Wait-listed for public kindergarten: Really?

I was born and raised in New London. I have paid taxes as both a homeowner and business owner for almost 20 years. I have three children, ages 4 and under.

The past two years have been filled with discussions of our children's education. Our house has been on the market and off the market as we look for a home to raise our family. The reason: education.

We love New London. We love our neighborhood, our neighbors, the quick walk to the beach, the quick drive to work. We explored other options. We talked. We decided. We stayed.

Our oldest son will be 5 in the fall. I was unsure of the whole magnet school concept that New London has adopted so we started to look at our options. All of our options.

I took a tour of the Regional Multicultural Magnet School. I loved it. The vibe is good, the people are nice, and I received a great tour of the school.

We entered our son in the lottery with fingers crossed. I visit Nathan Hale School. I went there as a kid. I walked to school with my friends from the neighborhood.

It has been beautifully renovated and I even got a chance to talk to my kindergarten teacher about the school.

I visit St. Joseph's School in New London because that too is an option. I was brought up Catholic, and although I do not practice as an adult, nor did I think I would send my kids to Catholic school, I liked it. I talked to parents there, and they really like it a lot.

We entered our son in the lottery for the magnet school. He did not get in. We had to decide between St. Joe's and Nathan Hale.

Then a got a phone call from the New London Board of Education. I was informed our son did not get in to Nathan Hale. He did not get in to Winthrop or Jennings either, even though at one point or another I was told we did not have to apply to Winthrop or Jennings because of our proximity to Nathan Hale.

He is wait-listed for kindergarten. I am not even sure I want him to go there, but now I am mad! Wait-listed! What does this mean?

"Oh, he will get in somewhere," I was told. "By June 3 we will have an answer." Ha! I am mad!

My neighbor is also on the wait list for Nathan Hale. What is this all about? Applying for kindergarten? Who actually got in to Nathan Hale if the neighborhood kids who want to go there are getting wait-listed?

I sent a Facebook message to our mayor because it was quick and easy, and I was mad.

His reply, " I have no idea why those calls are made. I control city, not school operations."

Hmm. So I sent a Facebook message to Schools Superintendent Nicholas Fischer. I have not received a response yet.

I am upset with this whole process. Wait-listed for kindergarten! I am upset that, as a taxpayer in a city I grew up in, I get a phone call stating that my child has not yet been accepted to a public school.

And I am upset that as a business owner asking a simple question I get a snotty response. I'd have a better response for a greasy fritter!

Susan Eshenfelder Tierney owns Captain Scott's restaurant in New London.


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