Cortney Booze and her grandmother were waiting together to find out if Cortney’s son had made it.
“I'm actually anxious. This feels like this decision is for my education rather so than his,” Booze said. “I'm nervous. Of course he doesn't understand but I think it will affect me more so than him”
What had Booze on edge was magnet school selection day for the Bibb County School District. Friday was the day when applicants to the three elementary magnets and the one middle school magnet would find out if they had a desk at their school of choice.
For Booze, this meant a slot in a kindergarten class at Alexander II Elementary. Alex II is one of seven blue ribbon schools in Georgia. Booze said Alex II was her only option.
“There's no plan B. I'm hoping, really praying on plan A.,” she said. “If he's not accepted, then I'm going to have to go elsewhere. And I don't have anywhere else to go.”
That is to say that she doesn’t find Matilda Hartley Elementary, the school she’s zoned for, a viable option.
When the process started at 10am, there were two other mothers waiting for news. As it got closer to 10:30 they had to get back to work. Cortney and her grandmother were the only people left to check the results when they were finally ready.
After walking up to the school board dais, she told Bertha Caldwell, the Alex II Principal, her son’s last name.
“B-U-R-K?” Caldwell asked.
“B-U-R-K-E,” Booze corrected.
“He was accepted,” Caldwell said.
Booze immediately began to cry. Caldwell explained there was still an interview to go before the slot was secure, but that did nothing to slow Booze’s relief.
“I've been on pins and needles since I did the application,” Booze said through tears back in her seat as her grandmother stroked her back.
“It's good,” her grandmother replied
All Cortney Booze could do in response was sigh.