Fifth Grade RULES

There is nothing better than being in 5th grade. Nothing. Nada. Nichts.

First of all, unlike MY fifth grade when I was a kid, Sierra’s fifth grade is top of the elementary food chain. Fifth graders are the final class at the school, literally rising above all others.

Fifth graders get to roam the halls every hour because they change classrooms throughout the day. They have a home room, which is incredibly high school like and therefore really cool.

(Of course last year when we discussed this whole switching teacher thing, Sierra was mortified. More than one teacher? No! Too scary! Now she’s loving it. Turns out only little kids have one teacher. Who knew?)

Fifth graders get JOBS. Really cool jobs like the news team or being on the marshals, which entails working in the office and running school errands. Being a marshal is huge, like getting on the Supreme Court. Which makes me think the principal is channeling Tom Sawyer.

Then there are the Stars. Kids earn stars for three things: grades, behavior, and perfect attendance. Ah, the ever elusive “perfect attendance.”

It’s why Sierra never, ever wants to miss school. This is a marked change from last year’s weekly feigning-illness, clinging-to-door frame approach to school attendance. I thought it was just genetic in our family. Being a sickly child I never had perfect attendance, and Dad… well, let’s just say he considered a great deal of school to be optional.

Sure, I’m glad she’s shooting for the goal, but we have to be realistic around here. First of all there’s the swine flu.

The swine flu protocols at schools these days are such that if your child shows up at the nurses’ office with one of the four symptoms, like “a headache,” they hose them down with disinfectant, wrap them in plastic, sterilize their desks, and call you from a secure line to pick them up in a vacuum chamber.

Okay, it’s not that bad. Probably they skip the sterilization and just wipe down the desk.

And given that my daughters merely have to hear someone sneeze over the phone to become feverish, Sierra’s chances for perfect attendance are nil.

Add to that we foolishly planned a family trip during the school year for various complex reasons.

Little did I know, no one needs a break from fifth grade.

Nobody. Nadien. Niemand.