higher education at stevens elementary

This is where Adam will attend kindergarten in the fall! We got a pleasant surprise from the Seattle School District this morning: Adam now has a spot reserved for him in the elementary school that has always been our first and logical choice. His previously assigned school (McGilvra Elementary), which we were resigned to for the past month, is one of the best public elementary schools in the city in terms of student achievement and good teachers- but the major downside was that it’s located in one of Seattle’s notoriously snooty neighborhoods (I’m sorry if I’m hurting anyone’s feelings who lives in Madison Park but that’s just the cold hard reality). Let me emphasize….. WE do NOT live in Madison Park. At any rate, now Adam will attend K-5 someplace that’s actually on Capitol Hill. Stevens Elementary is closer to our house (three quarters of a mile) and part of our neighborhood, and Adam will even be reunited with a handful of his preschool pals, but the school district changed borders a few years ago and shifted our block’s elementary school attendance area, which is why we had to settle for McGilvra for awhile. You can get on a waiting list for schools outside your attendance area, but at the beginning of last month we found out Adam was slated for McGilvra (hence the pleasant surprise this morning). There’s more economic diversity at Stevens- it draws from part of Capitol Hill and a portion of the Central Area. And it’s a good school. Tonight I took the boys for a walk there, so we could see how long it took us from the house. Twenty minutes, at a very slow pace (because there are a couple Mt. Everest-like blocks in there). By car it’s literally three minutes away. Because Adam won’t be in a school that’s in our official attendance area he won’t be eligible for bus service, which seems like a moot point since we’re so close. We’d still have to walk or drive to wherever the designated bus stop was located (this isn’t the country, the yellow limo doesn’t stop in front of your house). In the time we’d wait around for the bus, he’d already be at school.

The main, historic part of the school…..is imposing. It makes you feel small (imagine how kindergarteners feel). It was built in the colonial revival style and opened for classes in 1906. It’s currently featured in drab peeling white paint. Perfect for black and white. Stevens is a little odd in that the historic part of the school fronts 18th Avenue East, a neighborhood side street, instead of 19th Avenue East (the busier arterial). There are probably a lot of people who drive past the school who never realize there’s a historic structure on the other side. The other funny thing about Stevens is that it looks like Isaag I. Stevens Sghool. I always figured the school was named after the first governor of Washington state, but tonight I looked up and saw what looked like Isaag and thought to myself  Who the hell was Isaag Stevens? Hahaha!

Oliver Fern has been sick this week with a minor cold virus but he’s on the mend. He’s been remarkably healthy so far in his young life, when we took him to our pediatrician for his 9-month baby wellness check-up, Dr. Tom was surprised at how little he’s seen him. Unfortunately, Diana stayed up all night with him on Sunday night (his worst night for the virus) and her immune system got so compromised from lack of rest that she feels horrible now (sneezing, stuffy nose). You can’t underestimate the recuperative powers of sleep: Oliver Fern has been sneezing snot into my face the past few days but I’m still going strong. Diana and I have our division of labor, which has worked for us since Adam was born: She has always been the one to get up during the night with the boys (except for times of extreme duress, like a trail of barf to the bathroom). In exchange, she doesn’t lift a finger to do housework except for her own laundry (things like panties, bras and pantsuits that must be cleaned in a variety of different wash cycles, placed in scientifically coded mesh bags or dry cleaned otherwise they’ll disintegrate from improper water temperature or over-agitation). That’s what has worked for us.

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