Why I Love My Kid’s School
Tulsa Area parents share their appreciation for their kid's school and teachers.
My daughter’s name is Maria and she attends Street School, the one place that saved her from ending up in the streets. At about the age of 10, Maria witnessed me being pronounced dead and then brought back to life. This trauma changed my daughter from a well-behaved child to an angry-at-the-world child. She began shoplifting, assaulting others and hating school. I remember being told by her vice principal that half the school was scared of her, but how could this be? Searching for answers, I came upon information on Street School and they accepted the challenge of educating Maria. Shortly after starting at Street School, Maria came home stating how much she loved school. She applauded the way the teachers taught and found a good friend in a teacher named Michael. She became so motivated and dedicated to helping her friends stay in school that she co-wrote a script to a docu-drama dedicated to stopping kids from dropping out of school called “Drop Out Of The Game” and sang the theme song for the film called “Keep Your Head In The Game,” which won Best Movie Soundtrack at the Bare Bones International Film and Music Festival 2009. Maria found one of her gifts, she could sing.
The real test came last year, when Maria’s dad died and all she wanted to do was die. The staff at Street School was more than just understanding, especially Maureen (her counselor), they were GOD sent. As a parent, I was devastated because I had to watch my daughter go through the roughest time, and I couldn’t fix it. One day, Maria and I met with Lorraine (Program Director), and during that visit, not only did Maria feel the school was behind her, but I felt they had our back as a family. Maria seemed to understand what we were going through and made me feel, as a parent, that things would get better despite what it looked like. When I went home that day, I felt peace and Maria’s behavior began to improve. She came off her medication, obtained a job, started looking forward to graduating and going to college.
As I look back on this journey, I realize how important the people who are at your child’s place of education are. They can make or break the process of educating your child. Street School has the knowledge, wisdom and GREAT staff to help children who may not be able to make it in a traditional school. They care about your child(ren), they put forth an effort to help them, and they provide the support needed by families who are going through unusual and/or hard time(s).
Maria is scheduled to graduate May 2012. Not only is she my youngest, but she will be the only child of my four children who will have graduated from high school. The odds were surely against her, but Street School was, for her, the help that made the difference
Boston Avenue Weekday School (BAWS)
I am not sure where our family would be without the incredible preschool that Boston Avenue Weekday School (BAWS) is! Bella started in the Bunny Classroom at 9 months old. I have watched her blossom into a well-spoken, talented, funny, quirky, happy little girl who will go to kindergarten in the fall. I have no doubt her education at BAWS will put her ahead of her class. From Spanish, to learning to read and write and educational (and fun!) field trips, Bella will sure miss the loving teachers, staff and all the fun at BAWS this fall.
From loving on baby bunnies (infant classroom) to preparing the butterflies (4-year-old classroom) to use their wings to fly to kindergarten, Director Patty Banes, the support staff and especially the teachers, have a heart for creating a loving and safe environment that makes not only my daughter feel comfortable, but gives our family a sense of peace during the workday. I truly appreciate all the opportunities to be involved as a parent in the school and will greatly miss the school when kindergarten rolls around. The greatest part about choosing BAWS for Bella’s preschool education? Seeing my daughter comfortable, happy and excited to go to school. We are blessed to have found such a nurturing, Christian environment. Thank you BAWS for all you do!
Immanuel Christian Academy
We are blessed to be members of the Immanuel Christian family. In kindergarten, my son participates in his education through hands-on experience with science, technology, arts, sports, and most importantly talking about and studying (and adoring) Jesus. He has a smart board in his classroom, he attends the computer lab about three times each week, and the small class size allows for my son and each student to grow and learn at his or her own pace.
The kindergarten class has a scientist of the week who dresses in lab gear and presents an experiment to the class. They have a traveler of the week who brings home a suitcase, chooses a country and presents a lesson about that country to the class and each student has his or her “passport” stamped for visiting that country.
There are so many reasons to be proud to be a Crusader. These kids are taught lessons through the love of Jesus at all grade levels. They utilize social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs to connect parents to our children’s learning and as tools for ministry, witness and encouragement. In a school this small, kids must learn discipline and forgiveness. Your pool of friends is smaller than most classrooms and when you argue, you learn to express negative emotions and move forward in a positive way.
All student academic progress and activities can be tracked on Renweb and parents can sign in any time to view their child’s grades. I love that our teacher captures special moments on camera (& often video) and posts it to a class Shutterfly site.
I love Immanuel Lutheran Christian Academy and feel blessed to have my child learning from the most creative teachers at this precious school.
Taylor always stayed home with me, but I could tell that she was getting bored with mom and wanted to play with other kids. It was very difficult for me to send her to school. However, it was the best thing for her, so my husband and I chose Marquette. She is in her second year and there has not been one day that she has not wanted to go to school. She almost jumps out of bed to get ready.
We have felt so welcome there as it is a great community atmosphere where the teachers truly care about each student. The parents are very involved, and we have been fortunate to make new friends through Marquette because of the closeness.
Town & Country School
I will never forget Sarah’s first day at Town and Country. When she got in the car, she was actually smiling and said, “Finally, people who understand me.” There are not words to explain how it felt to see her smile about her school. Thank you, Town & Country for blessing our family.
Town & Country
I am afraid our story will sound repetitive among T&C families! Wilson is 10 and autistic, OCD, ADHD. We have attended six schools, public and private. He was asked to leave three because of behavioral issues. Now the child LOVES school! He has friends. He has patient teachers willing to do anything to allow him to learn his way! If I had to sell my kidneys to allow him to attend, I would!
Town & Country
Town & Country School has given our three grandchildren hope, purpose and a future. The administrator, Mary Lawrence, and the entire staff embrace the parents in the decision making pertaining to the child’s education and well being. Regardless of what learning challenge our children have had, a proper and purposeful plan is implemented to see that they are successful. Their strengths as well as their weaknesses are recognized and challenged to a higher level of learning and participation.
The teachers find unique ways to teach each child in a style that meets his or her learning needs. And raising our three grandchildren, we have immense gratitude for the dedication and commitment Town & Country has made to see that no matter what the learning challenge or need, the staff is willing and ready to meet it as well as go the extra mile to see that our children reach their potential.
Eisenhower International School
It’s hard to narrow down what my family likes about EIS, because we LOVE everything about it. I remember the first time I was in the building, I was so impressed as I watched kids go down the hall and everyone, the teachers, janitors, the office staff and the principal not only said hello to all the kids, but called them by NAME. Stacy Strow is an extraordinary leader – she and her amazing staff create an environment where not only my son is known, but every child is known. They know they are part of that school – that they belong. They are all loved when they are there and missed when they are gone. My son is happy and excited to go to school every day – it makes learning enjoyable and the kids excel. I couldn’t ask for more as a parent.
Lee Elementary School
Heidi Gault, mom to Ethan and Innes
I love the community feel at Lee: families walking or biking to school, smiles and greetings as we pass in the halls, volunteers organizing various activities, parents chatting on the sidewalk after school. I love how this pours into our neighborhood after the bell rings as our kids run down the block to play together.
I love our teachers and staff, on both a professional and personal level. I have entrusted them to help mold the emotional, social, physical and intellectual development of the most precious treasures of my life, my sons, and I feel good and confident about these teachers assuming this role.
I love the diversity of our school, how Lee reflects the real world with its cultural, racial and socio-economic differences.
But, most importantly, I love that my sons are happy at Lee. They have developed friendships and experienced success in a warm environment, and they have learned life skills that, added to the foundation that my husband and I teach at home, will stay with them as they continue through their school years and into adulthood.
Holland Hall School
A long time ago at Holland Hall someone decided that it would be a good idea to have a morning meeting, and they’ve been doing it ever since. They’ve never stopped or reassessed morning meeting because they know magic happens, and the beauty is that it is so simple. Every time I get to witness students gathered in the commons during the morning meeting I get chills because in one little glimpse, I get to see the impact that an intellectually challenging yet safe environment has on the students gathered there. They sit casually in their appointed corners: freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior. They check in, visit with friends and then the meeting begins. Mr. Calkins calls the meeting to order with an old-fashioned school bell and makes announcements. He then asks for any announcements from the students and this (no offense Mr. Calkins) is where the real magic happens. Student after student gets up to offer words of wisdom, or read an original creation, maybe sing a song, ask a girlfriend to prom with a coordinated group effort, announce a soccer match, sing happy birthday, ask for volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, and the list goes on. What I love the most is the unequivocal acceptance and attention each announcement is given, and what I love next is the creativity and genius that is on display when students are allowed to be. It’s what I wanted for my children and what I got, ten-fold, a place where they would be challenged to be their best, supported when they weren’t their best and prepared for their life ahead.
Monroe Demonstration School
When I heard that Monroe was reopening as Monroe Demonstration School with the Micro Society Program [the school is patterned after Thoreau Demonstration Academy], I couldn’t wait to enroll my son into the first 6th grade class. I am so pleased with the program and can’t wait until they are able to apply the skills, talents and education that they’ve learned into everyday life situations. I love the fact the all the kids know each other; it’s like a big family at Monroe. The staff is always eager to assist and let you know what’s going on with your child; although all schools should be like that, it just seems more genuine at Monroe.
North Tulsa has needed something like this for quite some time now. The location is great, the staff and students are great and the academic curriculum is excellent! I am looking forward to next year as the school expands and grows with more students and new and exciting things.
Monroe Dual-Language School
Why do I love Monroe? I love that the program incorporates children who speak Spanish at home. Because he goes to school with Spanish-speaking children, my son gets a deeper immersion in the language and culture, and he is exposed to a variety of cultural expressions. I love that the program starts with pre-K, when children are even more keyed to language acquisition. I think it is wonderful that the teachers are fluent in both English and Spanish, and have often lived abroad in Spanish cultures, further enriching the educational opportunities offered. I really appreciate the location, north of the bustle of Tulsa. It is a new program so we will get to help shape and mold the future identity of the school and program.
One of the truly unique benefits of attending Monroe is that we as parents are viewed as partners in deciding the path that this school will take. Tulsa Public Schools is blazing a new trail into the future of foreign language immersion programs and we, the parents, get to take this opportunity to act as the mapmakers determining what boundaries our children will get to explore. Our school is a true cross sample of the TPS school system, and our children are better for it.
Zarrow International School
We love our school! Zarrow International School is a one-of-a-kind place, where we come from diverse backgrounds, but we have the same purpose: to learn another language in order to be better citizens in our world.
As a mom, I feel hopeful knowing that my children will have the tools to be successful when they leave the nest, because they began their education at Zarrow. They have opportunities to learn about our world not only from an academic point of view, but also from a social and cultural point of view. We are a close-knit community, and the children get to know each other really well; they become almost like brothers and sisters.
As a teacher, I love witnessing the moment when a student finally understands something, or asks an intriguing question, or makes an insightful comment. Sometimes I feel like I’m learning as much as my students every day.