 5 seconds.
Norah was supposed to start school the following Monday. It was just so sudden.
We had already been to her back to school night and met her teacher.
We'd been talking about her new school for MONTHS and she was so excited about going.
I'd already set up carpool with someone and they were supposed to come over that same morning to get to know each other.
We just moved to Lehi, which would be an even farther drive than where we were before.
And lastly, I hadn't really even discussed the idea with Ryan since we didn't get her name in time for the lottery, so it wasn't even on my radar that they might possibly be calling.
So I just said I didn't think we were interested and hung up the phone. Since Ryan was actually at home that morning because I was taking Norah in for her assessment, I told him who had called and what I said, and he said, "You didn't even want to ask if you could have time to think about it?" Which totally surprised me because I thought for sure he would be against it. So I thought about it for 20 minutes and knew that it was probably too late since they had most likely called the next person in line at this point. But I figured I would just call and see if we could get back on the waitlist for next year or something. But I called back and Julie said that she had actually gotten distracted with something else and hadn't called the next person in line yet! I was thrilled! So I asked if I could think about it for a few hours and get back to her. She said that since school had actually started for them that Tuesday, she would like a response soon so they could get a student in the following day, Friday. Ah!
Long story short, we decided to go ahead and put her in the school. Of all the charter schools I went to, this one was by far my favorite. Norah was pretty sad when I told her that we decided to put her in a new school, but it was mostly because she wanted to go to the same class as one of her friends from church. We went in to John Hancock that afternoon for another assessment with her new teacher, and everyone was so excited that I was a former student and now bringing in one of my own children!
Luckily, we were able to snag some uniforms from the uniform swap at the school and got Norah all set up for her very first day on Friday.
The next morning I drove her there and we parked in the parking lot since we were planning to walk her in. But she must have not realized I was coming with her because she got out of the car, looked around nervously and said, "well...bye." It broke my heart into a million pieces that she thought I would just drop her off and leave. I said, "Hold on! I'm walking you in!"
We got there in time for a quick snap in front of the brick building and then went to stand in line with the rest of the kindergartners. Kids just look so dang cute in uniforms.
It was so heartbreaking to see her stand there by herself, not knowing anyone else and not knowing what to do. She just stared uncomfortably at the space in front of her. I got so emotional watching her stand there so nervously by herself. 😢
Her teacher, Mrs. Orton, came over to her and brought her up next to a girl named Kate, who would help guide her the first few days.
She lined up and her teacher directed them in, and I cried watching my first baby leave her sisters and me behind.
Mrs. Ballard, my sixth grade teacher who still works there, came over to me and gave me a hug. She realized I was crying and called to Julie Adamic and said, "Julie! We have a crying mamma over here!" Julie laughed and said, "We'll take such good care of her! She's like our grandbaby!" And I just realized at that moment how happy I was that Norah is going to this great school.
She had a great first day, even though it's like pulling teeth trying to get her to talk about how everything went haha. And within a couple of days her teacher said she has just fallen right in and is just as comfortable as can be. It's been quite an adjustment having a child in school and not being able to just go on adventures in the mornings, but I'm so happy she's here and loving it.