Wednesday, July 15, 2009

65.6% yes

That's the result on the town's vote on our new elementary school, hurrah. We moved into this town two years ago, in large part because the schools are supposed to be excellent, and got our first rude awakening in the form of an article in the local newspaper about students being sent home from school again due to heating problems.

The existing school, part of which is the remnants of the town's old high school (built in the '30s and partially destroyed by fire), is a funny cobbled-together mishmash of steam heat and hot water heat. The old section, including the office and gym, frequently has to have an air conditioner running to keep the staff cool enough to work, while at the same time the kids in the classroom wing don't bother to take off their hats and mittens when they come to school. If it gets bad enough, the kids get sent home. (It actually got bad enough at one point that the floor of the school lobby had to be repaired when the steam heat cracked the floor tiles.) Oh, and the "new" hot-water system that heats the classrooms is corroded — valves literally snap off when touched. This is where I'm supposed to send my kids? Really?

So it turns out the building is bad enough to qualify for state funds, and our turn on the list came up this year. But the town had to approve a property tax increase to pay for the rest of the building costs, and that's where things got tricky (bad economic climate, aging town population, smaller percentage of households with school-age children, etc.). How can you ask a bunch of cash-strapped elderly taxpayers who don't have children who will even attend the school to pay for a new building? ...But they voted yes, 3,849 of 'em, and though Beth will most likely spend kindergarten in a modular classroom on the high school lawn, she'll get to walk to first grade. And my favorite thing about the new school design? They're using geothermal heat instead of steam or hot water. Woohoo!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

New rule

Beth is in little-girl heaven: she's taking a ballet class with her buddy Camryn. And it isn't just any ballet class — it's a princess tea party ballet class. Oh, the tutus!

Thanks to these two little friends, though, their teacher had to institute a new rule:

No kissing in dance class.