Trying something new for Charlie after the new year.

So Charlie’s still saying she hates school every day, so this Thursday we’re taking her to “The International School of Siena”. It’s a private school about 20m by taxi away and she’s going to spend the day Thursday. If she likes it she’ll go back for half a day on Friday. It’s a lot like Hilltown, but with *tiny* classrooms (8-10 students per class). The school is great (both in terms of atmosphere and also architecture which is amazing with painted ceilings and walls), but her classroom is actually dingy and seemed low energy when we were there.

The principal is great. Every student needs an iPad to do coursework, but the programs are student driven. Because they get students who come in for 2-6 months from all around the world (they’re about 50% Italian and 50% international) they’re used to doing common assessments and focusing learning on what the students don’t know. It’s “inquiry based”… and not in the way that US schools pretend to be, but more like “let’s committee decide everything to death”…

(shit is my bias showing… lol).

Seriously though they have some sound philosophies. For example the walls are COMPLETELY covered with kids work. Everything from “what they want to learn this year” to what every human needs (clean water. respect. clothes they feel good about.).

I think it’s a place where she can make friends more easily. I think she’ll love the school and the education and the fact that she’ll be in English language classes for most of the day and in a small group of 4 people when it’s time to learn Italian. I think she’ll like the longer recess and maybe even the longer school day. I think she’ll love that the Friday is a half-day and everyone’s bringing in a game they want to play and that they have hulla-hoops instead of basketballs for PE.

If she likes it we’ll start her there after the new year. It’s not cheep (will probably cost us about $12k including transportation and uniforms), and if she goes I’m guessing Ian might want to join, and maybe Max, so we’ll try to negotiate a group rate (maybe waving the admissions fee of $2k per student?)… we’ll also save on transportation if we cram 3 kids into the same taxi. If we can pull these off it will *only* cost us $24k for the rest of the year… which his friggin’ expensive, but it’s an experience so we’re considering it.

We’ll see how it goes!