Why stay here? Because it truly is the best for the money. We could do another kind of private school, for twice the money, but what I have seen from visiting during basketball games and competing with them at a volunteer academic event (which my kids are not involved in at all) they are all about the same.
Each year a few students leave for one or two "highly rated public schools" and each year a few come back with the same comments, "I was taking all AP and honors courses and making A's without trying, no challenge. At this private school, I know I have to really work to earn my grades."
Some stay at the public schools because you can earn admittance to local state colleges based on class rankings. Or they stay for better sports teams. Or, parents have lost income and cannot afford it anymore, even though our school is cheaper than most schools of this caliber.
My 16 year old son has been mistaken, several times, for a college student/young adult, for how well he speaks with adults and greets them and looks them in the eye. Part of that is from this school. Much is from inside him.
This school has become very admin heavy in the past few years. One person used to run the grammar school. They retired. Now we have a head with three division chairs, and an assistant, all full time.
Lots of new middle management positions opened this year. Lots of meetings. Lots of rules.
As for grading standards, that is why we have the brand new grading rubrics introduced this year.
I was taught, self-taught via other teachers at an academic competition, to read over the stack of papers first, to get a feel of the students' writing abilities, at that given time. Then, you make comments, mark them, grade them, and rank them. Yes, it is more work, but the student benefits.
No comments, even after re-reading it and flipping pages? Well, that is the "hollow" feeling DD now has. What did she do that was so good? How can she build on that?
As for enjoying life, DD has had three sleepovers since Friday with friends over Thanksgiving break, and DS did a movie marathon/sleepoever with his friends, after enjoying a Hobbit themed meal at a restaurant, some in costume. They are also running the race tomorrow. DD is on a dance team, and DS is a scout and in karate. Both are in several clubs at school, for fun, not for college resumes.
Some of their friends are not allowed to be in sports or clubs because they have tutoring and tons of homework, and stay up till 2am at least one or two nights a week, studying/asking class related questions on FaceBook. All nighters are common. DH has a feature that shuts down the children's computer screen at 10pm and their phones dock in the kitchen at 9:30pm. Yes, in college, they will have their own choices to make about bedtime and phones and friends, but for now, sleep is a good thing! My kids are not stressed. We have laughter in the home, and have friends over, and go out and do fun things.
Helicoptering? Via bedtime and having meaningful conversations? So be it. I have not talked with a single teacher of theirs this year. And I have only emailed the lit teacher. And, I do believe, he instigated it!
So DD's failed attempt to get an answer should be the end of it. Alright.
Good night, all, and I really mean it this time! I have to sleep!!