Tuesday, October 07, 2008


One week into her new nursery school year at Xip Xap (which she started two weeks late), we received a call from city hall saying that a place had opened up at the municipal nursery school we had applied to get Lily into back in the Spring. We hadn't gotten a place in the lottery back then but were next on the waiting list, and someone had just dropped out. All anyone can say now is how lucky we are and that such things never happen.

We had to weigh our options:
- Lily was comfortable at Xip Xap, had already started there and was into the groove of things.
- Xip Xap's director and teachers were all nice and liked Lily and she liked them.
- The municipal school was gorgeous, has larger classrooms and a huge play area in the school courtyard.
- The cost to send a child full-time with all meals included to the municipal school cost only slightly more than what we were paying to send Lily mornings only with no food included.
- The municipal school allows parents to drop kids off and pick up whenever they want BUT requires a 5-hour minimum stay a day (Lily only went 3.5 at Xip Xap).

After meeting with the municipal school director, the choice was pretty clear: send here there, to Guinbó (that's the name of the school; it's pronounced geen-bó, with a hard g). So the next day we took Lily, after a morning at Xip Xap, to Guinbó for a meeting with her new teacher. Actually, Oli and I spoke to the teacher while Lily took full advantage of the other kids being asleep to take over the playground. She was joined by Oli shortly thereafter.

We really love the school facilities: the classroom is huge and well equipped, the playground is lovely, and there's a large glass rotunda that doubles as a gym area and overlooks a pond. The head teacher Enriqueta (Henrietta) is also lovely. I want her to be my teacher. She's so calm and, well, just lovely. There's also a younger girl Sonia who's doing her teacher training, and even though she's no Enriqueta (who is?), I'm happy to have her in Lil's classroom.  A final positive is that the curriculum they do with the kids will lead up to what they will start with in real school next year at age 3. This is a benefit, in addition to Lily simply being around Catalan, but I'm not really bothered since the girl is only 2-and-a-half and curriculum is not really a major concern of mine at this point. But, we'll certainly take it since it's part of the deal.

Today marks Day 3 of her time at Guinbó. We're easing her into a schedule of 9-3 (they eat at 12:00 and nap from 1-3 and I didn't want to interrupt that, so she'll be going 6 hours in the end!!!) On Day 1 I went in as playtime was ending, so all the kids in her age group were running about. I spied her hogging a swing and checking out all the other kids from that vantage point. Since she did well on Day 1, Enriqueta and I decided to have her stay through lunch yesterday. She was psyched about this since on Monday as we left we watched the lunch ladies wheeling the carts of little glasses and plates into the classroom. She did well, and as we left she watched the kids taking their little mattresses out of the cupboard, and asked where hers was. Thus, today we brought her sheets and she's going to take a stab at staying the whole time. 

View of our local park from behind our building. The school is the orange and blue building at the back.

More of our park, the chiringuito/cafe and the school at the back.

The front of the school. You can see the glass rotunda and the lake that is usually full of water and ducks but hasn't been since the water restrictions went into effect in the Spring.

The lovely school courtyard.

Lily after her second day. She's all greasy and smells like children.

1 comment:

Maiasaura said...

wow, lily's school sounds and looks amazing. six hours! i wouldn't know what to do with myself. oh, wait, yes i would: tv/internets.