Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A school district quirk

Catie's school isn't in our school district. If you're not from PA and you're used to the county-wide districts, like in Maryland, this might seem a little strange.

Lemme 'splain. PA has 67 counties but over 500 school districts. The districts are gerrymandered, cockeyed, and set up to ensure maximum confusion. One county may have many school districts, and one school district often crosses county lines. Bewildering.

So we live in one district - not the absolute worst in the area, but not good. The Catholic school Catie attends is in the next district over, a distance of 8.5 miles away. Our local district handles the busing for all the kids in our *distant* district over to Catie's school.

This morning, we didn't get the PBS telethon phone ringing moment where we were informed that Catie had a delay, so I shuffled Catie out the door at the usual time. I was exhausted because Tristan had a bad cough the past few nights, so I went back to bed. 10 minutes later, Catie comes into my room saying "a guy was walking by and said the schools are on a two hour delay!".

A huge question mark appeared over my head. (Not really, but wouldn't that make life more interesting?) We hadn't gotten the EVERY PHONE RINGING at 5:30 - what gives?

I get up and do a little searching. Sure enough, Catie's school and its' parent school district were on a regular schedule. But our HOME district was on a two hour delay. I called the secretary at her school - they're a sweet, helpful bunch there. She explained that if I WANTED to, I could load everyone up in the freezing van and drive Catie over, or we could just wait for her bus to bring her in 2 hours later. It happens occasionally that the school districts don't synch up, and whenever the outlier students arrive, they join up with their class already in progress. Daniel was still sound asleep, Tristan was tired, sick and fussy, and I doubted my ability to walk straight, let alone drive. So we waited for the bus.

I did actually ask the transportation folks what happens if our district is closed and the other is open, but I was so tired I didn't retain the answer. Maybe I'll call back tomorrow and disguise my voice or something.

Yet another argument for unifying the school districts into something more effective.

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