A mid-year check in. Kind of atypical. Really just wanted to put these two photos together:
On a related note, I guess I never posted my 2022 end-of-year update. So, there it is.
In last year's (now just posted) entry I mentioned a big change. It's a long story with a ridiculous leadup, and I'd penned a 600+ word rant delving into it. Upon reflection, it's best left in my drafts.
The short story is this: After three chaotic, exhausting years in Minneapolis Public Schools, we decided to tap out. There wasn't just one reason, although M being redistricted out of the school pathway for which we'd made all kinds of sacrifices to get into was a big one. The new pathway would send him to a high school with only one feeder, not a good situation in a distrct that's in a continuous process of consolidation. Add in some bad experiences with M's middle school, specifically around 508 support, and we started to look at our options.
Enter Edina. Around Minneapolis, it's a bit of a joke. Rich people. Cake eaters. Privilege. The exact opposite reasons of why we wanted him in MPS. But their system is a good one. If our decision to put M into Minneapolis Public Schools was partially a political decision, the choice to pull him out was firmly based on what we felt would be best for him. We applied for Edina, almost on a whim, as we researched the nearby Richfield and Bloomington districts. And, he got in.
At the information session, all the new families were from Minneapolis.
It's a move that's worked out better than we could've dreamed. M had a great first year in high school. He fell in with a solid friend group and has become a bit of a social butterfly. His interest in math—damaged by a well-meaning but grossly out-of-her-depth teacher at MPS—is back. And he's in an environment where his friends are competitive academically, which is a tangible change from MPS.
He did a bit of a late-year skid at the end of his freshman year, which we'll keep a closer eye on next time around, but honestly that may be a bit genetic. (I was certinly guilty of that both in K-12 and college.) The point stands, though, that he learned in the past year in a way he didn't the few before.
Now we just need to help him figure out what he wants to do after high school. He's sampling a lot of things, but so far nothing's really caught his attention and stuck.
I feel bad for the families still stuck in the system. We recognize that by leaving we're kind of giving those who want to dismantle MPS what they want, and families without the means, flexibility, and, frankly, transportation, are getting stuck in the wreckage. I'm OK with collective sacrifice, but only when I trust the people leading the way, and I absolutely do not have that trust here. M is our only son, and this is his only life. We're going to make it what we can.