My friend Leslie Kirk Campbell, a Miraloma parent and fabulous writer, has written an amazingly personal essay about her experiences at Miraloma, and the incredible things that happen when parents, teachers and a strong principal work together in a school community. An excerpt:
In those first two years at Miraloma, I volunteered in the classroom, initiated school-wide programs and attended countless meetings, but at the end of the day, I would go home and weep. There was no P.E. teacher and no librarian. Hardscrabble class management rarely seemed to result in an environment conducive to learning. The principal, a tall, large-boned woman, was constantly tilting down the hall like Mother Superior in the “Madeline” stories to quell some new trouble.
It is at this critical juncture, if not before, that many college-educated urbanites escape to the suburbs or hock everything they own to put their children in private schools. But there is another, crazier idea: stay. My husband and I had no desire to abandon the city we love or its diverse population. Together with parents like ourselves who had multiple skills and flexible work schedules, we dug in our heels. I kept my job but I chose to give up much of the rest of my life – a labor of love that may not be for everyone. I made a commitment to changing Miraloma into the school I wanted it to be, a school where my child – and every child – might flourish.
Leslie’s wonderful essay is here.