we’ve found a house in stoneham that is large enough and within our budget. on top of that, it’s a single family home with a great backyard (swingset/playground thingy included) and is available on a rent-to-own basis. whoopee! it is big-time suburbs, complete with all the neighbors knowing each others’ names and about 4 golf courses. suburbs: here we come.
we were also excited to find out it’s directly across the street from a fancy-looking elementary school. according to the current owner of the house, the school was just built within the last 3 years and all 3 of her boys have gone/are going there and they love it; it’s fabulous. yet another bonus, we’re thinking.
come to find out, stoneham doesn’t have the best reputation for school districts. according to one co-worker, the residents of stoneham most recently voted against a tax stipulation and a fee for trash pickup, both of which would’ve offered more funding for their schools. as a result of these things not passing, they had to CUT high school athletics, arts & music programs and THE SIXTH GRADE. yes, you read that right. they cut the entire sixth grade program and sent the students back to fifth grade for a second year. hmmmmmmmmmmmm… i’m not part of the PTA just yet, but that doesn’t seem so good…
fortunately, i have no desire to enroll my future genius in any school that just anyone can get into. but, i also don’t want to go to ari-like lenths to get him into a private school that will probably be just as bad curriculum wise. as someone who is very interested in alternative school methods, i like the idea of charter schools as a nice medium.
as luck would have it, there’s a charter school in malden, less than 10 minutes from our new community. a quick review of their mission and parent/student handbook ensures one that it is indeed a school that takes education seriously. my one concern so far is their “character” requirements, which include reciting the pledge of allegiance every day and learning about our nation’s heroes. let’s just hope these aren’t the [white heterosexual Bible-believing male] heroes i learned about in my ultra-conservative primary education. i think it would take a few classroom observations on my part to ascertain whether i’d send my kid there. the good news is, i have a little over 5 years to make this decision. hey–maybe by then we’ll be under a dictatorship and it won’t matter!