Who said choices were good?

Most of us went to the schools we were zoned for or the only one in town! I have grandparents that talked about walking to school which seemed so old-fashioned to me. Yet here I am amidst paperwork, maps, pens, cellphone, spreadsheets, and whatever resource I can get my hands on to discover that we have over 70 schools to choose from in the city and most to which we could walk our boys. We are finding as we research public schools in San Francisco, that the process can be stressful, yet adventurous as if digging for a hidden treasure. As one San Francisco parent put it, "the reason you are finding it stressful is probably because there are so many good choices. It's really more like choosing a college than anything else, just a lot earlier than you were expecting to have such fun options. Where I grew up, you didn't have the choice of Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Filipino, and Spanish immersion or Japanese bicultural programs, much less all the different art, music, sports, and other programs available at SF schools. My parents certainly weren't thinking, "We must find a school that emphasizes the arts". In fact, you can find just about any kind of enrichment you want in SF schools, so have fun with the search."

Most days I try to consider this encouragement, but on other days, I feel like I am preparing for a graduate exam....wait a second, who am I sending to school here? Yes, my first grader, but if this is what it takes to know the school system, to know the culture and the city, then so be it! Let the adventure continue...

Here is a list of the 70+ elementary schools and the type Language programs they offer. Will our boys go to school with children that speak other languages? Absolutely. Will our children be enrolled in a school where they learn another language? I'll tell you in June!

When's the last time you filled out a school application that recommended listing your top 7 school choices or what date your child first attended school in the United States? Instead of the 5-10 ethnicity boxes to choose from (Asian, Hispanic or Latino, White, etc.), how about 20? (Hawaiian, Guamanian, Hmong, Middle Eastern, Samoan, to name a few)

I must say that while Ben is busy with fundraising, traveling, and teaching, he is good to listen and help me process. I have made some quick friends in the city who are great resources and have friends who sit and are 'wide-eyed' with me over new information that I have discovered. The spreadsheet is coming together. I am learning my way around the city via maps. I can tell you which schools wear uniforms and which ones scored an 8 at greatschools.net.
But you know what? Elijah is enjoying and excelling in kindergarten and will do great in first grade. He's got great teachers and we will continue to be actively involved in our children's schools. Now, back to the search!