This blog serves as a vehicle to bring awareness to parents who are considering enrolling your child to Discovery Parent-Child Preschool on 1919 Gunston Way in San Jose, CA. It is also my intention to support all parents who have been through the Discovery system and have been discriminated by way of racial background or social class.
I was very excited to bring on my son and expose him to a social educated environment not knowing that the director Arlene Edminster lacked much social education herself. The first few weeks I covered a mom who left for China for 2 months and I was offended to hear Arlene confiding “mom gossip” about returning members to me and other mothers. I was not receptive of this conduct, though I remained quiet.
In December my husband’s mother died which took us 2,000 miles away from home with children in tow. Though I made this known to the executive board, no special accommodations or exceptions were made to help me through the process of any of it. Neither extensions in the craft committee I was in (despite that the school was closed) or my assigned day to work. I was reprimanded as a school child and issued two make-ups. I painted the kitchen cabinets for a half a day.
Later in the school year, Arlene pursued me like a bully on the playground at every possible chance. Openly yelling, blaming and creating unnecessary division within the group. I felt like a helpless victim, unsure in how to respond under the dictatorship. I was constantly stripped of any deserving respect or dignity. But for the sake of my child, I trudge through it.
At group meetings, I was rudely awakened to actions my son stubbornly did at school which landed him in time-outs. This was addressed with no consideration for my privacy in front of my peers.
Toward the end of the school year, I came in late as the “On-Call” person reported to Arlene. The executive board contacted me advising that they were aware of my “over an hour late” arrival and that I would have to complete 2 make-up assignments. Because this was a gross exaggeration, I phoned the On-Call person to see if this was what she had reported, to which she was shocked by the lack of truth in the report. Again, Arlene fabricating untruths to the Board as a way to build my dismissal-never mind my beloved child and his cherished friendships he had cultivated. And though I complained to the Board by the unfair treatment (yes, other parents got away with no-shows and were never reprimanded), I never had a shot as Arlene Edminster is the Director of the school program and has final say in ALL things.
When I received our dismissal letter for next year’s re-enrollment I was most offended by the various fabricated lies, level of dishonesty and unfairness. It was caddy, petty and a clear set up of many months in planning. Moreover, it was a politically united group effort from Cecie Boston, Allegra Gibbons, Brenda Petroni, Sally Starz and Arlene Edminster.
Parents, my experience was terrible at this school. I was discriminated, disrespected, lied to and thrown to the wayside. Though this is not the experience for everyone, I have been made aware of MANY other similar cases like mine.
For new parents: The work load is unbearable. I worked 10-12 hours a month in the craft committee cutting paper, gluing name tags with 2 deadlines and no breathing room whatsoever. Yes, there’s a reason why tuition is affordable, because they exploit your willingness to participate. You pay every penny through your sacrifice of time tenfold, only to be scrutinized, criticized and treated with minimal regard.
The social clicks among small circles, especially the Executive Board share one thing in common: White Woman looking to micro-manage something in order to feel important. Do not let your eyes be deceived - though the playground looks nice, the people running it are not. Consider yourselves fairly warned.
Educated Parent who Learned it the Hard Way