Lest one have confidence in one’s school district

Yesterday we received a letter from the boy’s elementary school. (Dated 8/18, but received 8/30.) The school is supposed to be a good one, but the letter’s still got gaffes a-plenty.

We’ll pass over the fact that they misspell the boy’s name. There are, after all, FIVE whole letters to keep track of, and it’s easy to see how one could get confused. And it’s not like young children are proud of their name, or recognize it straightaway or anything. (Credit where credit’s due: The teacher’s letter to us, which arrived earlier in the week, correctly spelled his name *both* times. A gold star for her!)

What’s more indicative of a system in which the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing is the included bus schedule*.

In this letter, we’re told several things:

  1. “If your child will be riding a bus this year, he/she will receive a post card from Dattco Bus Company letting you know where and when your child will be picked up and dropped off. . . . If you haven’t heard from Dattco by Wednesday afternoon, August 27, 2008, please call the Pupil Accounting Office.” Again, the letter was received on Saturday, Aug. 30. There are no longer any business days before school.
  2. However!! Included with the letter is a bus schedule! With the boy’s name and our address! Including the estimated time of drop-off: “11:39 AM.” Remember that time.
  3. Half-day Kindergarten ends at 11.45 AM. Apparently the Dattco Bus Company uses advanced, time-traveling buses, because he’ll arrive at our home six minutes before the end of school. Just think what we can do with the time saved every day!

*Sigh.* Apparently some friends have formed a pool to speculate about how long we’ll keep the kid in New Britain public schools.

Update: Not directly related, but certainly germane to the difficulties of the district:

The report found that nearly 26 percent of New Britain children under the age of 18 were living in families with income below the Federal Poverty Level. The disparity of median income of local families compared with the state median also was highlighted in the report.

Overall, the income of Connecticut residents rose in the last five years to a high of $65,967, while local residents saw their median income drop to $39,409 from $40,270 in 2006.

*He won’t be on the bus for several reasons: we live super-close to the school, the buses include kids from the whole elementary school–so, kindergarten students are riding with 5th graders, plus there’s the fact that we’re obsessive. But every kid is theoretically scheduled for busing to this school, because there aren’t sidewalks in a lot of the surrounding neighborhood.

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