Tomorrow morning I am taking the first steps to getting MIB into K3 here at MPS (Milwaukee Public Schools) and I cannot BELIEVE that we've reached this step in our lives. Just yesterday she was throwing up all over my shirt and now she's getting ready to pack her bookbag for school.
I am looking into a Montessori school for her and the local one (which is five minutes away from my house! Biggup neighborhood schools) is looking like a winner. One of my best friends works there, my other best friend's son has been going there since he was in K3, and I have two cousins who have been there since K3 (the oldest is actually attending the best public high school in MPS as we speak).
Earlier this evening I was checking out the stats of the school on GreatSchools.com and liked what I saw a little bit. The scores for the younger kids (as far as reading and math are concerned) are really good but I did note a decline once they got older. Also, I didn't like the scores for language arts at the school for one of the higher grades (43% for one of the middle school grades). But I did get a chance to research the teachers and was quite impressed with their credentials.
Almost all of the teachers in the K3-K5 categories have advanced degrees (masters) and extensive Montessori training as well. The principal holds several degrees and has been in the business of education for quite a while. The teacher turnover rate seems to be pretty low because most of the teachers in the K3-K5 category have been there since 1996 or 1997; which is good because they know the school, the students, and the law of the land.
I have to finish getting my list of questions written down for the principal tomorrow, despite the fact that GreatSchools.com and the school's website answered most of the questions I have. I'd prefer honest answers from the people that work there day to day. A website can only tell me so much.
Since I have so many folks that work or have kids there, I pretty much know that I am going to send MIB to that school next year. Once I get these five (or 15) questions answered by staff and administration, I'll be making plans for my next move in my child's academic career: taking over the PTO.