Wednesday, January 26, 2005

High School

So we checked out the two options for Carrie's high school career.

Cartwright High School has a total of 130 students in grades 9 through 12. It offers only an academic program for university-bound students. Well, she certainly will be going to university. But the total enrolment means class selections will be slightly limited. (How's that for an understatement?)

Then we checked out Port Perry, which has been the leading contender all along. OK. So she'll be one of 300 kids in grade 9. And total enrolment for the high school is ... 1400. OK. Can you say large?! Size offers the advantages of more options, both in class selection as well as extra-curricular activities.

Meeting with a guidance counselor, several teachers, and the community police officer made me feel far more comfortable. The counselor readily acknowledges that there are some students who have problems with drug or alcohol use -- and the fact that he acknowledges it, and are working on ways to combat it are positive factors.

Probably the best reason for choosing Port Perry is the trip options that the school offers. This year the grade 10 students are going to China, to celebrate the release of Canadian POWs from internment camps at the end of WWII. Talk about bringing history to life!

So ... if she/we change our minds, she can always transfer back.


Blogger Jason said...

Man it is freaking complicated to create a username and invite yourself to this thing. Bleh. I still don't have rights to post a new thread, but at least I can comment.

My highschool had about 1200 students. It wasn't overwhelmingly big, and it might be a healthier environment for development, depending on Carrie's typical daily struggles - you'd know better than I would what topics these are. The opportunity to go on trips is huge, as is the opportunity to take more specialized classes.

Even the small school is going to have its measure of drugs and violence, but do they have their own security/police workers? Can they afford cameras in the hallways? If something does get crazy, is the community going to pressure them into dealing with it ethically or will they get away with the path of least resistance?

I think there's a lot to be said for small colleges, but not a whole lot for small high schools. I wouldn't say they're all the same or that they have no advantages, but I'd almost always prefer a larger setting. The one real advantage - better student/teacher relationships - is probably the last thing a typical high school student would appreciate. If it goes unappreciated, it's probably wasted. If Carrie is really excited about this, then it might be worth a shot, but otherwise I wouldn't really understand the reasons for choosing the small school.

Not like you asked, but I didn't let that stop me! ;)

May 3, 2005 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Hi Jason. Thank you VERY much for your insight. You are correct about the opportunity for trips. It looks like when she is in high school, the opportunity for a trip to China exists. We'll find out more next year.

I recall that your school was quite large. And that you were fortunate in that you found a teacher with whom you could connect -- Frau. Tilson, as I recall. I am hoping that Carrie will have the same opportunity.

While the school doesn't have its own security force, it does have a "cop on the block" who visits regularly. They also have a neighbourhood watch organized right in the school. I believe that if there are problems, they will be dealt with properly.

I met with the head of the counseling staff, and I did like him a lot. That, more than anything else, reassured me. He is going to watch out for the kids. Period.

So ... you can now comment here, but can't actually start your own post?

I can work on that if you'd like. Since no one had been visiting/commenting/posting, I had quite frankly stopped visiting myself. Transferring over to Andy's site, sort of.

Also, since I didn't attend the wedding, I'm kind of getting the impression that I'm persona-non-gratis around there.

May 4, 2005 at 10:26 AM  

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