Barely a week after the last day of the school year, it was time to register our son for his third and final year at the secondary level. We were given two sets of days to do the registering, July 21/22 and August 15/16. Over the years, experience has shown that when it comes to registration, most Mexicans choose the latest date possible, which creates lines out the wazoo. Thus, in order to beat the lines, we determined to get it done the earliest possible on the first date given.
To register, we needed to present:
*copy of the report card from the previous year
*two telephone numbers (house and cell)
*copy of proof of residence–recent
*evidence that the “voluntary” fee of $500 pesos had been paid
Not on the list, but also requested, copy of the IFE of a parent or guardian
Ok, well, we had a few problems with this list. First, we didn’t have a copy of the report card. I attended the final parent/teacher meeting the previous week and signed the report card, but as the director had yet to sign off on them, I wasn’t allowed to take it with me. Since my son was a student at the same school last year, apparently the office had a copy it, so we slid past that requirement.
Then there was the issue with the two phone numbers. We have no house phone, so it had to be two cell phone numbers. There were ok with that too.
Another issue was the proof of residence. Remember, our home in La Yacata does not have water, sewage or electricity, thus no bills to prove we live there. We presented our title certificate and a letter from the president of the association verifying that we live there. They always put up a big fuss when we present this, but in the end, they had to take it because we have no other proof of residence.
That $500 “voluntary” fee was brought up during the parent/teacher meeting. Most of the parents understand that it’s a necessary evil. However, they did want the powers that be to give an accounting of how the money was spent. In some schools, the fee pays for the water for the bathrooms or the electricity for the computer room. In others, it buys paint so that the classrooms can be painted over the summer or is used so that desks can be repaired. At this school, the supposed purchase was didactic material. It just seemed a little vague to most. So a formal request was made by the parents in my son’s classroom for a declaration from the school board, specifying what was purchased. I doubt we’ll see anything, though.
In previous years, we paid the fee at the school before getting in the registration line with the receipt. This year, we were given an account number at Bancomer to make the deposit. At the bank, we were not asked for any sort of identification, and no identifying name was written on the receipt. Whose to say that one receipt could not be used for multiple students? Guess that’s not my problem.
My husband is the “official” parent for this type of transaction because nobody seems to like my permanent residency card. We hadn’t made a copy of his ID because well, it wasn’t on the list. But they requested one. There is a papeleria (stationery store) across from the school, but their copier was out of order. So it required a quick trip to the farmacia (pharmacy) for a copy.
In return for this pile of papers, my son received a list of utilies (required school supplies) for the coming school year.
On the first day of school, he needed to bring:
*2 professional size notebooks, either lined or with big squares (like graph paper)
*6 lined professional size notebooks–lined
*1 pencil, eraser, and sharpener
*some pens in black, red and blue (doesn’t specify quantity so we decided one of each color would be good enough)
*1 glue stick, ruler and a pair of scissors
*1 Spanish language dictionary
*1 flute (actually a recorder)
*1 art book to be determined the first week of classes
*1 geometry set
*1 scientific calculator
The following materials will be turned into the office or teacher for use during the school year.
*1 broche baco (I had to look this up to see what it was. It’s a butterfly clip for documents.)
*3 plastic folders –legal size
*100 sheets of white printer paper
*20 sheets of various colored letter-size paper
*5 folders, color and size to be determined (We bought 5 letter size yellow folders and called it good.)
As the notebooks cost upwards of 40 pesos each and the scientific calculator doesn’t come cheap, it was quite a list. Plus, my son, at 14 is growing at a phenomenal rate. He needs a new gym uniform ($500 pesos) and a new daily uniform ($400 pesos) plus shoes for each outfit. The uniforms can only be purchased at a few retailers, and the prices are set. We ended up with 1 gym jacket and pants set, 2 gym shirts, 2 daily pants, 3 daily shirts and a sweater.
And we had a whopping 4 weeks to get everything together. We managed to get everything on the list except a new pair of dress shoes and the art book which has yet to be determined. Thank goodness for my new online teaching job!
The first day of school was August 22 this year and the school year is extended once again. We finish on the far-away date of July 18. Well, I’m mighty glad that this will be the last official school year. Once this is done, the sky’s the limit baby!