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15 Days Until Design39Campus Opens

A Mother’s Diary

I cannot believe it is August 1st, 2014, and Design39Campus (yes, it’s intentionally all one word) (“D39C”) will be opening its doors in just 15 days. It seems like just yesterday that a sign was posted on a very large vacant lot that said “Future Poway School K-8.” Since then, I’ve attended meetings, read as much as I could get my hands on, sat in on a K-2 mathematics brainstorming session coordinated by the school with my then first grader, read through the hundreds of comments posted about the lottery process, and spoken with several teachers and staff members of the school.

Design39-STEAM-Michelle-and-sonWe were so very fortunate to be selected to attend D39C the first year it opened; of the over 1200 students who applied in 4S Ranch (CFD (mello-roos tax district #6), only approximately 223 were randomly selected through the lottery. We know what is feels like not to get into a school you really want to attend; in 2012 my then kindergartener did not get into our own zoned school (Monterey Ridge Elementary School). Monterey Ridge was so impacted that we were sent to Stone Ranch Elementary School for two weeks before we received the happy news that a spot opened up. I learned so many lessons from that experience.

At the time, I was nine months pregnant and very anxious about the change from a small, loving preschool to a very large elementary school. The last thing I wanted was not to be at our own neighborhood school, despite living in the area since 2006, and then to change teachers after only a few days. However, our son Ethan met a few great friends in the short time he was at Stone Ranch, we learned how two different schools in the Poway school system operate, and we were happy with our experience at Stone Ranch.

Ethan was placed in Mrs. Kasner’s class at Monterey Ridge when a space opened up for him. She is an incredible teacher; she goes above and beyond what is required, and I am forever grateful for her dedication to her profession. Fast forward two years later, and we just learned that our kindergartenerm Jordan, will also have the pleasure of being taught by Mrs. Kasner, but this time at Design39Campus!

Filming in Mrs Kasner's classroom_May 2016Design39Campus does everything differently; kids do not just have one teacher, but Mrs. Kasner is going to be Jordan’s LED (or learning experience designer) in his pod, or group of classrooms in similar grades in the same building where students learn from each of the teachers. (More on their vocabulary here!) If Ethan had not been wait listed at Monterey Ridge, he very likely would not have been in Mrs. Kasner’s class; there is a silver lining in any situation if you have the patience to let it become apparent.

For anyone who chooses to read our blog posts related to Design39Campus, we want to give a first-hand experience of what this school is like, for those thinking about applying in the future. I know the lottery process ignited a lot of debate. If you did not get in, please know that we feel truly fortunate to allow our kids to attend, we empathize with those who did not get in, and we want to use the fact that we were one of the 20% of 4S Ranch applicants chosen to attend the school to give back through volunteering and through our D39C Donation program.

One of the aspects I have loved most about Design39Campus from the very beginning is their abundant communication and their transparency. I have heard a couple of people comment that they do not want to receive all of the communication they are getting from the principal, however I love it. Whenever I have asked questions or spoken with staff members, it seems they value my opinion and want the parents to be a part of designing different aspects of the school. I love all of the updates they send; it makes me feel a part of the process.

We also want to be transparent in saying that, as part of the Kolker Real Estate Group, we sponsored the opening event at the school, Experience 39, which will take place on August 13th, with a Sterling sponsorship. The Sterling Sponsorship puts our name on banners at school events, in the Welcome Center (office), and on the school’s website. We did this because we truly believe in this school.

kolker-boundaries-matter-map-watermarkedWe want to help current and future families who wish to attend Design39Campus find eligible homes within the 7 separate tax districts. This blog is intended to serve as a place you can come to anytime, for honest feedback about the school. We want someone attending Monterey Ridge, Stone Ranch, Del Sur, Willow Grove, or any of the number of Montessori or private schools in the surrounding areas to have a real life perspective if they apply and are deciding whether to commit to Design39Campus, even if they have no plans on moving.

We have two children who go to Design39Campus, and we want the best experience for them possible. If there is something we don’t love, we will post it. So far we have only positive things to say about the school and we hope it stays that way, though we are also realistic in knowing that of course there will be issues that pop up. We are excited to see how this school responds when they do.

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