My oldest boy is now in first grade at Bret Harte Elementary and I thought, “Why have I not written about my this before?” We have had such a wonderful experience through kindergarten and now first grade, despite the trepidation some feel about sending their kids to this school.
When my wife and I first began talking to people in our neighborhood (Curtis Park) about the school, there was a general, funky vibe. No one really had anything specific or negative to say about the school, but communicated that it had a poor reputation. We were left scratching our heads, wondering why the nervous responses. Was it due to the socioeconomic differences in the school’s population? (Oh yeah, this school is diverse, which we celebrate.) We never really came to a definite conclusion, except these were families that did not attend Bret Harte. We then met a neighbor whose kids attended the school and who was highly involved – we got the straight scoop… They absolutely loved it and had a great experience! Another neighbor with children similar ages as ours came on strong during a neighborly chat about how Bret Harte should be the best school, and most supported, with the highest parent participation, since it is located in Curtis Park! She was wound up and spoke with conviction about how we should be the ones to instigate change and step up to the plate, and Curtis Park parents should stop shipping there kids out of the neighborhood, etc. Little did she know that we would take the baton and run with it.
It’s funny to look back. My wife had some reluctance to be a part of the PTA, knowing that they are infamous for latching onto warm bodies with an ounce of motivation (give them some brains and leadership skills and they are beside themselves). My wife is now the secretary of the Bret Harte PTA and putting great effort into helping fill in some big voids. We also recently volunteered to write the back page of our neighborhood newspaper, Viewpoint, which covers Bret Harte news. Stay tuned for some positive and in-the-trench perspectives on this blog and in the monthly Viewpoint.
Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker