Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Lottery

In our County there is a charter school that offers a really great education for free. The only catch is that in order to get in, you have to be picked from a lottery drawing.  When there are over one hundred names thrown into that fish bowl and only thirty or so will be pulled out, the odds are not in your favor.

When Nik and I moved to here, we didn't think too much about the school system.  Honestly, we probably should have, but we had been trying to get to Georgia for two years and as soon as the opportunity presented itself, we just jumped at the chance.  Since we only had a few weeks to move, we had to find a house pronto and so it only made sense to reach out to the only real estate agent I had had any prior contact with.  Amazingly, she had a foreclosure house available only three doors down from my cousin and his family.  The house was perfect, the price was right, we loved the neighborhood, and we loved our neighbors :-)  We (mostly I) decided that we would just deal with the school system, even though we knew it wasn't great.  It seemed like school for the girls was so far off that we didn't need to think too much about it.

Well, the time is here and Christina starts Kindergarten in August.  Last year, I started looking at schools.  I quickly realized that the private schools that we might be able to afford, were not that great.  The really good private schools were completely out of the question financially.  So, it was time to start getting use to the idea of public school.  Now don't get me wrong, I am a public school girl through and through.  Nik and I both went to public school and loved it.  We feel that we got a great education.  However, we grew up in New Jersey where the school system is much better than Georgia, and our district in particular isn't great.  That is what we were having a hard time dealing with.

Our neighborhood is very hands on though and so many of our neighbors are going to the nearby public school.  I know that the community and PTA can have a big impact on the school and I was looking forward to seeing the school improve over the coming years.  And then the lottery came . . .

One day in February I drove over to the Charter school to get a lottery ticket for Christina.  A couple of weeks later, the drawing was held at a nearby church.  Names were to be picked for every open slot in each grade.  Nik had to work, which was really a shame since he always has good luck.  So, I had to cart all three kids over to the church.  We were running late and had to stand against the back wall since there were no seats available.  Olivia was hungry and I had to sit down against the wall and nurse her in the back of the church, as the big girls tried their best to behave. 

When it was finally time, they started by reading each applicants name and dropping the piece of paper into the bowl.  134 names.  I recognized the names of several neighbors and several of Christina's classmates.  Then, the drawing began.  Each time a name was called, I crossed my fingers and said in my head "Christina Kalos, Christina Kalos, Christina Kalos".  About half way through the available slots (14 or so out of 32) and here it came - Christina Kalos!  Not just in my head this time, but out loud, officially chosen.  Christina Kalos, on the list for Kindergarten!

I was so excited and tried to explain to the girls what was happening.  "Mom's totally freaking out" Christina said later to anyone that would listen. 

Not only does Christina get to go to an awesome school FOR FREE, but Gwen and Olivia automatically get enrolled as well.  Once one kid is in, the siblings are in too!  Since Christina is the oldest, and the school goes from K-8, that means all of my girls are totally set until high school.

And yes, I am still totally freaking out!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have something to say? Leave a comment for this post.