Welcome to the year 2021 everyone! If you are like me you have a lot of hopes and aspirations for this year and are feeling a happy anticipation for change!
Our big change will be the beginning of kindergarten for my youngest son, who turns 5 in March. Are you thinking about Kindergarten or T-K? My main focus for the blog today will be information to get you started in the search for school for your little one.
I am also going to start talking about books. I am a huge book lover and have a book club with some mommas that started about 4 years ago and since we can't meet right now and book club over zoom leaves much to be desired I thought I would branch out and give some thoughts about the books I am reading and recommendations about what to read. I'll declare a book of the month and post it to the Facebook play group pages and if you read it and subsequently want to chat about it you can start a thread on the play group page, I hope it ends up being a fun way to relate and make connections during a time when we are physically separate.
T-K and Kindergarten SCHOOL REGISTRATION INFORMATION
The very first thing to do is figure out your home or neighborhood school!
There are several districts in Petaluma and figuring out your home school and which district your family is in is the first step in making your school choice.
Here is the link to the school finder in the Petaluma City Schools (PCS) district. This link will tell you which school is in your neighborhood but also which school district your home is in if it is not Petaluma City School district.
For example if my address is across from Wiseman park my district is the Old Adobe Union School District not the Petaluma City School District, and although the link will give you PCS options, right underneath the address bar it will say which district your home is in. If this sounds confusing that's because it is! If you get to this point and you are still confused about what school you are technically assigned based on your address please don't hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Petaluma School Districts: here is another link where you can find what your district is based on your address...just click on the link below and then find the words "look up district by street address" and click on them to follow them to the district look up engine. I don't think this link is as straightforward but it gets you the information.
Each District has different registration deadlines and paperwork. For example, If my home is in the Petaluma City School District registration has been open since December but if my home is in the Old Adobe Union School district registration hasn't started yet. Once you establish your district the coinciding websites will direct you to the school associated with your address.
There are caveats to the address assignments. Some addresses fall under "Open" enrollment, especially in the Old Adobe School district which I think means you can apply to any of the Old Adobe Schools (ie Sonoma Mountain, Old Adobe etc.) but I am not 100% on that. Petaluma also has at least two semi-charter schools which do not technically associate with any particular address, ie Mary Collins at Cherry Valley and Penngrove Elementary.
Registering your child for school can be a huge decision. There are options for inter (between district) and intra (within district) transfers if you find you have your heart set on a school outside your address zone. Not to mention all of the private school options our town and surrounding county has.
I am sure I have given you plenty to think about and hopefully not too much to worry about because ultimately any school in our wonderful town and surrounding areas is going to be a rich experience. We are lucky to live where we do!
Due to COVID most schools are doing virtual tours and meetings which can be found on individual school websites or district websites, I highly recommend attending one if you can. Lastly it's never a bad idea to just pick up the phone and call the administrators of a school you are interested in, I am sure they will more than willing to help with the transition and any questions you may have.
One of the first books I read this month and one that I recommend:
The Wonder Boy of Whistlestop by Fannie Flagg
I really enjoyed this book. It is a character driven story that spans generations and although has a lighthearted tone and pace it deals with challenges in life that we are all faced with. Fannie Flagg wrote the screenplay (and coinciding novel) "Fried Green Tomatoes", which I loved as a kid, so it was fun to revisit her storytelling. I found it to be a quick fun read and I'd love to hear what you think of it!