Kindergarten Graduacion

2021 May 13
by Jennifer

Today Hallie graduated from Kindergarten at The Spanish Academy.  Those of you following the plot line will note that this was not where she started kindergarten.  She started the year in a fully virtual, pandemic public school Spanish language immersion program.  Before noon on the first day of that nightmare, I had called every kindergarten in the tri-state area that was meeting in person, begging for a spot.  My first choice was naturally The Spanish Academy, but unfortunately there was no room for her there or anywhere. If there had been an open spot in the Russian Academy, the Poker Academy, HVAC trade school, or even some sort of accredited bartending program that was accepting 5-year-olds and meeting face-to-face, I would have jumped on it.  But alas, nowhere was accepting new students.

Weeks went by, and the virtual kindergarten prison became a daily source of frustration and sadness for both parent and student. For a five-year-old who has (adorable glasses due to very real) vision issues, cannot read, and doesn’t know how to operate an iPad, it was a losing battle not even worth the fight.  And there was no clear end in sight as APS kept pushing back their in-person start date.  The only way to ensure my daughter actually learned something, and more importantly, to prevent my looming nervous breakdown, was to get my kindergartner out of the house.

I set my sights on The Spanish Academy and via an aggressive phone and email campaign, continuously asked begged them to pleeeease make room for one more.

One day in late October, I finally got the call.  “Good news! We have a spot for Hallie.  When would you like her start?”

“I can have her there in about 12 minutes.  Does that work?”

She started the following Monday.

Today, she graduated!

I am SO proud of Hallie’s ability to roll with the punches this year.  She joined TSA mid-fall, in a class that had been together and speaking Spanish since preschool.  She made friends easily.  On her first day, she knew only one Spanish word: quesadilla.  Now her comprehension and accent are truly impressive.  I am confident that I could drop her off in Guadalajara and she’d be able to order a meal, ask to go the bathroom, count to 100, dazzle the locals with Spanish song and dance, and hopefully find her way back home.

Because of this wonderful school, Hallie had an awesome school year. And! I was able maintain a loose grip on my sanity.  Worth celebrating, for sure.

Felicidades graduada!


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