Note: On on January 11, 2009 I began facilitating a parenting class for DaySpring, the church I attend in Waco. I’m going to be offering some of what I’m doing there in this space over the Spring.
Good Day all you parental units out there! After a week off to celebrate Hope in the form of Christ’s victory over death, we’re back to figuring out how get all those little tricycle motors not only growed up, but growed up as persons of great character and faith.
One of the decisions that almost every parent considers at one time or another is the public school versus private school decision. In Waco, this comes down to actually three choices, which I suspect are similar to many communities. Parents have these options:
- Waco Independent School District. WISD is fraught with all the challenges of a large, diverse district which has a very large population of socio-economically challenged kids. My wife, as the nurse at Waco High, has a front row seat from which to observe all of difficulties of running such a district. WISD has a large number of very uninvolved parents, and therefore a tremendous amount of resources are directed as just trying to keep the kids of these parents moving forward. At the same time, the district has provided outstanding resources for those students who are self-motivated achievers.
- Suburban schools. Waco is surrounded by some smaller communities which have excellent schools. Because these communities are less socioeconomically diverse, they tend to deal with much less conflict, and therefore, fewer distractions. Many parents who work in Waco opt to live in one of these communities because of the schools.
- Private schools. Waco has several outstanding college prep, private school options. These schools offer smaller class sizes and much more personal instruction. The obvious downside is the cost. All of these schools provide scholarships to help families who can’t afford the full fees, but for understandable reasons, the student bodies tend to be fairly homogeneous both socio-economically and ethnically.
DaySpring is fortunate to have some really cool young people from each of these settings. These young men and women have become close friends through church, and so have a pretty good idea about how their school lives compare. This past Sunday morning four of these students met with our class to discuss their experiences and their impressions regarding these school choices.
I’ve not been able to figure out how to summarize what they had to say, other than to point out that they each did a good job of expressing what they appreciated about the school they each attendened and what they perceived to be the differences.
I’m sending a note to the members of the class asking them to offer their reflections on the conversation with the youth….