When we moved to CA in 2015, we had an 11th grader and a 7th grader. We looked for, and ultimately bought, a house in walking distance to the local high school because we figured we’d get six good years of walking to school at that location, 2 years for the older teen, 4 years for the younger once he got to high school.
That part of the plan worked out pretty well, with our older daughter getting herself on foot to school every day and getting a little exercise in the morning. But for the first week of the first school year, our middle schooler was sent all the way across town to a different school than the one our house was assigned to, because, we were told, our neighborhood school was full. He was put on a wait list for that neighborhood school, which he got into after a week, and we switched back again.
Since moving to the closer school, we haven’t seen much at all of our son’s first California school in the past year and a half. But this week, geocaching took me and my husband there. The cache was hidden along a creek bed, which was fenced off and unreachable from the other side. When we looked across the creek, we realized we had an interesting “back door” view of the school grounds.
As a native East Coaster who attended school in Western New York State, I admit I am still not used to California school architecture. I’m used to big enclosed brick buildings with lots of corridors and windows to keep out the snow; buildings that you go into in the morning and don’t come out of again until you go home. Not only can you never leave school buildings in the Northeast, you can’t even check out any time you like!
But California schools have a plethora of separate buildings and the students walk between them to get to their classes. It’s a nice idea, but to me some of these little buildings look more like garden sheds than institutions of higher learning. Since it never rains here anyway, it doesn’t matter if they have to go outside, right? They have plenty of time to get from one little hut to the next.
It’s also sometimes hard to tell the doors from the windows. I mean, these to the left are the front entrance doors! (And some of the window-looking things in the featured photo are doors too). I’m not sure I would know where/how to go in.
But really, I’m just being cranky. These CA schools have some of the nicest art work on their buildings too.
This mural around these doors says to me that this is a school that really cares about its students. We like our neighborhood school too, but it would have been ok if our son had had to stay here.