Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Great Preschool Saga

You may recall that Will's preschool closed last December with little warning.

Since then we've spent hours and hours researching and touring new schools. We found a school that we really loved right away. Let's call it the "awesome" school. We were referred to the awesome school by a close friend whose daughter will be attending in the fall.

We trust this friend implicitly, so we were thrilled to have her recommendation. We toured the school and LOVED it. It's a very small Montessori-based preschool (12 students total, ages 3-5). The teacher is awesome and the curriculum is exceptional. We quickly submitted an application and crossed our fingers.

Unfortunately though, they were unable to offer a spot to Will for the 2013-2014 school year. In addition to spacing out the students' ages, they also try and keep a gender-balanced classroom (6 boys, 6 girls). Not only had they filled all of their three year old spots, but they also had more boys than girls enrolled due to sibling preference (siblings of current and prior students are guaranteed enrollment).

So we kept looking. We toured six different schools over the course of two months. Nothing felt great, but Will needed something for the fall, so we selected another local Montessori preschool. The curriculum and philosophy of this school was good, but the tuition was outrageous. Let's call it the "stupidly-expensive" school.

Ben and I went round and round on whether we should enroll him there. Ultimately, we decided that a Montessori preschool was the best environment for Will, and the stupidly-expensive school was the best local Montessori after the awesome school. So we sent in a check to reserve our spot at the stupidly-expensive school for the fall. (You still with me? Great, hang in there.)

Fast forward several months: We got a call from the awesome school offering us a spot for the 2013-2014 school year! I just about died. We accepted immediately, hoping that the stupidly-expensive school would give us a tuition refund. The awesome school is the best place for Will, and we were willing to send him there even if we received nothing back from the stupidly-expensive school. (Although I think Ben would have had a coronary if we ended up paying tuition for two different preschools.)

We reached out to the stupidly-expensive school and heard nothing for several weeks. Honestly, I wasn't optimistic that we'd receive any reimbursement. We had already made a commitment to them and they were counting on Will to be there in fall. Until today, when we received a full tuition refund along with a notice that the stupidly-expensive school would be closing before the 2013-2014 school year.

I'm still in shock! Not only that we got a spot in the awesome school, but that I'm holding a check reimbursing us for a sizable tuition payment. Although it's unfortunate that our community is losing another option for Montessori education, I'm reminded...

What's meant to be will find a way.

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