Foster City has three schools: A, B and C. Their names aren't important, and they're all apparently good schools by California "standards" which means our kids will have superior academic opportunities in the state that ranks 47th in the country in a nation that itself ranks near last among industrial countries. Our preferred school A was full, as was our neighborhood school B where we were "guaranteed" admission when we signed our mortgage papers seven years ago and had taken solace in the fact that at least we'd bought into a good elementary school. The series of events had led us to do some research on a new home so that Zoe wouldn't meet the same fate, that is till Thursday night.
Our answering machine indicated that a spot at school A had opened up and we had 24 hours to respond. My heart went out to the other families who might have been on vacation or forgot to check messages that day, but we jumped at the chance and were grateful that everything worked out.
Below is a picture of school B, which is frankly representative of all the schools in Foster City. What you see is the entire soccer field and more than half of the playground being prepared for the addition of a large number of "temporary" portable classrooms. This next year, there will be 82 kids/acre in our schools with that number exceeding 100 in 2011. That's more than double what it was when we went to school. Every parent knows that if you cram that many kids into a small space, than you're asking for trouble. If I was on the school board, I'd leave that construction fence up as an additional defensive measure for the neighborhood.
Below is Aidan testing out the equipment at school A. We wanted to get him comfortable with his new school, especially since it starts in two months. Yeah, our childcare expenditures will be halved!!!
Technical Photography Note: Both pictures are taken in high contrast situations, meaning the lighting has a dynamic range higher than what your camera's sensor and default exposure meeting are prepared to handle. There's two way to address this. In the first picture taken with a cheap fisheve lens, the exposure is bracketed meaning three photographs were taken: one underexposed so the sun isn't blown out, one overexposed to show the shadow detail and the last "just right" to blend it all together. The second photograph of our heroic pre-schooler had to be done as a single exposure since there's no way to easily combine three action exposures. Fortunately, the sun is behind us so the image was overexposed by one stop which was enough to expose most of the shadows without turning the sky to white. The photographs involved using three photo editing softwares and is beyond the scope of this post, but I'd be happy to write it up separately if there's interest.