My husband and I must be certifiably nuts!
Our two oldest daughters are 20 months apart in age. I knew when they were babies that they would be two years apart in school and be in High School at the same time (for two years). When we didn’t live in Flagstaff, we only had one public high school choice – given where we lived, we had to be good with it. Here in Flagstaff, that’s a completely different story.
…Always a (insert Mascot here)
Two years ago our oldest spent 9th grade at Flagstaff High School. She made this choice, not based on our address, but on friends and classes offered at FHS. I am OK with this. You see FHS is where I graduated from and “Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle!” However, she pulled out and spent the last year online, where she and I both learned that online school is NOT her cup of tea (yeah, this year should be loads of fun – I hope you read that dripping with sarcasm). It’s not really the best platform for any of my kids… but I digress… She’ll be back at Flag High this year.
Now our second daughter has made a personal and unique choice to attend Coconino High School this year. 😳 Um… O… K… She has friends there and classes that interest her, oh, and it’s where our kids “should” go. I think there is also a bit of an attitude where the younger one has always felt eclipsed by her sister. You know, the teachers in elementary school who already knew our family because of the oldest. This is an opportunity for her to move away from that sense or feeling. My husband would make the argument that his cousins are CHS grads and turned out fine. He also makes the argument that he drives a bus for both schools and doesn’t want to take sides.
I mentioned classes, but let me elaborate on that. I talked to a teacher once that specifically said that if you are going to choose a high school in Flagstaff (instead of merely going where your address dictates), you choose Flag for The Arts or for a more ‘classic’ education; you choose Coco for STEM! Our second got into Coco’s very difficult to get into CIT program. She’ll spend two years cramming three years’ worth of science and engineering classes into her head. We’re very proud! That’s not offered at FHS.
Why are we OK with this?
These two beautiful, young women are making what we feel are very adult choices in this respect. They each chose a school that can give them the best education that they deserve. Each choice fits their personality and interests. They are learning that they are in charge of how and what they learn. I love seeing this maturity in a 14 and 16-year-old. Now if we can keep this learning ‘to adult’ thing going HA…
A side note
Flagstaff and Coconino High Schools are not the only High School options in Flagstaff or even within FUSD (other schools include: Summit through FUSD, and charter’s FALA, NPA, and BASIS), if there is a school that seems to fit your child better, try for that one!
A Civil War
Unfortunately for our family, two high schools create a conundrum. When (if…) big “cross-town/ rival” games come up, which do we root for? I have enjoyed rooting for FHS because, as I said before, that’s where I went. But can I still do that? And if my husband roots for CHS, because his cousins went there, will that be seen as a slight? Do we switch sides at half-time, do we stand in the end-zone or the edge of a court? Will our daughters use these choices as “proof” of which one is the “favorite?” (We tell them they are loved equally, but they refuse to believe this). If you see me at a game looking lost and confused, you know why. These questions may never get a good answer.
So we have a weird sort of civil war in our house, and ya, we all might just be a bit crazy. (Or should I wait for that designation for when I have four kids in four different FUSD schools? Yikes!) But we just want the best for our kids and I suppose as long as our children are able to grow up to be happy and the strong women they show themselves capable of, then all will be well with our little world.