Saturday, April 12, 2008

School Visit

We visited Ngaio School yesterday, where the girls will soon attend. It's a gorgeous school of k-6 graders nestled in the lush, green hills of Ngaio. We visited Zoe's future classroom. Haley, who is on the cusp between two grade levels, will know what room/grade she will be in after the school advises with her first grade teacher back home.

When we visited Zoe's classroom, the principal introduced her to the group, and explained that she had just moved from San Francisco. The children all opened their mouths wide and an audible wave of excitement passed over the group. Zoe, who looked like a deer in headlights at the time, was later relieved and very pleased with her future classmates enthusiasm.

The school seems not unlike what we are used to at home. The physical building was similar to what you would see in the states. The entry paperwork was all the same sort of stuff. The biggest difference I noticed in our brief time there, was that the student's take their shoes off inside the school! So all around school children are running around either bare- or sock-footed. The girls, of course, think this is WONDERFUL. I just hope they manage to keep track of their shoes better at school than they do at home!

Here are a few other distinctions in no particular order: the students are all given training in the kapa haka, the traditional Maori dance; the school has a heated swimming pool for use in the warmer months; the older grade students are provided with laptops by the school; they offer private piano instruction during the day; students begin their first day of kindergarten on their 5th birthday; many of the teachers (including Zoe's) have the students call them by their first names; school runs from 9am-3pm; next month the school will celebrate it's 100th Anniversary.

The girls are very much looking forward to the start of school. Unfortunately they will have to wait until May 5th, after the two-week holiday. Hopefully we'll be all settled in our new house and neighborhood by then. So far this has been like an extended vacation, and we all look forward to re-establishing the home/school/work routine. (You all can remind me that I said this in a month's time when I'm whinging about missing being with my girls all day!)


Cathy said...

Wow,Joanne. This is fascinating. I can't wait to hear about all the new things the girls will be doing at their new school. I know you mentioned that there was tuition even for public school. I guess that may be in lieu of school taxes. When you have a chance, and if it is permitted, I would love to see pix of the school. Thanks for these wonderful updates and vignettes of your days. I know you will get some much-deserved rest, soon.

Just to let you know, our pets are happy and healthy. We are all anticipating spring to come, soon I hope.
Love you,

Patois said...

I'm so glad Zoe's got so many kids excited to learn all about her once she arrives. Love the thought of them running around barefoot.

SF.Shen said...

What a beautiful description of their first visit to school. Thank you for the vivid detail. It somehow gave me a bit of relief that I did not even know I needed. I get a bit teary thinking of z. in front of a room full of kids. I am so pleased they were excited. What a beautiful response.

Now for h. Do let us know.

Anonymous said...

Zoe told us on Skype that they'll probably just go wild when they hear she was born right near Hollywood!
Haley mentioned that they will get to play on the same playground at recess and get to see each other at lunch.
All very reassuring stuff!
grmma b