Which Montclair Kindergarten Did You Pick?

Right now, most parents of incoming kindergarteners are in quandaries. They visited the elementary schools last week, and now it’s time to make The List. Moms–and dads–must rank Montclair’s fine institutions from favorite to not-so-favorite on a scale from 1 to 6.

Last year, I agonized. I talked to friends at length. I changed my mind twice. Thankfully, the decision had an end date. This year, the forms are due back to the Board of Ed during the week of April 23. It’s a relief to turn the list in, but then parents have to wait until July to get their placement letters. Those who choose Nishuane or Bullock are in luck–these schools have more open spots, and if you put them first, you’ll probably get in. This is my totally unscientific opinion. I also have politically incorrect suggestions for working the lottery system, but I will stop at that.

So, have you decided? Tell us in the comments if you’re feeling groovy or anxious.

Three moms I spoke to recently were refreshingly sane about making this decision…

“My top three are very different: Watchung, Nishuane and Edgemont. I plan to make this decision by flipping a three-sided quarter in the air. My kid will be fine at any of them.”
–Kate, mom of two
(Her only complaint is that the school tours dragged on for five days. Kate wishes the BoE would schedule one long day for all of the tours so she could take less time off from work.)

“I have narrowed it down to two choices: Nishuane and Northeast. I saw really special things at both schools. I felt really good about Montclair after seeing the kindergartens.”
–Jen, mom of two

“I feel pretty good about the options in Montclair now that I’ve seen them all. I think my son will do well wherever he lands–although I do have favorites. My top three are Nishuane, Edgemont and Bullock which all have the kind of child-centered focus I’m looking for.”
–Kimberly, mom of one

(Photo: Flickr)

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  1. I haven’t slept the whole week. Partially due to the kids being sick, but partially because I keep seeing images from different schools and trying to imagine my kids there. My son’s preschool teacher says Northeast, but I wasn’t that impressed, as with Nishuane, Watchung, and Bullock.

    Also, what is everyone’s take on Everyday Math? Can’t really say that I like it.

  2. I am a product of Montclair schools and a mom and they’re all great. Really all this worry should be saved for high school- everyone ends up in the same place despite the elementary and middle school they attend. It’s all good! Though maybe not quite as good as it used to be.

  3. “Also, what is everyone’s take on Everyday Math? Can’t really say that I like it.”

    Why not? I’m indifferent to it at the moment, but I admit I haven’t a lot with which to compare it.

    One of the nice features of Nishuane/Hillside is that there are also math-related electives. My 4th grader, for example, took “geo-art” which is an art class disguised as a math class…or visa versa. There’s some kind of pre-algebra at Nishuane that my 1st grader sees as “like chess” (which is a good thing {8^).

    As for the regular math program: my experience is that the teacher can either bring it to life and make it exciting or not. I imagine that this is true of any such program but, as I wrote, I’ve not anything else to compare (I went to school long enough ago that this didn’t apply; they were still discovering new integers).


  4. Paz, the money for bussing is a drop in the bucket compared to other costs. During the Great Budget Crisis of last year (that turned out to be an Oopsie in the books), it was discussed, but it wouldn’t have been a great savings.

    You can find the actual amount in the budget.

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