Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Preschool Application

Maybe where you live, choosing a preschool is no big deal.  Or perhaps you're cool and laid back and you picked your preschool because its around the corner and has a nice playground.  Maybe its not some insane-in-the-membrane, cluster-iffic process of finding the Perfect Preschool so that your Precious Angel is prepared for Kindergarten and given every advantage in starting their all-important Academic Journey.

There are strong opinions on this topic.  Don't even get me started on Montessori schools and $12,000/year tuition for morning preschool.  It's great and all - but WHUCK?! That's crazytown.  They're three. They're learning things like "don't crap your pants" and "this is how to stand in line" and "you should sit on the piece of tape that says your name" and "try not to bite people if they accidentally take your crayon".  You shouldn't be paying the equivalent of college tuition for that. 

In my neck of the woods, parents start looking at preschools the year before their kids start (or sometimes even earlier).  They spend as much time and effort researching preschools as doctoral students spend on their dissertations.  They apply for a spot in their chosen school at least nine months before the school year starts.  They get in line to file those applications at 4am. 

I have never been one of those maniacs parents. But I came close.  I bought into the madness.  Five years ago, after moving to the suburbs of Washington, DC, I evaluated eleven preschools.  Then I found mine.  Let's call it "Totally Awesome Church Preschool".  It was amazing.  The staff was incredible. The building was perfect. The kids were so happy and sweet.  The curriculum was NAEYC accredited!  The gold standard! It was parent participatory, so I could go to school with my precious angel and help out in the classroom and get to know all the other children and their families. Maybe my friendless, lonely self would even make a mommy friend there!*

*And I did make mommy friends!  Eventually I even met Kate, but only after she was kind of mean to me.  Then we bonded over a mutual meltdown in the preschool parking lot and now she wuvs me and the rest is history.

So I applied.  I filled out the 27-page application.  I submitted personal information for two separate criminal background checks.  I got a TB test.  I wrote a big deposit check.  I showed up at 5:45am to submit my registration and because I was so much later than all the other parents, I secured the very last spot in the class.  But I got it.  Whew! And also Wooo!

Flash forward five years later.  I loved the preschool so much I volunteered for everything.  Then I became a church member.  Then I found out something amazing and magical.  The children of church members automatically get into the preschool.  They get first dibs on admissions.  They have to take my kid.  And that's a big relief because the only little kid I've got left is Mini.  And she's a devil cupcake, an evil genius, and quite possibly listed on multiple TSA and FBI watch lists. 

I didn't think there was any point in being anything other than totally honest in my preschool application because of several important reasons:
(1) They have to take her.
(2) They know both me and Kate pretty well and know that we're a little whackadoodle.
(3) They read this blog and they know my kid.

I thought I'd share 2 pages of the 27 page application:
- page 2 -

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

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