Mommy on the Floor is faced with that toughest of Boston parenting issues: She's decided to send her child to a public school and that means dealing with the frustrating lottery system for kindergarten. Like a good prospective BPS parent, she's been going on a lot of school tours. And she's noticed something:
... [E]veryone seems to think their kid is gifted. No one asks, "How are you going to help my delayed and troubled child succeed?" The question is always, "How do you handle gifted children?" This question gets repeatedly ask at every single tour.
Last time this happened, after yet another woman asked the principle this, Jen turned to me and said, "Does she mean that kid who just fell out of her chair and onto her ass?" Yep. That's the gifted kid she was talking about. Apparently, we have a whole lot of gifted kids in our zone.
Not your father's T-ball: West Roxbury Little League riven by controversy that would make Bud Selig blushBy adamg - 12/4/09 - 10:57 am
The West Roxbury/Roslindale Bulletin this week details a controversy over the way players are picked in Little League that sounds like Major League Baseball before the Curt Flood decision created free agency:
"What happens is these kids are drafted when they’re six or seven and they become property of that team,” Holden said. "They would go through the minor league system under that team. If the major league team needed them, they could be called up to play on the major league team. If they weren't needed the kid could be stuck in the minors because he's protected by that major league coach."
Read the Bulletin story (1.1M PDF file, posted with permission of the Bulletin).
Somebody's Daughter reports her father's house is right next to the John Marshall School in Dorchester, where an alleged gang member was shot the other night. She says he was confused because he didn't hear anything - no gunfire, no screams, no ambulance. She says she's confused, too, but for a different reason:
... I sat at my son's mini desk in his mini chair and tried to process it all. Shot inside a school? An elementary school? What do these parents tell their babies? How do you explain to your six year old why the media is outside of his school? While most six-year olds grapple with the concept of death, for too many kids, death via violence has become the norm.
So the small place where children can escape the struggle that is their life, get fed regularly, get heat and an education, is now tainted. A crime scene. They'll run around and laugh in a gym that was filled with running and screaming of a different kind merely hours before. ...
"Turnaround" schools that will face "serious consequences" if they don't shape up:
- William Blackstone Elementary School in the South End
- Paul Dever Elementary School in Dorchester
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School in Roxbury
- Elihu Greenwood Elementary School in Hyde Park
- Curtis Guild Elementary School in East Boston
- John P. Holland Elementary School in Dorchester
- John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Jamaica Plain
- William Monroe Trotter Elementary School in Dorchester
- Orchard Gardens K-8 School in Roxbury
- Maurice J. Tobin K-8 School in Roxbury
- Henry Dearborn Middle School in Roxbury
- Harbor Middle School in Dorchester
- The English High School in Jamaica Plain
- Odyssey High School in South Boston
Geeky Mama takes a look at "student mobility" rates in elementary schools in West Roxbury, Roslindale and Jamaica Plain - she figures that the fewer students move from a school, the happier parents must be with the education their kids are getting. The top two: the Kilmer and the Lyndon. The bottom two: The Ellis and the King.
Geeky Mama visits the Boston Teachers Union pilot school in Jamaica Plain (so for West Zone kids), explains why "there's still work to be done, but it seems they have a decent foundation for a school."
Geeky Mama, in the middle of that pre-lottery school hunt unique to Boston parents, is impressed by the Curley School in Jamaica Plain.
Today's the day when sixth graders across Boston take the ISEE, which will help determine whether they get an invitation to one of the city's three exam schools (it counts for 50% of the decision, with the rest based on their last fifth-grade marks and their first sixth-grade marks). Here, kids - and their parents - wait in line at the West Roxbury Education Complex for check in. They had to show both an acceptance letter for the test and a passport or birth certificate - nobody was going to pull a Curley today.
Court says judge was wrong to take baby away from mother who proved incapable of caring for her first two kidsBy adamg - 11/4/09 - 11:51 am
The Supreme Judicial Court today ruled a judge who participated in cases in which a mother had her first two children removed from her custody was wrong to order her third, newborn daughter immediately taken from her last year.
Rebecca wonders why it's there after her son picks up a copy while they're in line:
... T: Okay, well what about "the sexy (stressing the word "sexy" ) ass workout?
Me: Don't say that word!! (*thinking of a good answer...coming up with nothing....* )
T: Why does a person's butt (again, stressing butt) have to be sexy?!? That's disgusting! See, I told you it's about S-E-X. ...
Karen Sutton explains how a be-robed Governor of the Commonwealth came by to help her son clean up at the State House yesterday.
Dr. Gwenn tries to dampen rising hysteria over swine-flu shots:
... Sometimes as parents we have to stop over thinking a situation and do what we have to in order to keep our children safe. I believe this is one of those situations. Instead of questioning data and acting out of fear, we need to start trusting the doctors and scientists working hard to keep our communities safe. After all, they have families and children, too.
My entire family is getting H1N1 this year. I believe in this vaccine and its safety. Please consider doing the same for your kids ...
OK, so Nov. 7 is the Big Test - the ISEE exam that helps determine which sixth graders get into one of the Boston exam schools next fall.
You have to fill out a registration form to take the test, of course. With a number-2 pencil. So that you can fill in all your answers in the form of little circles.
No, I am not making this up.
Yummy Mummy begins to suspect that all toddlers have the same exact napping pattern. She lives across the street from a playground in Cambridge and so is able to test her hypothesis that all toddlers nap between 1:30 and 4 p.m. With photos to prove her point.
Candelaria Silva is aghast that some prep school in Ashburnham has dismantled its library in favor of, well, a media room:
... That a school would lead the way into this stupid new world is disturbing for a number of reasons, not least of which is that this move will not encourage students to read book length works.
Once again, I am struck by how so many in our society engage in either/or thinking (electronic or paper) rather than both/and. This is a false choice because the two media can and do so perfectly coexist and complement each other. ...
That's what some people did on Saturday to get their kids into a class at the Roche Community Center. Andrew Watson reports:
... I arrived at the official opening time of 9am, hoping to be able to get my kids into a swimming class. It was conveniently timed and very reasonably priced. Unfortunately, I wasn't the only person who thought that. Someone I know emerged from the center just after I arrived: she'd arrived at 3:30, and hadn't been first in line. She wanted to make sure her kids got into their swim classes, since there are only 5 kids per class. ...
A local company wants parents of newborns to spray them with dust, Mass. High Tech reports.
The MIT-inspired idea behind Baby Boost is to get farm-fresh plant and animal proteins into young lungs, on the theory this will stimulate their immune systems and reduce their odds of developing asthma and other immune-related ailments as they grow up up in the antiseptically sterile urban bubbles created by crazed parents with bleach wipes:
Dao said he and other researchers have assembled a prototype of an automatic air freshener that uses the Baby Boost technology. "Instead of releasing a scent, it releases proteins," he said.
The story does end with a cautionary note from some Debbie Downer editor about lack of clinical studies, etc.
Mayor Tom Menino is scheduled today to announce details of a multi-million-dollar foundation to better fund athletic programs at Boston public schools, the Globe reports.
The Globe, which recently did a seven-part series on BPS athletics, doesn't specify, but I suspect the money will only be used at schools that actually have gyms and athletic programs, which leaves a fair number of schools out and which won't do anything for kids who have no interest in team sports but who might still benefit from physical education.