My son (oldest of my 3 kids) is in 4th grade and has been going to his neighborhood Catholic school since he was 3 years old in their pre-school program. He loves his school and is a very social kid who is well liked by his classmates. One block away from his school (both are very close to our house) is a magnet school that is part of the public school system in our city (Chicago) that is very difficult to get into (due to a lottery - not as a result of testing in). I have applied to this magnet school every year since my son was 4 and entering kindergarten and every year I end up with a comically high spot on the waitlist. I have applied mostly to see if we would ever get in but wasn't really ever expecting it to happen. Flash forward until two weeks into the school year and I got an email yesterday that my son got into the magnet school and we have until Monday morning to decide whether to accept the offer. My son is absolutely devastated at the idea of leaving his friends and the school he calls his "happy place." However, his school is far inferior academically to the magnet school. His being at the magnet school would mean that both of his younger siblings could be pulled into the magnet school at the kindergarten level. However, the magnet school is part of the Chicago Public School system which has been a mess for the last two years (a month long strike before Covid; bitter union battles last year meaning they were closed pretty much until last month of school when they went hybrid). His Catholic school was in person all of last year without interruption. There is definitely a possibility that anything changing for the negative with Covid could mean he is back to remote learning.
I would feel terrible yanking my son out of a school where he is happy and content but I can't help but think that the better school might open up lots of doors for him. Also, my daughter just started the preschool program at his current Catholic school so this means we would now have a third drop-off in the morning (one to daycare, one to the Catholic school, and one to the magnet school) if we accepted until she could join at the magnet school this year. I'm scared about causing any more trauma to him after the last year and a half of Covid related trauma that we have all endured.
Tell me, hive, what would you do?!? I have this awful pit in my stomach in trying to make this decision.