Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Miya's Big School

Deciding on a school for Miya was a stressful thing for me, for us. I lay awake very early in the morning thinking about this over and over again. We want to send her to the best possible school we can afford. It was really between schools 2 and 3. As you can see, I haven't mentioned school # 1 again but here I am writing about our decision on where to send Miya. First of all, we're transferring schools because we're moving houses. Hopefully by May, we'll be able to move to our new home. That's the main driver for this school hunt. Miya has already done 2 years in pre-school. Nursery and Junior Kinder in her current school but because of her young age (she's only 4 years and 3 months as of today), she needs to repeat Junior Kinder or Nursery 2 or Pre-Kinder (whatever the school calls it, as long as it's the level before Kinder and then Grade 1). This is with all the big schools we've looked into. I'm okay with this since I pretty much expected it as we were looking for schools for her since last year. School # 1 is waaay too far from where we will be living. It would have been a good school for her, I particularly looked into that school because of the values taught to the students. I've only received good feedback on this school when it comes to the children's attitude and values. The school is considered a small school, small community. But it would be a loong drive for Miya to get there. She needs to wake up super early if we get a school bus to pick her up. The fee for the school bus is a whopping P5,000 per month. So even if the tuition fee is relatively the same with other two schools, the school bus will hike up our expenses.

Between schools 2 and 3, I don't really have a preference that's why it was hard to make the decision. I've talked to our friends, even our architect/contract because her daughter studies at school 3, to come up with a decision. Joema and I had to really sit down and discuss each and every aspect of the two schools. We couldn't come up with a decision if we talked about it at home in passing while eating or on the drive to work. I forgot to mention that these three schools offer pre-kinder level for Miya. So these were the shortlisted ones. We initially didn't want Miya to go to another small pre-school and then transfer again next year to a big school. We wanted to spare her from transferring of schools every year for the next two years. We decided on this. But during one of the discussions with the hubby, he turned around on this decision  and told me we don't have to insist on these schools if there are other options, better schools who only offer Kinder entry level. I blew my top off and told him we both came up with the decision that we didn't want Miya to transfer schools for two consecutive years. So that's when I told him, we need to sit down and discuss this school decision.

I listed down our criteria in choosing the school. The list below is already in order of our top criteria:

1. budget
2. quality and standard of education
3. mission and vision of the school in connection with our family values
4. student reputation - how the outside world perceives the students from that school
5. accessibility
6. school environment
7. extra-curricular activities

Between the two schools, the tuition is almost the same so we went to the next criteria. Our basis for choosing was the status of both schools at PAASCU and the list of the top 200 student passers of ACET. Haha, I know right? School # 3 won.

For numbers 3 and 4 criteria, school # 2 has the reputation that girls from that school are more maarte. Joema is really adamant on sending Miya there because our little girl is already super kikay and sometimes bordering annoying sa kaartehan hahaha! Joema doesn't want Miya to grow up to be super arte. Even our friend who has a niece studying there told us that most girls from that school are really maarte hahaha. Okay, not that being maarte is a bad thing. Joema's just not comfortable with Miya being super arte. School # 3 won.

For accessibility, school # 3 won again. We can opt for Miya to ride with us going to work and we can drop her off at school. Then she can ride the school bus going home.

For school environment, we liked school # 2 more. The school grounds was very conducive to studying. The environment was very relaxed, very quiet. There were a lot of trees. Joema even compared it to UP campus. In the classrooms, the students were seated in a big table. 5 or 6 students share a big table. We even saw a class were the students were sitting on the floor during the discussion. I liked the laid-back feel of the school.

We thought both schools offer a good variety of extra-curricular activities.

I also listed down a couple of questions we need to consider like will we sustain bringing Miya to school (for accessibility), and what school will we choose for Javi (both schools for Miya are all-girls school)?

Aside from these, I also listed down three options we can choose from:

1. Choose between the two schools for Miya's pre-kinder then transfer her to another all-girls school
2. Choose between the two school and Miya will stay there from pre-K until high school
3. Choose another small school for Miya and then transfer her to another big school

In the end, Joema told me we choose between the two schools and see how Miya will adapt. If we don't like the school then we transfer Miya to a co-ed school where she can go together with Javi. From our criteria, we chose school # 3. If you remember, I mentioned that our deadline for paying the tuition was 31 March, I paid on 30 March hehe. I just didn't want us to decide on school # 3 only because we need to decide ASAP. I wanted us to make a decision based on what we want for Miya and not because we were pressured to decide because of the deadline.

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