April 16, 2010
Planning for high school was so much different than middle school. In middle school, the focus for William was trying to determine what will work best for his needs. Whereas, in high school, William now had the opportunity to find out what he would like to do! He now had the opportunity to enroll in a variety of exciting classes such as Japanese, art, and/or computers. At the start of his freshman year, we planned that William would pursue the Standard Diploma option rather than a Certificate of Completion. Kellam High, here we come!
Presently, William is nearing the end of his sophomore year at Kellam High. Since William’s first day of high school, his experience has been superb! As the “proud mother”, I would like to boast about his accomplishments so far. I am thrilled to shared with you that William is one of just 90 students at Kellam High to be in the 600 Club his freshman year. To be eligible for the 600 Club, a student must have a perfect score on one of their SOL tests. William scored a 600 in history! And, throughout his high school career, William has maintained his Honor Roll status.
William was on track for an Advanced Diploma, having taken three years of Japanese. However, this changed and I’ll explain why. William and I attended the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) open house during his freshman year. As a result of this visit to the ATC, William fell in love with the school and enthusiastically said to me, “I want to go there Mom!” I wasn’t sure how to make that happen. Once again, William taught me a lesson! He had in his possession an ATC application just before the winter holiday break. He filled it out, on his own, and handed it in on his first day back to school. After talking with some folks, I realized we needed to do more in order to apply to the ATC. This “more” included writing an essay. Yep, I was thinking, I better step in and help.
My son diligently worked on the essay requirement for admission to the ATC. The day I submitted his ATC application to his guidance counselor, I received an e-mail message notifying me that William had been accepted early decision into the ATC’s Modeling and Simulation program!!! Now, he had to choose: drop Japanese and lose the Advanced Diploma option, or take classes over the summer. Since he is interested in volunteering at an animal shelter over the summer, William opted to drop Japanese and the Advanced Diploma option.
Isn’t this what every parent wants? A child, now a young adult, who has choices to make and the ability to make the ones that work best for them? It has been a long, fascinating, trying, scary, joyful road so far. And, when I look back, I am amazed at how far we both have traveled. I have gone from a hovering, worried, “watch out for that one” mom, to a “let’s talk about it and see where you can go from here” one. O.K., I have to admit, I still hover sometimes. William has gone from a scared, overwhelmed, crying 3-year-old, to a radiant, happy — just watch him skip down the halls — successful young man who I am proud to call “My William.”
Thank you for allowing me to share with you my journey with William and Virginia Beach City Public Schools! This blog and my journey have been an absolute labor of love.