Getting Started At Viewpoint, Our New School

Ready for school

The lazy days of summer continue with time off for our family, a short vacation to see friends and family in the Washington D.C. area, tons of my son’s basketball games and tournaments and, of course, preparation for the kids to start school at Viewpoint in the fall.

Baller heaven. A 3-day tournament in Anaheim
Baller heaven. A 3-day tournament in Anaheim

We’ve been to new parent welcome events at the school and have a few more coming up. My daughter took a creative writing class at Viewpoint last week. She loved it. A fabulous teacher and new friends! What could be better? My daughter and I met a new family at the her orientation day and the girls have already had two playdates. My son is in basketball star Lisa Leslie’s camp, held at Viewpoint, and it is excellent. She combines drills, playing and techniques with social skills like how to introduce yourself to someone. The kids are all ears. He’s also doing a week of sports camp there. The welcome to Viewpoint has been warm, friendly and incredibly well organized.


When I got the list of possible volunteer activities from the school, I immediately signed up to work on the annual giving campaign and I plan to join the multicultural committee. But, the list of ways to get involved had something for everyone, from chairing committees to being a room parent to working on the annual fundraiser. The way you get involved depends somewhat on your kids’ grade level. Volunteering when your kid is in high school might involve different activities than when you have a kindergartner. After all, would your high schooler want or need you as a room parent?


A few days ago, I got a super-nice email from our host family who has a daughter entering 7th grade. We’ll get to meet them at an event soon.


I can’t say enough good things about how friendly and welcoming Viewpoint has been to our entire family.


Change is good. I don’t take any of this for granted. Not even for a moment. I’m just very grateful for it all.



An Unsettled Feeling On The Blog



There’s an unsettled feeling on this blog. It’s a time of change for my family and many of our readers. Private school admissions letters and emails have been sent, contracts signed, wait-list changes are happening and overall, this leaves one with an unsettled feeling, even when the news is the best you could have imagined. And, especially when the news isn’t what you were hoping or expecting.


My kids are starting at Viewpoint School in the fall. Our entire family is thrilled and a bit unsettled. So far, the welcome has been incredibly warm. Still, we know transitions can be stressful and we’re talking a lot about what the new school will be like. My daughter has worries about making new friends (she’ll be starting 7th grade…who wouldn’t worry?). My son doesn’t really express any concerns, but can barely contain his excitement about playing sports. They are both feeling very grown up because they will be taking the bus to school.


As a mom, I’m hoping to meet other moms by volunteering at school. For me, the connection with other moms at my kids’ school is important. It’s how a school becomes a community rather than a “commuter school”. I like when moms share information about summer camps or carpools or hot lunch. One of my friends has a kid starting at Viewpoint too, so I’m already feeling good about the mom friend thing. As she said in her email, “you’re going in with one friend already.” So is she!


The private school admissions process can take your breath away by its sheer competitiveness. Sometimes, people you hardly know step up and help you with calls, letters of recommendation, kind words of advice and support. Unfortunately, good friends you hoped to count on offer you nothing. This leaves me feeling very unsettled.


Some families are scrambling to put together a “Plan B” and that can be stressful. Your intentions were the best they could be. Your effort in applying schools was everything you could do. It didn’t happen and it’s a very shocking disappointment. Unsettled is where you might be. Angry and confused might also be good adjectives to describe the emotions. Wait-listed also describes that unsettled, up-in-the-air feeling.


There’s a lot about the private school admissions process that you may never know. That inevitable leaves one feeling very unsettled.


As parents we all want what’s best for our kids. Education is a huge part of that equation. That’s why this is so consuming, stressful and ultimately, hopefully, rewarding. If things didn’t work out as you planned, please, please please, don’t be too hard on yourself. This is not the kind of thing where you have enough control over the process to blame yourself for what went wrong. It just isn’t. There are options, always. You just have to be open to them. Just like tomorrow is a new day, next year is a new year.


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