So It's SPA...

For all of those who worry about what elementary school to send your child to, because middle school scares you, I can assure you that Beatrix had an embarrassment of riches. She was accepted into 3 very different schools — Capitol Hill (SPPS), School of Northern Lights (charter), and Saint Paul Academy (private). SPA is my alma mater, but more than that, we really wanted her to go there because she seemed to fit there, but we just could not make the money work despite some very generous financial aid.

We chose Capitol Hill and were super excited to send her there, which is nearby and a great school and where she knows a few people.

And then, 3 days ago, it all turned upside-down.

While we were relaxing after the summer circus shows up at the cabin, the amazing admissions person at SPA reached out and asked if we could reconsider if they made they money work. The incoming class was full, but she kept on thinking about Beatrix, and our family, and what a fit we would be. So we sent off our tax forms to her because why not. And then on Wednesday they made us a financial aid offer we could not refuse. And all of a sudden, we were driving back early from the cabin so Beatrix could take language and math placement tests.

(Even that is weird. Even at one of the best middle schools in Saint Paul, I knew we would have to fight to get her into pre-algebra, and there was no space in choir, and *maybe* she could have a language as an elective, kind of an "Intro to Spanish culture" kind of thing. And all of a sudden of course she will be in choir, and "which language will she be taking?" and she's testing for algebra.)

And I am freaking out.

This is, for sure, the right choice for her. But we had things all set, and now it's being thrown up in the air. There's all kinds of new forms and things to do. The money, though huge financial aid, is still freaking me out. Beatrix was planning on a 9:30 start, and walking to school, and now it's an 8am start and we have to suss getting there. She's excited about the friends she'll be going to, and especially sad she won't be at Capitol Hill with her friend Brogan. She'll miss the first day of school because we won't be back from Ireland yet.

It's strangely reminiscent of my own entrance into SPA, where my mom had me take the test on a whim in August when they were already full, and all of a sudden I was in and things were changing. And it has me in tears that I can't talk to my mom about it, though my aunt wisely advises me to talk to her about it anyway.

I know how to be a SPPS mom and how to fight for what my kid needs; I've devoted tons of time and energy to that system. But I don't know how to be an SPA mom and I suspect they are very different. I don't know if my memories and experiences there will be helpful or not at all so; the school is so different and yet so much the same. And I now have to reverse all the thinking I've had since April about why it was likely better that B was not going there. And these concerns are likely the most privileged problems in the history of privilege, but knowing that only makes me more stressed.

So, SPA, here comes my kid. She's going to be awesome, and you truly are the right fit for her, and we're excited when we are not terrified!


I'm so happy for you and your family! I hope Beatrix has a great experience at our alma matter.
Joanna said…
I went to MPA and now my kids go to a school that feels so similar. The uniform plaid is even the same!

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