5 Ways Kindergarten Enrollment Is Like a Job Interview

by Jenny Hansen

parentingI’m warning you, today I’m gonna get my rant on. It feels like I’ve been preparing for my kid to go to kindergarten for at least 4 months now.

Oh wait…I have!

What happened to the days when you just took in a piece of mail, filled out a form and sent your kid to the school in their district? Was that scenario just a figment of my imagination?

Why does this feel like a job interview? The kid doesn’t even start school till September and I’ve been doing this since January.

Let me know if you see the similarities here:

1. You must submit at least 3 forms of ID to the HR Department.

A driver’s license with your current address, a property tax bill, the kid’s birth certificate… And that’s to the district, which is only open for limited times three days a week. We aren’t even talking about the school yet.

Seriously, y’all? What if the family has just moved? Those poor people have to brave the DMV before their kid can go to school? It’s kindergarten, not a space mission.

2. Multiple interviews over several months.

I’ve done orientations for three public schools in my district – one is a magnet school, so that one was optional, but I’m in an area between two local elementary schools. Each orientation tells me about the same things, takes 90 minutes, is tightly regimented and leaves me wondering if this will be the final step.

3. Acceptance hinges on the medical report.

For adults, it’s a drug test; for kids it’s the vaccination report and doctor’s form. What’s all that stuff I heard about “the parent’s choice to vaccinate” the kid?

I’m a firm believer in vaccines, but I’m shocked at how involved this medical report is. Plus, you can’t get it covered via insurance until after the child has a birthday, so my neighbor is having to pay $80 to get it done early before all the kindergarten classes fill up and she’s stuck in the “overflow” classes.

4. Surveys and tests that make no sense.

I don’t know if you’ve ever done those employment tests where they have you manipulate shapes, do math problems that have no bearing on the job, and answer the same question 14 times: No really, I still won’t steal, whether it’s five bucks, five hundred, or five paper clips. Filling out kindergarten forms feels like that, and nobody shares information.

5. You’re pressured to agree to everything, just to get in.

Why yes, I will fundraise, join the PTA, run your computer lab… *comes up for air* 

Wha-a-a–? Really? I just want to send my kid to school. And I want her to like it, and learn a bunch of cool stuff and not get crushed by bullies. I’ll be volunteering as much as I’m able cuz that’s the way I roll, but these parent organizations come at you like pirahnas. It’s a little spooky.

Today is the doctor’s visit. Tomorrow is the 12 page questionairre (still not kidding). Maybe THEN we’ll be done, and the child can go to kindergarten. PLEASE? *whines* I’ve heard there’s a background check to walk on the field for Little League, so who knows what other joys await.

Please let me know what I have to look forward to. I’ve got 100 bottles of wine in this house, so bring it on. I’m ready.

Do any of you with kids remember it being this hard to enroll your kids in everyday activities? Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny


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About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2015 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me.

Photo credit: Robert S. Donovan – FlickrCC License 2.0

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