Artist in the Making

The first time your child attends school can be an emotional and stressful time for both the parents and the children. Of course there is much excitement and pride at that time too, but there are so many questions that parents have to face that it can sometimes be a little too much. Will he be prepared enough, will he do well, will he be scared riding the bus and what if he doesn’t want to go in the end? This could make a parent go mad. Add to that a disorganized school system and you have the makings of a television sitcom.

A few weeks back I posted (see Cue the Pulse to Begin) about my frustrations with the Worcester Public School system and us getting Lex ready for Kindergarten. If you read the post you know I was taking deep breaths trying to remain calm about the situation. I had actually calmed down since then and I was all ready for school to start next Tuesday. Thing is, it couldn’t be that easy.

When we registered Lex for Kindergarten earlier in the year we were told that we could put him a lottery for one of the Magnet Schools in Worcester. What is a Magnet School? They are public schools with specialized courses and curriculum.  The term “magnet” refers to how the school draws students from across normal boundaries usually defined by school boards within a school zone. In Worcester they have several Magnet Schools with concentration in science, technology and the arts. We decided to place Lex in the lottery for the Art Magnet School. Lex is very creative and has developed strong drawing skills over the years. His name went in the lottery and we never heard anything after that.

Skip forward to the end of August and all the things we learned about Lex attending Woodland Academy and you find yourself on the Thursday before Lex is to start school. On Thursday he had Kindergarten screening at Woodland. Mad Dog took him and it lasted about an hour. Since Mad Dog was left to sit with Loki outside the classroom, he has no idea what took place with the exception of what Lex was able to tell us. When prompted for details he explained that he played with some blocks and then with a little boy before they asked him to write his name. That was it – or at least as Lex saw it. The next morning (Friday) I asked him for a little more information and Lex said he drew some pictures but again that was all he could remember. I guess first rule of Kindergarten Screening is “Don’t Talk about Kindergarten Screening”.

Later that morning Mad Dog received a call from the Worcester Art Magnet School (WAMS). They had an opening and it was being offered to Lex. This is wonderful! This is great! This is the Friday before a long weekend and the last business day before school starts. Really? Mad Dog called me immediately at work where I was a little short on humor about the situation, but very excited. I asked questions and he said he had no answers because he just wanted to see what I thought before telling them yes or no. HELL YES! If it was possible I wanted him in there.

The rest of Mad Dog’s day consisted of phone calls to the after school program we had set up for Lex, a call back to the school with questions, a visit to the school for a full tour and introduction to the teachers and then a trip to the Worcester Parent Information Center to transfer Lex from Woodland to WAMS. By the time I got home last night things were all worked out. The boys had received a handbook, forms to complete and the school pledge that Lex and Mad Dog had to sign. There are no uniforms at Lex’s new school and that is a whole different story for another time (plus I have finally calmed down about that part of this).  We learned that Lex will be taking classes in the visual arts, dance, voice, music and drama along with gym and all his regular class time. He will learn the recorder in first grade and the violin in second grade. There is a resident artist at the school and this semester they are going to be learning about Pablo Picasso. I couldn’t be more excited. Best of all with Lex being in a Magnet school, their siblings get a preference in the lottery when it comes time for them to attend.

So looking forward to this coming year now and all the exciting things this opportunity will have in store for Lex and our family, I think I have the visual arts part down, we’ll have to see if Mad Dog can pick up the pace on the dance and music part. I think he’s already breaking out his mix tapes (poor Lex).

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~ by Cute Fan Girl on September 1, 2012.

One Response to “Artist in the Making”

  1. […] in 2012. Lex turned 5, got his library card and started Kindergarten (see Cue a Pulse to Begin and Artist in the Making) this past fall. He has grown so much in this year alone. Though he went to school pretty well […]

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