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The Stapleton Baby Boom Hits the Schools

Sunday, January 23, 2011 Leave a Comment

This is the year when the huge bubble of Stapleton 5 year olds gets ready to enter kindergarten. It's hard to imagine two years ago, all the hullabaloo of getting a third elementary school built in time to house all of our youngsters. Back then, our community said (through the Stapleton Foundation's survey) we wanted seats for all of our kids (and some for our diverse neighbors, too), and we wanted to be able to walk to school, and we wanted choice, not boundaries, and math and science and P.E. And second languages and healthy school lunches would be great, too. So how did those desires and wants translate into reality? How do those factors affect the school you choose for your child?

I'm curious, moms of kids entering kindergarten or ECE next fall, what's your first choice school, and why?

And if you're the parent of a 3 or 4 year old, you need to think about it, too. If you send your child to public school ECE, chances are it's at the school they'll attend kindergarten.

I live in Eastbridge, so I may still have a little of the bitter pill stuck in my throat that the third school wasn't built over here, when I bought my house here for precisely that reason. I thought that location was my top priority, but after two years of driving my boy to our private preschool in another neighborhood, I understand that this is the way of life for most of us -- even those who live a few short blocks from their school.

I toured all three neighborhood schools - Bill Roberts, Westerly Creek,  Swigert-McAuliffe. I liked them all. I loved the art rooms at Bill Roberts, the kindergartners at Westerly Creek, the principal at Swigert. Truthfully, I feel there's not a great difference between any of them - I feel my boy will do fine at any one of them.

So why, this close to the January 31 deadline, am I still undecided? I'm 99% certain my first choice will be Swigert - because I liked the principal, and I liked the curriculum he described - even though we won't get to walk to school.

But his best buddy will go to Bill Roberts, where his older siblings go. I can't choose a school based on friendship, can I? I'm still holding on to that belief that all the neighborhood kids should be at the same school. The reality is that every kid on our block - all 10 of them - could be at different schools. One of my neighbors applies every year to Odyssey, which she feels is a Sisephean feat, but one she does anyway. (Should I apply there, too, just for the hell of it??

So what's your first-choice school, and why?


3 comments »

  • Anonymous said:  

    Swigert. The curriculum.

  • Liz said:  

    Odyssey is having one more open house before the deadline. This Weds 1/26 at 6pm. You can pick up an application there - it's different from the DPS choice application.

  • Anonymous said:  

    We loved Odyssey - but they had 199 applications (approx) for the 25 K slots (17 if you take out the 8 that were for sibling and staff priority) and of those 17 I can only assume that 1/3 of them most Stapleton Residents wouldn't qualify for - I also heard about 200 applications for the other 7 spots in the school available next year. I also heard from Chuck (SMIS) that they had more applications than planned slots, so don't assume if you put that #1 that you will automatically get in. Luckily in Stapleton, I think we have three good neighborhood options (and are guaranteed a slot in one) - whereas so many Denver residents have no good public school choices. We are also in Eastbridge and very disappointed that there is no school (or town center) on our end of Stapleton.