Tuesday, March 1, 2016


 Well.....it has happened.  We now have an official Future Ugly Eagle in our house.  A few weekends back Brian and I took Emma down to the high school early on a Saturday morning, along with 700 other families, to register for Freshman classes.  While this is just the beginning, in many ways it felt like we were finally at the end of a long process, and this was "The Big Day".  Four years ago our local high school became a charter school. That means nobody automatically feeds into it, everyone has to apply. They say if you live w/in the old boundary, you get first dibs (which we do), however, when you have over 1500 freshman applications.....there were no guarantees. There is a lottery process for those who don't get in, so there are 800ish families who are given a lottery number and are still waiting to fill spots as they become available (some families apply for transfers to multiple schools w/in the district as back up in case they don't get into the charter, so if they decide to go with a different school, they free up a spot at the charter).  So then there's the big email day. Emails go out to all applicants saying either you got in, or you will be given a lottery number.  We never got an email. I guess it had been sent, but bounced back. So the next day I got a hold of admissions and they re sent it, and it said ACCEPTED!! Woot!  At the same time as this process, there is an application and interview process for the academies at the school. These are smaller "schools" w/in the school that specialize in individual fields. There's engineering, medical sciences, art, and public service academies.  Emma wanted to apply for the medical academy (remember, this is all before we even know if she's been accepted into the high school). So she got her application submitted, and was given an interview date. After the interview, we wait for another Academies Email day, where you get an email that says your in or out.  Again, she was accepted!!  Add to this the small detail that we did not apply to any back up schools, and the deadline to do so was long gone...so all our eggs were in one basket.  Which brings us finally to Freshman Registration morning.  It really did feel like a special morning!!

 Emma had really wanted a sweatshirt, so I sent them out to "the shack", and they came back in their UGLY gear looking super cute.  Above we are waiting for things to get started. We had a long speech from Director Linzey about the "pay now, play later" mentality he wants to drill into these kids.  There was about an hour of explaining credits, classes, requirements, clubs, sports, what to take to get college credits, and again...pay now, play later.  Director Linzey really wants to get that 97% college rate up to 100%. He explained that if you have C's, you have mandatory tutoring and possibly Saturday class.  Then papers were passed out, and we got to work figuring out her schedule and what she wanted to take.  There are 3 required Med Academy classes, and 2 other required freshman classes, so she was left with one elective to pick (they get 2 electives, but one of her med classes takes the place of an elective - Principals of Biomedical Science- a class I will be of no help with, lol). As an aside, 4 of her med classes count as Cal State college credits.
 So something to know about Emma, she has carried straight A's through middle school. She's a very hard worker.....who puts a ton of pressure on herself. Currently she's running between 95.6% - 126% in her classes (grades are emailed to me every Friday). So not just A's....but over 100% in 3 classes.
She has never taken a "fun" class. Not one art class, or music class, or home-ec, or shop class.  So we really, really wanted to persuade her to live a little when it came to that one elective.  Yes, she could have taken AP History, or gotten in a year of the required foreign language class she'll need (she's already taken 2 years of spanish).....but she could also take something that may make her a more well rounded human. : )  Although it was difficult for her, she put down guitar 1, photography 1, and ceramics 1 as her top 3 pics.  We won't know what she ends up with until we get her schedule. However, to counter balance the idea of taking a "fun" class.....she signed up to take a 4 week summer course available to A and B students. It's online, and she'll earn 5 elective credits before Freshman year even starts. 
 Alright, so we got her schedule filled in, and summer course paperwork filled out....now my job was to get down in that mob and sign up to volunteer for whatever I possible can. You can't see this, but there are tables down there with counselors and academy directors and all sorts of people sitting at them.  Right now, I'm signed up for helping at Freshman Transition Week. In August, freshman go to school for 4 days, are paired up with a senior, and introduced to high school. They walk their schedule to know where their classes are, get familiar with where everything is on campus, and do lots of fun high school stuff. 
 We also got her a med academy shirt. I'm so proud of this kid! I can't believe we are to this stage...but I'm so excited for her. I'm not worried about her grades at all, I just hope she is able to enjoy her time in high school.  I know there will be struggles, but we hope she can find the fun and experience new things.  I already know she likes going to the football games, so we are looking forward to that. She's looking onto the lunch time clubs, seeing what looks like fun.  We are so excited to enter this new phase and to be as much a part of it as she'll let us be!!

1 comment:

  1. WOW! This is all WAY beyond awesome! How cool is it that the school is the Ugly Eagles??? Hopefully she will not try to graduate that first year, and will take some time to enjoy the high school experience. GO EMMA!!! (BTW, let me know if you end up needing a guitar.)