Gareth's school sent out letters telling us his room number last week, but not his teacher. They held an ice cream social last night where you could find out your teacher's name. Most of the teachers weren't there because they were at an SEA meeting to discuss the contract negotiations with the district and vote on whether or not to strike if no agreement is reached. While I'd be a bit sad to lose some of my couple weeks where they're in school and I'm not, I do support the teachers in striking if it comes to that. Those incomes listed in the Seattle Times article? I wouldn't want to live on that in Seattle, especially lately. A veteran teacher with a masters only makes $80k? If you're single that's a pretty decent salary, but if you are supporting a family you're going to be struggling a bit (and almost certainly having a long commute to your job). I will never understand why we so undervalue educators in this country. The district wants to add 30 minutes of instruction to the day. How exactly? The kids are already there 6 hours and get paltry recess time as it is. SEA has come together with parents and is demanding more recess time - and equitable recess time as lower income areas are currently most likely to get short-changed. Those are just a couple of the big issues.
Anyway, the principal was there, so Gareth got to see her, though it was difficult to hear what she said. And we did walk around inside the school a bit and walked up to Gareth's classroom. You can tell this school isn't quite as old as his previous one partly because the classrooms are more spacious. And because of the newer doors and sheetrock walls etc. I'm interested to see where the kids keep their belongings as there are no lockers to be seen (lockers in an elementary school seemed weird when he started K, but now that I'm used to them it was weird not to see them). Apparently his teacher is a full-time sub. Two of the third grade teachers had babies and are taking a full year off. But the parent telling me this assured me that the subs are fully-credentialed teachers and are excellent.
I also found someone to ask about bike racks. She assured me there are some out front. I have yet to find them, but I'm not entirely sure which side of the school is considered the front either. I'm guessing it's the side of the school I haven't had a chance to check out thoroughly yet. Gareth had a great time playing on the playground, and Malcolm scored a balloon, hand sanitizer, and chapstick from a local dentist's office (a few local businesses/health clinics were there with tables in addition to the before/after-care people and the pta tables). People were all very friendly and I'm hopeful that it will be a good environment for Gareth. They also hold a small open-house in a couple days where you can meet your teacher and see your classroom and drop off supplies (maybe - they always said you could do all these things at our previous school, but we only had one year where the teachers were actually at this event and they never did have the classrooms ready to check out, so I'm keeping expectations low). Maybe he'll actually get to meet some other kids from his class at that.