The school issue, Grade School edition
Yup, my dear daughter graduated from Kinder 2. And with an Honorable Mention, too (she’s number 4 in her batch).
Now it’s time for her to go to Elementary level.
Hubby and I have been actually searching for another school she can transfer in since last year. While the school she was in during Pre-school was okay, we felt that it wasn’t really at par with other schools — bigger schools. I was a product of a big school, a Catholic one at that (and exclusive), so I believed that Zee should go to a big school as well.
So some weeks after I gave birth, we went to Pasig Catholic College (PCC) to inquire and have my daughter take the entrance exam. She passed, though the guidance counselor said that she would be put under probation because of her behavior: during the exam, she kept on getting out of her seat (nothing new, she was always “standing and walking” in class in her Nursery and Kinder days). The guidance counselor also explained that, if we decide that she goes there, she would have to keep up with the lessons. They are a traditional school, the counselor said, and there would be 40+ students in one class so the teacher won’t be able to concentrate on a particular kid. Or something to that effect. Anyhoo, since Zee would be on probation during the year, the teachers and guidance counselor will look into her performance during the year. She would be assessed twice during the schoolyear. There will be consultations between the counselor and us parents if my daughter would need improvement in certain aspects. At the end of the schoolyear, the principal will recommend if she’ll stay, move to the next level, or have to transfer to another school.
I told my parents, sister, and sister-in-law about it. My SIL told me that it didn’t seem fair, because Zee’s still in the sort-of “baby stage” (she’s been our household’s baby for the longest time — 5 years — before I recently gave birth). My mom suggested we seek another school. My sister, a guidance counselor herself, said that we should look into enrolling Zee in a school with a much smaller population as PCC.
It wasn’t as if PCC was my only choice. I kinda wanted Zee to go there because I believed that they produced good students (my brothers graduated there, I guess there’s the bias). And they’re a Catholic school. But with their student population — and there are a LOT of students per class, and around 6 sections (or more) per level — I feared that Zee wouldn’t really thrive there.
Plus, the school was farther from the house. Halfway to the school, Zee was getting restless inside the vehicle, like she was about to throw up (she has motion sickness). We also thought of the school bus fee, which we need to pay monthly as well. Add that to the tuition that’s almost PHP 40,000. It would be kinda heavy on the pocket.
So we looked into other schools, preferably one that has a smaller population, a more affordable tuition, and near our house. That’s when I stumbled upon Wesleyan Academy in St. Joseph Subdivision, near Ever Ortigas. I saw their tarpaulin when we traveled for Zee’s graduation. I’ve heard about it; my mom said one of our neighbor’s children went there and they grew up to become professionals in their own field. She said the school seemed okay, so hubby and I went to inquire.
Wesleyan Academy is a non-sectarian school and already K-12 compliant. The school’s located inside a residential neighborhood. It seemed bigger than Zee’s previous school but a lot smaller than PCC. According to the person we approached (I think she was part of the school’s admin), the population is 25 students max per class. And if I assume correctly, there’s only one class per level.
I got to talk to the guidance counselor, he said that since they are utilizing the K-12 curriculum, the grading system is performance-based. As long as the student performs the task assigned for the day, he or she will get a grade. (My sister further expounded the concept: the grading system would be like “Meets Expectations” or “Does Not Meet Expectations”, with a narrative explaining where the child excels or needs improvement and what actions to do) They also are limiting the number of students, so when they reach the maximum number of students per class, they will close admission.
Tuition is also more affordable than PCC, around PHP 28,000, not including books, field trip, and uniform (I guess having Cainta, Rizal as their address is an added factor).
Hubby seemed open to enrolling Zee here, so we had her take the entrance test. She passed, though she needs work on Filipino (as expected, she got a final grade of 86 in that subject, hehe!). That we will work on, as well as her penmanship. But I think, we’re set on Wesleyan.
My dad, though, took issue on the fact that it was non-sectarian. Meaning, no Christian Living/Religion Subject (he’s a traditional Catholic, and our parish’s lay minister president, and he made sure all his kids went to a Catholic school until High School). Well, Wesleyan would have Values Education, we were told. Good thing my mom was more open about it, saying that whatever religion the person has, what matters more is the values he or she has (naks!). And of course, hubby and I are the ones who will have the last say — we’re paying for the tuition.
So yeah. Wesleyan Academy it is. We just have to schedule the day when we’ll enroll Zee. We have to hurry, though, so we’d still have a slot.
So far, with the people we’ve talked to at Wesleyan, they’ve been pretty accommodating. The tuition and location is also a plus. I think Zee will thrive more here. Hopefully.