Saturday, September 13, 2008

First Day of School

The kids started school last Sunday. Since the weekend here is Friday and Saturday, school and the work week starts on Sunday. The kids go to the American School of Kuwait which has close ties with the US embassy. It is a private school that teaches K through high school. The one nice thing about the school is that there is a uniform.

Do these look familiar?

The school started on September 7th, but enrollment was not assured. The kids had to be tested first. Testing took place on the previous Sunday. The kids took the tests, went home and waited for results. We really wanted the kids to get accepted as the other good school on our list had already started classes. Tuesday afternoon we received the good news that kids were accepted.

Now we need supplies....

It was a such a headache getting school supplies for the kids. It was a mad rush as parents rushed to get everything their kids needed. The most frustrating part was the nearly endless list of items that Deanna had to find. This was complicated by things on the list we were unsure exactly what they were. The kids needed envelope folders and pocket folders. What are pocket folders? We went to the store and it was packed. Plus the items were not marked "envelope folders" and "pocket folders". Many parents simply guessing what was the closest item to the list. It was very democratic--if more than one parent agreed that a particular item was close enough to what was on the list, then everyone took it home and scratched off one item off the list.

The next thing to get was uniforms. This was another trial as most of the uniform selection had thinned as first day of school approached. We were at a huge disadvantage buying uniforms so late. Deanna was able to find shirts, but no pants for the boys. And then it was nigh impossible to find PE shorts. In fact, we did not finish getting the PE shorts until after school started.

Deanna drives the kids to school. There is a bus option, but the kids board the bus approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes before school starts. Deanna thought that was too early so she is driving them to work for now. One would think that dropping kids off would be a snap. Unfortunately, the roads near the school are so narrow that it takes a very long time to drop off/pick up the kids each day. The school was started in the 60's so there was not a large, empty piece of land to help it expand later on. Rather, it was hemmed in, unable to expand. I am sure there has been attempts to fix the problem, but nothing has met with success. I think the traffic problem is here to stay.

The kids take the normal school subjects plus the language instruction. By law the kids must take Arabic lessons. In addition the kids take Spanish as well. You see the school is 1/3 American, 1/2 Kuwaiti and 1/6 other. If a child is Arabic, they must take religion classes at the school. Those that are not muslim take Spanish instead. Thus they are taking English, Spanish, and Arabic lessons. I always wanted the kids to take Spanish lessons and now they are able to!!

Life is moving along, one step at a time.

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