March 3, 2010

Preschool vs. College Applications

We decided to put Nate in a Young Fives program next year rather than send him to Kindergarten. Since he's a summer birthday and the school system has become so competitive we thought it would be best to give him an extra year before throwing him to the wolves, i.e. Kindergarten.

His current preschool has an afternoon program four days a week. I really like his preschool but the afternoon schedule isn't ideal, so the issue became where should we send him next year?

Let me set the landscape for you. There are about 30 preschools in the Bay area in and around our house. Not every preschool has a Young Fives program, and typically if they do the class size is about 12 kids max. So out of those 30, there were only 5 with Young Fives that we considered. Now keep in mind this is for next September....apparently 4 out of those 5 schools had a waiting list already. What???? Did they sign them up when they were born? The sad reality is that a few of them probably did. The jist of it was that I was already behind in the process. I needed to up my game, and then it all came back to me.

This Preschool application process is not that different than applying to college.
1. You make your Top Choice list. You're "A" schools so to speak. They are probably a pipe dream but you might as well try.
2. Then you make your Safety school list. The ones where you are guaranteed to get in.
3. You gather the applications....and your non refundable deposits. (It was an expensive week.)
4. You fill out your applications. (There was a direct correlation between the A schools, and the amount of information needed for your child. I was just waiting for the question, "What do you think your child's major will be?"
5. You drop them in the mail and wait......You wait with all the other prospective preschoolers hoping that your child has enough extra curriculur activities and redeaming qualities to be accepted.
6. You check the mailbox. Did it come? NO
7. Then it comes....My first response. It was addressed to Nathan Willbanks...and it was thick!
7. Hmm should YOU open it, or have someone else open it? I looked around, nobody else was home...well nobody that could read. It was up to me.

Dear Parents,
We are pleased to inform you that your child has been accepted into our Young Fives program.....blah blah blah. You stopped reading after the word ACCEPTED.

8. Yahoo, we did it! We got in to our A school. Now where's my welcome packet? I need more info, like my room assignment, who's in my graduationg class, and of course the meal plan.
9. I told a few people because I just couldn't contain myself, none of which was the person that would be attending. (I figured we would wait to break the news.)
10. The last line of the letter reads, "To guarantee your spot for next year, you will need to enclose the necessary documents or else my "early admission" would be canceled." Wow the pressure!

And then you think....hmm was there any other school that I wanted more...should I wait out the two weeks?

My inner voice said, "Nah, go with your gut. This was your top choice. If you sign now, maybe you'll be guaranteed a spot in a good dorm....."

We only need to wait 12 more years to go through this process again. I think it gives me just enough time to put him on some waiting lists!

1 comment:

Vikki said...

OMG - the process is making me nervous already and Evan is only 16months! Time to start looking...:)