Katie e1547148802813

School Touring: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

When I came to Waverly for the first time five years ago, it was the last prospec­tive school on my long tour list. I didn’t know what to call what I was looking for exactly at these highly varied campuses for my two daugh­ters, so I toured as many schools as I could. It was quickly clear there were differ­ent educa­tional philoso­phies to under­stand and to gather as much of this data as possi­ble to make a perfect deci­sion.” I’ll admit I was tired by the time I toured Waverly. My mind was laden with the details of the other schools but I was deter­mined to compare and contrast to the utmost degree, of course!

Looking for parking before the Waverly tour under­mined my enthu­si­asm. Upon approach via the side­walk, the build­ing itself made me pause: was it orig­i­nally like an office or some­thing? Wonder­ful Vella greet­ing me at the front desk put me at ease but I became perturbed during the walk to the commu­nity room, was this fluo­res­cent light­ing in the halls? In the commu­nity room too? Wait, was this a commer­cial drop ceiling? I sipped the free coffee (deli­cious, thank you) feeling unset­tled. I was not sure what to make of the surroundings.

All this to say, I left that day knowing we would absolutely apply and that the light­ing was a sign that Waverly was the DIY-esque school I didn’t know I was hoping to find.

Every year since that tour, the Waverly elemen­tary school has improved. The art room has doubled, the play­ground reno­vated, new staff offices built out of seem­ingly nega­tive spaces (!), the library re-arranged and the collec­tion completely revamped and cata­loged, class­rooms re-imag­ined, shared spaces made more effi­cient, and the list goes on. The school gleans what works and what it needs from year to year. It is evolv­ing. It is not a turn-key school and thank heavens for it! The me” of five years ago would be confused by this state­ment. Yes, the fluo­res­cent lights still shine down upon us but just wait and see.

Katie Taylor
Mother of Johana (2nd) and Camille (4th)