Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Note From Aline

Notes from the mom of a teenager: Getting a license
Most American kids are eager to get their driver’s license. My son James turned 16 on October 3, and by October 19 he had his Learner’s Permit. This means he studied the Driver’s Manual, walked to the Department of Motor Vehicles where he passed a test (he had to take it twice, $30 fee each time) on the content of the Driver’s Manual (156 pages), and took a vision test. He needed parental consent, proof of his date of birth, and his social security card. He was organized enough and motivated enough to have all this stuff with him. Now he could start learning how to drive.
The book from the Registry of Motor Vehicles on how to obtain a driver’s license is 44 pages. James enrolled in a driver’s ed class ($375), which is another way to learn what you have to do to get a license. He chose the intensive course held over winter break. As a parent, I am required to go to a three-hour class (included in the cost of the course). James’s dad and I must log forty hours in the car with James at the wheel, and James logs 12 hours with a trained driving instructor and six hours sitting in the back of a car driven by a student driver, as an observer before he can take his road test.
Not sooner than six months from when he gets his permit, James takes his road test ($20) with a police officer. Then, if he passes his road test, and gets his driver’s license ($50), he may drive only in daylight hours and not with anyone under 18 who is not in his family for the next six months, unless a parent is with him.
The driver’s education makes our auto insurance less expensive, which is good because males between the ages of 16 and 34 have the very highest insurance rates as drivers. If James has a B average in school, we get an additional discount. (Who has time to drive if studying to get a B average?)
I am grateful for the hoops a 16-year-old has to jump through before granting him a license to drive a car, even if he is not.
On the other hand, I am not so impressed with what James would have to do to use or buy a gun. So, with help from Sheila, we found what we needed to know, (but had no intention of doing):
At age 15, he could have gotten parental consent and taken a one-time four-hour firearms safety course ($95). To the local police department he could have brought the certificate from the safety course, an application, and $25 (the fee for 15-17 year olds). The police would have fingerprinted him and done a background check using the information on the application. In two to six weeks, he would have gotten his Firearms Identification Card (FID). The FID permits him to “purchase, possess and carry any non-large capacity rifle, shotgun and ammunition.” In Massachusetts at age 21 he could then apply for Class A LTC (License to Carry), which is the same as the FID plus the ability to purchase, possess and carry a semi-automatic handgun or rifle that is capable of accepting more than ten rounds, a shotgun capable of accepting more than five shotgun shells, and/or an
assault weapon. As far as I can tell, no additional safety course is necessary for the Class A LTC, however there is an additional fee of $100.

Here comes the Sun...Solar power @ LMS

We are now officially connected! The solar panels on both the Elementary building and #10 Lawrence Lane are now producing power.
The 187 panels will produce an estimated 80,000 kilowatt hours annually. This equals approximately 43% of the combined electric usage for all four of our campus buildings. 



Check it Out 

Signed Re-Enrollment contracts and deposits for 2013 - 2014 are due back to LMS on February 8th!
Winter Potluck/Parent Education Event -
February 23rd from 5:30 - 8:00pm:
Peggy McIntosh, our guest for the evening, says that "LMS is years ahead of many schools in its commitments to diversity and its achievements. It has been working for years to offer more inclusive education than most schools..." 
McIntosh, a Montessori parent herself will lead several experiential exercises that allow us to talk briefly about some of our own experiences of power and how subtle power dynamics impact the lives of our children in and outside of school. What can we as parents do to support children in an inequitable world?
Please join us for a potluck dinner followed by Dr. McIntosh's presentation.
To register for childcare - please contact Kim McDonald

Spotlight on ...Congratulations to LMS Middle School 2013 Scholastic Writing Award Winners

Five LMS middle school students collected ten awards combined from the Scholastic Writing Awards - 3 Honorable Mention, 3 Silver Keys, and 2 Gold Keys. The Gold Keys will go on to national judging, to be eligible for scholarship awards. 
Congratulations to Alex, Charlotte, Kuk, Max, and Will!


See What's Coming Up

Calendar @ LMS 

Lexington Montessori School | 130 Pleasant Street | Lexington, MA 02421 | 781.862.8571