What to do…

Wendy and I chronicled some of the struggles that Mark has had at Mayfair School.  The school faces declining enrollment and he has had split classes since grade 2.  As he enters into grade 4, he has another split class.  Apparently there are enough grade four kids for a class but not enough grade 3 and 4 students.  It looks like split classes from here until high school for Mark.

Mayfair Community School BulldogsLast year Mark and most of his friends suffered from a horrible bully.  It came to a head when in December I got a call that Mark had punched this kid in the face in the hallway.  While I kind of freaked out about it, I don’t like hearing that Mark punched a kid in the face, in the end, everyone felt he was justified which gave me an indication how bad things had become.  While the bully was later moved to a different school, he was replaced by another one a week later.  Like most parents in the school, we decided to walk Mark to and from the 1/2 block we live away from the school.  While Mark was okay, one of his friends was badly beaten up, to the point where it crossed the line from bullying to assault.

Like a lot of parents in his class, we debated all summer over whether or not to put Mark back into that school or transfer him to Caswell School or St. Michael’s School.  Partly because of his friends transferring to Caswell, they are full in his grade.  St. Michael’s School has space and we are debating moving him later this week.

The reason we didn’t do it today is that I just felt sick abandoning the neighborhood and the school.   I may be in the wrong but I want to give the school a chance.  By pulling Mark out of Mayfair School, it means that there will be less funding, less involved parents, and despite the occasional punch to the face, Mark is a good kid who loves his school.

Tomorrow Wendy is setting up a meeting with his prospective teacher.  We will be meeting with her and seeing how she plans to handle his split classroom while at the same time keeping Mark engaged.  Last year his teacher did a good job of keeping us engaged by e-mailing us a couple times a week.  This year I would like to see him challenged a lot more and we will see if that is going to be possible at Mayfair, if not we will make a quick change to other options. 

3 thoughts on “What to do…”

  1. That is such a tough call. I totally get what you’re saying about loyalty to your neighborhood and school, and wanting to stay and make things better. One of our biggest struggles about leaving Taiwan is that when my contract is finished Gemma will be kindergarten age. Are we willing to give up free private Christian school education for whatever situation may be waiting for her in the neighborhood we end up living in? But do we want her to grow up in a bubble? Not really. I hope your meeting with the teacher goes well.

  2. It is such a tough issue. When our child comes home from Ethiopia, we will soon be faced with a similar issue. We are really integrated into the community, but also realize that African kids often face serious bullying and racism in the community. With the heavy challenge of adjustment already facing internationally adopted children, we’ve been encouraged to consider looking outside the community. Our hesitance is for the same reasons you share. In the end it looks like they will go outside the community, but we will work to integrate them in community centre activities locally. Praying for you guys as you navigate this!


  3. It is a tough call. We had a similar incident with Matthew at Caswell Hill last year. The incident happened after school. They told us they had little leverage on the bully because the bullying happened after hours. We had a meeting with the principal and he couldn’t even tell us where the kid lived or a phone number because of privacy laws. The only way we would have been able to do anything would be to call in the police.

    In the end the bullying did stop and we didn’t have to bring law enforcement but I was pretty dismayed at the set of options I had. There has to be a step in-between nothing and criminal prosecution.

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