May 21, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

School Daze

Back when our kids were babies and we were anxiously nail biting our way through navigating the unchartered and turbulent waters of finding the best Westside nursery school, I remember thinking that kindergarten felt like a lifetime away. Well, that lifetime is now and the path is even rockier. While our four year old son Mason and his classmates are enjoying their happy go-lucky last days of digging, painting, and playing through preschool, we’re faced with the daunting task of what happens next? 

When I was growing up on the Westside, the answers were fairly clear. Private elementary schools were virtually nonexistent so, basically, kids went to their neighborhood kindergartens and started in September if they were born before December 1.  

Today, there is all this mystery: even if kids are born before the cutoff date, are they mature enough to attend? Are they big enough? Are they ‘ready,’ whatever that means? Should boys be delayed but girls put through? Maybe they’re old enough to start public school, but then what about private? There is a whole different set of birthdates to satisfy those places. Then, there is just the mere dissection of charter versus regular schools, permitting to get in out of district, magnets, language immersion schools, point systems and applications. Should you rent an apartment in a better district or get a job in a better district? Or become a teacher and start working at a private school to get reduced tuition fees. It’s crazy!

I love the fact that the smartest girl I know sat right beside me at Kenter Canyon Elementary. She graduated valedictorian from both Paul Revere and Palisades High. She went on to Harvard and Stanford. Oh, yeah and there was her stint at Oxford after winning the Rhodes scholarship. And where did she get her start? Good ol’ public school.

Basically, I’m clinging to the fact that my kids are so brilliant, we can send them to the dusty school down the block and with a little extra work on our part, they’ll turn out just fine. Maybe they will even get a Rhodes scholarship one day!

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