Clara will need to attend kindergarten starting Fall 2012. We live in Baltimore city. We makes heaps and heaps of money, but have heaps and heaps of debt too, so, you know, we're doing fine but aren't, for example, fixing the wrongly plumbed bathrooms or re-grading the back-yard after the sewer replacement five years ago. School's gonna need to be free, or as close to it as possible.
The school we are zoned for is Waverly Elementary. This morning's dog walk featured a detour to their playground (from which one can see the back of the school quite clearly as one is right next to it) and prompts the following observations:
-Parents dropping kids off at daycare? Very friendly. (Plus)
-Daycare's windows featuring spray-painted lettering on the inside of the building. (Minus)
-Side of building features a mural which says "The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." Correctly attributed to Aristotle (Plus) but ominously punitive-sounding (Minus).
-Playground has elaborate equipment and that rubbery flooring that seems ubiquitous these days (Plus).
-Playground also features broken glass, bits of garbage, lids to soda bottles, miscellaneous scraps of paper and unidentifiable crap (Minus).
-Playground also clearly set on fire at some point as some of the molded plastic is melted into Gaudi-esque formations and handles on some plastic things have been broken off leaving hard plastic protrusions (Minus).
-Next to playground is a bush under which is a vast rat warren (Minus).
But the parents were nice. But but but. That's not enough.