Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shopping for High Schools

Our local high schools have been holding their open days lately, so I’ve been to a few to check them out.

Information from the government recommends that parents look at three high schools at least, and suggests aspects for parents to consider. Religion, values, location, your own child’s needs and not just sending your children to the school you went to. Frankly, I don’t think I know many people who consider sending their kids to their alma mater, but hey, maybe that’s just the circle I move in. According to the government advice, it is all about choice.

So, what am I considering? Location. It has to be local. It has to be multicultural, and somewhere that isn’t elitist. It won’t be a private school. We’re lucky that we have many good public schools nearby. I saw the local school we are in catchment for, met the Principal, and I’m happy. I like the Principal’s energy and vision and management and ideas. I like that the staff and students are happy. I like the range of activities. I like the premises. I like the size. I like that it is an all girl school. I really don’t see the need to keep shopping around. My choice is to go to the local school we are in catchment for. Clancy and her friends have already decided that is where they are going. I’m happy for all three of my girls to go there, but if Matilda gets into the Selective School (and she won’t be going to tutoring to prepare for the test), which is co-ed, that would be good too. She’s the kind of kid who will manage her own stuff, sort everything out, know what is going on, and just get on with things.

What my friends and I have noticed though, is that when schools are trying to impress parents at these sessions, they talk about the overseas trips. The French class goes to France. The Italian class goes to Italy. Another group goes to Samoa. Since when did this become standard? They talk about community service and diversity and then the rich kids go overseas. In public schools many families simply cannot afford overseas trips for high school students. In our household the children will have to work and save to take themselves overseas. It won’t be part of their high school education. I’m sure they’ll have plenty to occupy themselves with without going overseas.

So, that’s another winning point for our local high school. No mention of the overseas trip.


Melissa said...

I hate to tell you, but they did tell us about the opportunity for o/s trips when we went to the Open Night/tour a few weeks ago. In the context of language studies but still...

L won't be going o/s during high school either.

Motherhugger said...

Oh dear. School camps might be our limit, and enough.

Jenny said...

I'd never thought about that -my brain probably doesn't really even listen at that point in the spiel - school o/s trips don't register on my radar as a real life option! Anyway, if we were ever going to spend money like that I'd like to enjoy it on an adventure with the kids.

Greta Koenigin said...

"It has to be local. It has to be multicultural, and somewhere that isn’t elitist." You are a motherhugger after my own heart.