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‘Round these parts, the school districts follow a “modified” year round schedule. That means, loosely, eight weeks of classes followed by a two week break. Rinse and repeat. Except there’s a week off for Thanksgiving, three weeks off for Winter break, and five or six weeks off for summer. It’s random.

The school day runs from 7:10 am until 2:15 pm, except for minimum days when it’s 7:38 am to 12:21 pm or Pro Hour days when it’s 8:00 am to 2:18 pm. Confused? Yeah, I’m starting a club for that.

My youngest child, kid #3, started high school on July 23. We went over and registered her the week before. Picked her classes and everything. She even went to the Freshman Orientation that week. Imagine her surprise when she showed up the first day of school and no one could find her schedule. She spent four hours in the cafeteria with all the other kids nobody knew what to do with.

But they found her schedule just in time for her final class of the day. The next day was bound to be better, right?

Nope. The next day began the great iPad Issuing Debacle and resulted in the first of many, many robocalls I’ve received from the school about unexcused tardies and absences. None of these calls has been accurate, and I did check. Extensively. The CIA has nothing on my mom interrogation techniques.

Well, the start of every new thing can often be rocky, so day three just had to be less chaotic. No again, my friends. The school went into lockdown due to an armed robbery at a nearby business.

At this point, I seriously considered yanking kid #3 out of public school and moving to Amish country. Or something. But she was making friends and seemed unfazed by the nearby gun-play.

And things have smoothed out, mostly.

I continue to receive robocalls from the school about phantom tardies and absences. Kid #3 goes to the teacher(s) and the office to get them straightened out. I’m also informed via robocall from the school of the local police department’s enforcement of its zero tolerance policy on underage drinking whenever there’s a concert at the nearby amphitheater. I really had no idea there were so many concerts in our city.

And I naively assumed the police would enforce the zero tolerance policy on underage drinking on non-concert days, y’know, follow the law.

Live and learn.

Every single call from the school is followed up with an email containing an imbedded audio file of the phone call. This school has really taken “the more you know” to heart.

Back to School Night was two weeks ago and I finally got to see the classrooms and meet the teachers. I was impressed by their professionalism and caring, although the geography and math teachers seemed really beaten down by their students’ inability to follow simple directions, and who can blame them? Their procedures sounded simple and straightforward, but are apparently beyond the ken of 14-year olds.

The math teacher also had the unhappy task of informing the (incredibly few) parents who showed up that most of the kids were going to get failing grades in the first reporting period for reasons I found a bit vague. Sure enough, a week later kid #3 brought home a letter that stated she was getting an F and required to go to tutoring every afternoon the following week.

Poor kid had to go to school and then tutoring from 7:10 am until 4:30 pm every day last week. It paid off, because the first grade report came home Friday and she had a C- in math.

Is it too soon to start applying to colleges?