I don't plan on chronicling every single day of Lucas' school life, but bear with me...
Lucas continues to love his school. This has been such a huge relief for us, as we remember how it used to take Lucas a long time to warm up to new things, and the going was never easy.
I think back to the school tours, open houses, and other pre-admissions events for all these schools, and the one thing that stood out about this school was that they really emphasized how from day one they foster and promote a shared sense of community and respect. And it really shows, even with just 3 days under our belt.
- I was waiting for Lucas after school and a few of the older kids were walking by. One boy said to the other, "It's pretty fun to have a whole new group of kindergarteners here." And one of the girls said, "Yeah, did you see how cute they are?" It was really nice to hear that. I'm sure there will be issues, but at least on day three, they felt a sense of responsibility toward the littler ones.
- When Lucas' friend was on one of the Flying Turtles and fell off face first, immediately one of the school plans went into effect. The older kids with him shot up their arms and yelled, "He's hurt! I don't know his name, but he's hurt!" And two of the after school teachers went over to see how he was (he survived the Flying Turtle incident with just a few scrapes).
- The one hard part about this school is that it's hard to drag Lucas away. When I went to pick him up the other day he just kept playing. The after school director went up to him and essentially said, "We all manage this program together. One of the biggest rules is that you need to listen to other kids, the teachers, and your parents. That's why the after school program works so well and that's why we get to have fun here." Then he asked Lucas repeat it back to him and we were on our way.
- Aside from the Flying Turtles, the other most-coveted items are the bottom boards. They're little skateboards that they ride on, sitting on their bottoms. They can ride down this little ramp (see above), or tie ropes to them and pull each other around on the black-top. One of the other things about after school is that the older kids teach the younger kids how to do things, instead of the teachers doing it. Lucas tried the b-board on day one, but was very cautious and mostly kind of scooted down the ramp. But by day 3, he had mastered it with the help of his coach, who's standing off to the side.
On Friday morning parents were invited to stay for the morning all-school assembly to raise the flags. The 4th graders are in charge of raising the flags every day, but this was the first time this year. The 4th grade teacher talked about the flags, but what I thought was nice, was that she started with a world view, with a school alum singing the "World Anthem", she had an amazing voice and I got the chills. Fresh from watching a lot of the speeches from the Democratic National Convention, I was feeling especially patriotic. Then all the kids sang "This Land is Your Land" and I got downright weepy.
Then when I picked up Lucas yesterday afternoon, I saw pieces of paper taped up along the main corridor. Here's one of the signs.
The rest were more general, "Go Obama", "Vote for Obama", "Obama for Change". You gotta love living in the Bay Area.