A wonderful thing happened today - Madisen, Cole Ryan and Austin went to school and they liked it!! Madisen and Cole's Armenian public school is about a 5 minute walk from our house. It is called "Orbelli" and after the shocked looks from the assistant principal and other administrators, they agreed to admit M & CR. Apparently, not many international children go to Armenian public schools despite the fact that Armenia has a very high literacy rate. Madisen and Cole Ryan were nervous this morning, but once we arrived, they were great.
Cole's class looks like a kindergarten/1st grade class - very cheerful colors on the walls, chalkboard, and two person tables. The teacher seemed very nice, but didn't speak a lick of English. Cole took his seat next to a little boy.
Madisen's first teacher speaks English and she arrived in an English class. Her classmates know some English, but don't seem exactly conversant yet.
I saw both of them after their school day and they were pretty happy. Cole did say he didn't understand a word, but he sure was more attentive during his language lessons with Armena! She was teaching them Russian, but has switched to Armenian so they have some hope of talking to other children at school. They are learning the alphabet and starting with some phrases. She was very helpful at the school - she told the other children about Madisen and Cole and made their day easier.
The school day is shorter than at home - Madisen gets out at 1.30; CR around 11.30. The building is a big concrete building that looks like it was built by the Soviets. Concrete floors, guards on the inside (not sure why since we are in a safe neighborhood, but supposedly they help kids cross the street - a major safety hazzard), and drab interior wall colors. They have decorated the halls with some student art work, but they need some more color. When classes change, kids scream down the hall. Madisen said they played tag in between classes.
Austin remains very happy with his pre-school. He was disappointed that he couldn't go on Saturday or Sunday.