A little over a month ago, we got some very exciting news!
Both of the kids have been accepted to Golda Meir School,
which has a focus on Gifted and Talented students!
The school is part of Milwaukee Public Schools, so it won’t cost us anything to transfer. We submitted applications for the kids back at the end of January and had to wait until the end of March to find out that they both got in. Both of their teachers had to fill out a packet of information and include test scores from the year and their last 2 report cards. We had to fill out a Parent Input sheet with their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, etc. We are very proud of the kids, and very excited for this wonderful opportunity.
Golda Meir is located about 15 min from home, but only 5 min from my work. The school starts at 3rd grade and goes through High School (as of this year). So with luck, neither of them will have to transfer again. But the kids will no longer be in the same building, at least until Beth gets to 6th grade. The 3rd-5th graders are in the “Lower Campus”, which is a 100 year old school building. The 6th-12th graders are in the “Upper Campus”, in a building that used to be part of the Schlitz Brewery. They are located across the street and a half-block north of the Lower Campus.
Beth is very excited. Which is funny because she’s the one who was adamantly against going to a new school. We almost didn’t apply for her. Turns out her best friend also applied, got in, and is transferring with her. What luck! Last week we attended the New Student Orientation where they fed us breakfast, talked about the school and their programming, and had a 5th grader give us a tour. (Beth got out of a couple hours of school that day!) They said they go on a lot of field trips because they’re so close to downtown and can walk a lot of places. First up, the third graders are going on a 3 day overnight camping trip at the end of September. Because all the students come from other schools, they said it’s a good way for the class to “gel” together as a group. In 4th grade, they have to pick between a week at the Grand Canyon or 2 weeks in Denmark. Yes, Denmark! The Country! I’m not sure what the 5th graders do, but Beth is sure looking forward to 4th grade!
While Alex at the beginning of the year believed that transferring schools was a good thing, he was not thrilled when we first told him the news. Now that it’s real, he’s very much afraid of losing the friends that he has now. Which we understand, and we’ll do what we can to prevent that, but we truly believe this will be a wonderful opportunity for him, and will open doors later in life. Now that he’s had a month to settle into the thought, he’s become more open to going, and was quite excited to hear that the 6th graders spend a week in New Orleans! 7th grade take a cheaper trip to Minnesota, and the 8th grade goes to New York! Parents are not allowed to chaperone this one, because their focus in Middle School is on shaping responsible teens and adults, so they want them to have to do New York on their own, with only teachers to guide them. We attended an orientation for the new incoming 6th graders a few Friday’s ago, where we found out about all this. We even got a personal tour of the 5th floor of the building, where the 6th graders will because Alex asked someone if we could walk about the building a bit, and she must have seen how anxious he was and offered to take us around. So cool!
We know there’s going to be several challenges to overcome this upcoming school year because of all the changes, but we’ll work through them as a family to help the kids to succeed at this new school. We are sad to be leaving our current school, because the teachers are truly wonderful there as well, but they just are not in a position to truly nurture my children’s educational needs.