Last night Alice got to meet her teachers and walk around her new school.
It's nice. It's old, but it's nice.
Last year Alice's class was in a portable classroom (aka a trailer). The ceilings were low, it was small and dark, there were tables instead of desks with a common pot of supplies in the middle. When there were storms, which happened often last year, the kids had to go in the main building because it wasn't safe to be in the classroom. To get to the main building, which they did several times a day, the kids had to tromp outside without coats. I guess I didn't realize how crummy this was until I saw the classroom she will be in this year.
It's big and bright. Alice has a desk! Another parent asked about supplies and the teacher said that she thought the supply list was pretty good but, you know, if there were other things the child might want - markers, colored pencils, etc, then they should bring those too. There is a boys and girls bathroom INSIDE the classroom as well as a water fountain. One child even has a taller desk because, "he is REALLY tall."
There are two teachers in her class. One is quite young and looks to be a student teacher / intern / educational assistant. I don't care what her title is, I just think it's awesome that the student - teacher ratio will be 10-1 or so. She will be there for the entire year. Both teachers are super nice.
We also met the instrumental music teacher, the art teacher (who's name is Ms. Musik), and the dance teacher. All were very welcoming. The kids have a 6 day rotation at this school of art, gym, instrumental music, general music, dance, and library. There is a dance studio. The art studios (!) are huge and include a floor loom and a kiln. There are glass display cases all over the school showing off student work.
All of this is very encouraging and exciting, and I haven't even gotten to the best part of the night... I was talking to Alice's teacher about gluten and she told us that there are a lot of kids with food allergies in the class this year, including another little girl who cannot eat gluten. Alice was so excited. She was literally jumping up and down and clapping her hands. The teacher said the other little girl (who had come in earlier) was also very excited.