I felt guilty on my tour of Christel House

Access to High-Quality Schools, Parent & Family Engagement | 01/27/2020

DeVetrica Quinn
Stand Indiana Fellow

I toured Christel House Academy South because I was hearing great things about this public school and the results it is getting for students. As I walked around and saw engaged students, colorful walls showcasing their learning, a real cafeteria that still made food like I remember as a child, and a kind, nurturing environment – I felt guilty.

By not knowing my neighborhood school was missing so many classes and extracurricular activities, I felt I had let my children down.

It was impossible not to compare my children’s school to this one. My children’s school lacks art classes, a media specialist and music class. This public school was offering professional music lessons to children for $1, taking kids on camping trips, and teaching them how to present themselves to adults and to the world. I noticed the big emphasis the public school placed on parent involvement and realized that some schools are better at welcoming parents. I routinely call my children’s current school and offer to volunteer, and while they let me, they never reach out and ask for help. My child’s school doesn’t emphasize parent involvement and the role it plays in our children’s education the way Christel House does.

Grade by grade, classroom by classroom, I was more and more impressed. I was greeted by a student at each door who shook my hand and told me what they were learning about in class that day. From grade school to high school, each child was articulate and confident enough to explain to an adult what they were learning.

As a parent, are you noticing gaps in your child’s education? Are your dreams and aspirations for your kid being met by your child’s school? Tell your story today.   

Touring Christel House, I eventually didn’t just feel guilt; I felt hope. As I strolled through the public school with my one-year-old, I knew I could make changes for all my children, especially now that I know there are models that are serving all children with greatness.

I sent my children to their neighborhood school because I was told that is what I should do. I didn’t know this caliber of a public school was an option, but after visiting Christel House, I can’t help but think there are things being accomplished there that could be done in my own neighborhood school. 

I shouldn’t have to worry about the public school that is in my neighborhood. All schools should be great. Race or income shouldn’t determine whether our kids are getting a great education. Let me know what kind of education you think your kids are receiving and why you think that by sharing your story


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