The deed is done. I wrote a letter to the principal of Patrick’s school announcing his departure and the reasons behind our decision. I have a great deal of emotion around this important decision. I worry that Patrick will lose himself among such a large student body and become a wall flower. I also worry that he will not get enough attention from his teachers, or that he will not be held accountable for his work.
Choosing a school should not be such a difficult task. When I was young, my parents had two choices; the neighborhood school or the parish school. Today it seems as though there is a new charter school opening every other week, focusing on anything from technology to engineering to the environment. How on God’s green earth is a parent to know what is the best choice for their child? This decision is long-lasting. There are no do overs.
Michael will also be changing schools this Fall. He is moving from a small Catholic high school to a large public one where several of his friends attend. My fear for Michael is that he will not work to his potential. He has always just done the minimum of what is expected of him, yet managed to blow away his tests thus keeping his grades at As and Bs. He may want to drop his advanced placement classes for the less challenging general ed ones. Although some parents may worry about their child falling in with the wrong crowd at a public school, this is not a concern of mine. Michael has always surrounded himself with good kids.
At times I feel guilt for not making the sacrifices needed to send my children to private high school, yet I know in my heart that public schools are as capable as those high-priced schools of preparing kids for college and success in life. Kids can throw a high-priced education down the toilet as easily as one that was free. That being said, I continue to second guess our decision and pray that it is the right one for my children.