Junior High Frustration!!!

I am beyond irritated right now.

Detroit Public Schools is driving me crazy. The school system has been in turmoil for the past few years. Declining population in Detroit has been the major cause for this and I totally get it. Less children, less need for schools.

Yesterday Robert Bobb, the emergency financial manager for DPS announced major school closings, including Alexis' current school and the school where is Alexis was supposed to go for junior high. I have many problems with this plan, but I'm addressing the ones that directly affect us.

The reason I chose her junior high school, Hally Open, is because it's a "school of choice", meaning you have to apply with decent grades and keep up those grades to remain a student. In such schools, academics are the primary focus and for the most part, problems i.e. troublesome students, aren't as much of an issue. Mr. Bobb is closing two very good schools in this area and leaving Barbara Jordan School which is bascially like the one Morgan Freeman had to bust down in "Lean on Me".

How do I know this school is a madhouse? My mother works there as a secretary and I listen to her daily accounts of fights, kids cursing out teachers, gangs and general bad behavior. My mother has stated that homeschooling would be better than letting Alexis go there.

Then there's the issue of childcare. Another reason I chose Hally is due to the location, being very close to her grandparent's house who have a more flexible schedule. They pick her up from school so I can keep a job. No, most schools in Detroit don't have any before or afterschool latchkey programs for working parents, which is sheer stupidity.

Due to these reasons I sent in applications to this one school. It's a good school that's been around for decades, close to her grandparents, surely if there were going to be school closings we'd be given plenty of time to adjust and apply to other schools, right? Wrong!

So at the 11th hour I'm applying for other DPS schools and charter schools. I hadn't considered a charter school before because they aren't in DPS' jursidiction but are administered by the State of Michigan, whose guidelines are different and not always up to the strict guidelines of the city. In other words, anyone can open a charter school, lots of them are very new and just trying to establish themselves. I don't want my daughter's education to be some kind of schooling experiment.

Now I'm in a bind, most of the application deadlines for the other schools of choice have past. I've done some research on a few of the charter schools that I've sought recommendations for from friends and their application guidelines and deadlines are even stricter involving lotteries even when your application is on time. None of these schools are in convenient areas so they must have some kind of childcare. Aaargh!!!!

Tomorrow we have an appointment with Burton International a DPS school with a pretty good reputation and I'll be putting in applications just about everywhere else. If all else fails there's private school which is an expense I'm not ready to handle, but will if I have to.

I'm hoping for the best here...

Oh, shall we even get into the fact that these school closings will probably cause my mother to be laid off...again. For the fourth time in about five years?