July 28 – This Is Sparta Kickoff

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I have driven from my office in Woodstock to Gigi’s school in Smyrna in a full-on panic probably 100 times since Gigi started freshmen year. Most school functions are during the school day or right when it ends, and I feel like I’m constantly racing the clock. All working moms feel the pull of work and family. Mine just happens to manifest itself on 75 South.

This time I was racing to get to the Sparta Kickoff – my last one! Campbell hosts this event a few days before the school year kicks off. It gives parents an opportunity to sign up for PTA, pay class dues, buy a yearbook and pay for a parking pass. Students can also pick up their schedules.

I was supposed to get there at 2, made it by 3, and was able to wrap up all the paying in about 15 minutes. Because I was late, and because most seniors can drive themselvesĀ  and pick up their own schedules, I didn’t see many moms. I didn’t even see Gigi. She had driven herself down, volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity table, picked up her schedule, and headed out for a picnic with a friend.

But being solo gave me an opportunity to walk the halls and take in Campbell High School for a few minutes. Campbell is in Smyrna, Georgia and home to Cobb County’s International Baccalaureate program. Cobb County has located most of its magnet programs in schools that have traditionally struggled with performance. For example, Campbell has a graduation rate of about 80%. Schools in East Cobb where we live have a graduation rate over 95%.

It is also quite diverse. The student population is about 85% minority. This causes some parents in East Cobb to pause when considering sending their kids to Campbell. It is actually one of its greatest strengths. Gigi has discovered that there are kids that don’t get a new car for their birthday, but rather have to contribute to their family’s household income. She has learned that there is more than one way to approach an issue, and that most kids, no matter what their color or socioeconomic background, just want to do well.

Sigh… I’m going to miss Campbell so much! I won’t miss the white-knuckle car ride from my office, though. That can suck it.

 

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