Searching the Best School for My Son
There are two phrases that I find myself uttering a lot lately: “I have a four-year-old,” and “I have to begin looking into placing him into kindergarten in September.”
As a product of the New York City public school system, I will say the system has changed immensely and in a way that I feel my son won’t benefit from unless he is provided with the necessary tools to succeed. My son, like every child, deserves an exceptional education, so why not as his parent advocating for his educational needs can I not obtain the best for him without having to jump through hoops to get that?
As I begin the arduous task of placing him in the right school, I find myself reminiscing of my time as an elementary school student and all the activities that I was a part of. Playing the guitar in a band, painting murals in and around the neighborhood and listening to parents in the auditorium helping to educate us on the importance of tradition and culture. Thinking back at those significant milestones has helped me realize the impact it has had on who I am today. The lessons I learned during those years is one what drives me to want more for my son. Having him take part in extracurricular activities, getting that hands-on learning experience and community involvement are things I expect not to have an issue obtaining in my search for the right school.
For me, not providing my son with those (among other) essentials are non-negotiables, and I unquestionably refuse to provide him with a mediocre education. So with that my husband and I are on a mission, to provide our son with the environment, experience and education he deserves to be a successful, well-rounded individual.
My husband and I are both from Manhattan, but our educational experiences were remarkably different. He went to parochial school on the Upper East Side, and I attended public school in Washington Heights. Despite our different experiences, we both agree that one wasn’t necessarily better than the other but as parents it is our job to set up our son for success by providing him with the proper tools and support to get him there.
As far as providing him with proper education, here are a few essentials we looking for in a school for him:
- A hands-on curriculum that will focus on his strengths
- Academics that generate results
- A program that promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Being involved and kept up to speed on the progress of our son’s education
- A literacy program that promotes and encourages writing and a love of books
- A curriculum with an emphasis on the arts and technology
- Qualified, extraordinary teachers that generate results and encourages their creativity
These things should be standard across the board in any school setting, but unfortunately, it is not. So in our endeavor to obtain the best educational experience, we began researching charter schools. These are free public schools that are an alternative to your zoned school. In our quest, we came across several, but one, in particular, stood out for us; SuccessAcademies.org/EDU. They have a total of twelve elementary schools across NYC, with six new ones opening up in the fall and are welcoming new applications for the 2013 school year for grades K-3.
Success Academy provides:
- A curriculum that fosters learning and exploration
- Rigorous academics; Success Academy is in the top 3% in NYC for student performances
- Specialty classes that include chess and art
- Teachers that provide and encourage students to share their ideas and present their discoveries
- Field study trips encouraging the best of NYC
- Community and parent involvement. Celebrating success, providing an open two-way communication
A school dedicated to the advancement of our children by providing them with an exceptional education and enrichment of the community should be on the top of every parent’s list.
For more information regarding Success Academy Charter Schools, please visit SuccessAcademy.org.
Disclosure: The above post is a sponsored campaign on behalf of Success Academy Charter and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions are my own.