Old School15 Apr 2010
Last year I mentioned the upcoming choice of a secondary school for our son after the fourth grade... well, now the fourth grade is nearly over, and the decision has been made. It was a choice that 3 months ago we hadn't even considered.
Our state of Lower Saxony still splits into the 3 traditional secondary systems, for simplicity the upper, middle, and lower tracks. We've been told since 3rd grade that our son could expect a recommendation for the upper Gymnasium track, and with the mid-term grades in February, that's what he got.
We had resigned ourselves to choosing between two local public Gymnasiums. We attended open houses at both, and most of our fears were confirmed. The events were loud and chaotic. The teachers sometimes didn't know their students' names. The class sizes are well over 30. The school day ends at 1 pm, with a full load of homework for the afternoon.
However, we noticed a brochure for a private Gymnasium near Lüneburg. It had been recommended to us before, but we had forgotten about it. We went for a visit and were impressed. Day-long school with time to do homework at school. Individual attention from teachers. A motto of "knowledge wants to be learned". Total school size 350 students. Class size maximum 24. No trace of elitism.
There are just two disadvantages. One is the cost, but we can deal with that. The other is the distance, over 45 km. However, interested parents in the next town have organized a bus service. Departure 7:30am, travel time 45 minutes, return at 4:30pm.
We made our decision, and received the papers to sign today. A small step for the next 8 years.
(For now I won't be naming the school here... it's time to start respecting our son's privacy. It can easily be googled from the details I've given.)