Photo by PoPville flickr user sophiagrrl
I was cc’d on this email from a resident to CM Jim Graham and I thought I’d share it because I don’t hear this perspective too often from parents with school age kids.
I am a relatively new transplant to DC and a new homeowner in Park View. When we moved here from Japan last year I chose, quite actively, to move into the city rather than into the suburbs of Northern Virginia or Maryland because I value urban living and because I feel that DC is in the process of being reinvigorated. I am investing in the future of the city by purchasing a home and positioning myself and my family as proud DC residents.
The only worrisome concern that I had was schooling for my two young children. Unlike most parents purchasing homes, however, I was not obsessed with it and allowed myself to not focus on it, knowing that something would work out for us when the time came. And it did. After looking closely at the public and public charter schools in my neighborhood, I was shocked to find that many of them were ideal for our current situation. We took part in the lottery, which was shockingly professional and responsive and easy to navigate. We also took part in a few PCS lotteries and my school-age son got a place in a school that we are extremely happy with. However, I felt very comfortable with all of the schools in our neighborhood and some of the principals and teachers impressed me greatly. I felt like there was a huge investment in my children and that there was a real head of steam pushing the new generation of school personnel forward.
Rewarding those who are so committed and recruiting other like them is a huge step toward making DC public schools competitive. Sadly, perhaps, but necessarily, removing personnel not as invested and excited about education is another part of that process. I can easily see a near future where the DC public school system, injected with new life and new accountability, makes moving into DC a desirable option for many who have previously chosen not to do so.
I am pleased with my new home and my new city and – yes – with my new school. If things keep moving in this direction, with planning and insight and with the guts to make hard decisions, then my investment in DC and in Park View will prove to be one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.
I’m curious if any other parents with school age children echo this sentiment? If so please say what neighborhood you live in?