When I was your age

We went to meet the girls’ new teachers at school yesterday. Ellie and Micah are going to be in kindergarten, Bethany in 2nd grade. They’re attending our neighborhood public school, Moss Park Elementary. MPE is a great school, open just a year. It was a relief school for this area, to help with overcrowding at another elementary school.

I grew up in a fairly large suburban/rural school district. I was in a graduating class of about 400. My elementary school had what I think was a typical population for the time. From what I remember, there were usually about 3 classes for each grade (K-6), probably 20-25 kids in each class. So a total of about 21 classes, and a student population of maybe 525.

My kids’ school is very different. First of all, it’s K-5 like most elementary schools are now–one fewer grade than where I went to school. But instead of 3 classes for each grade, there are 7 or 8 classes per grade–a total of 45 classes if I’ve counted correctly. Even though the school has only been open a year, they added four portable classrooms this year. From what I’ve heard, the enrollment is around 900. Amazing. Another thing I found really interesting when the school opened is that they don’t have a gymnasium. There is a covered outdoor pavilion (attached to the building) where they have PE classes.

The other big difference compared to my childhood is the number of parents who drive their kids to school. I rode the bus to school from K-12, just like most students did (I lived in a very spread-out district). Florida state law says that schools have to bus children if they live more than two miles from the school. So those of us who live 1.999 miles from the school are out of luck. Last year we carpooled and joined the ranks of the “car loop”; this year, we’re hoping to have the girls ride their bikes in (escorted by us). It remains to be seen how well this will work!