First Day of School Ups and Downs

Today is the first day of school for Baltimore City Public School students. I know from years past, that it is always a day, or sometimes a week, of highs and lows. Whether its because of logistical challenges or the emotional toll it can take on everyone, I’ve learned to prepare for things to not go quite as planned. Today was no exception. Things started kind of rough because some of us did not sleep so well. I was up a few times during the night because I have a slight head cold. This was not a good situation because the kids were starting a brand new bell schedule at school which required them to get up 30 minutes earlier than last school year. Plus, they had definitely slid into a summer sleep-in schedule the last few weeks of summer. Just as I was falling back asleep, Farah came to our room and said she couldn’t sleep. It was probably around 4AM. She said she had a stomachache and was hungry. I had a feeling it was anxiety. Morning came very quickly after that. Morning drop – off is always a cluster the first week or two of school and then calms down after that. Today seemed even worse than years past but luckily my kids are a little older and more adjusted to the school environment. After I dropped them off, I had an hour of calm and good feelings. I met about a dozen other moms with kids attending schools across the City at our pool to celebrate and share stories of the first day. I left there and drove to work feeling very good and almost calm about the start of the school year. I always get nervous because my kids attend a citywide charter school which always seems to be bootstrapping and keeping things together with a shoestring budget and duct tape. I had only been at work a few minutes when I saw I had an unread text. It said that the Adolescent Community,or middle school, was closing early today because the AC was broken. In other words, no AC in the AC. Anyone from Maryland knows that Baltimore City Schools has a long history of political battles about no air conditioning or poorly working air conditioning in the schools. Our school has been no exception. The middle school always has AC but apparently it is now malfunctioning. The elementary school just got window units during COVID. I had to quickly scramble to coordinate with my husband and employer to go get my oldest daughter early. We would have to also go later in the day to get the younger girls to coil them up from aftercare. That too has had some hiccups and will take some time to iron out the wrinkles. I was also sad to find out that school would be closed completely for my oldest daughter tomorrow while the AC issue is resolved. I can’t help but to think she is missing valuable classroom time and education when this type of issue is going on. Now I’m feeling very stressed about the uncertainty at the school for the rest of the school week. Do others feel this way or is our school experience inferior in some way? I’m trying to think positive because my kids love their school so much. I just want them to be safe, happy, and have access to a valuable education. Why does it have to feel like such an emotional roller coaster?

The kids running to class

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