twinsburg, ohio

Why drive 8 hours one way to the suburbs of Cleveland? - for the largest gathering of twins in the world. This trip has been my girls' dream for years and this summer they finally got us to agree by saying that they would use it as a topic for their college essays. They know how to deal with us. We figured it would be a silly goof of a weekend. I believe that they will probably attend every year from now on if they can.

On one side it is a small town fair; hot dogs, a couple of rides, a bouncy castle, a parade with antique fire trucks and a talent show. On the other, it is over 2000 sets of twins, triplets and quads of all ages, races, shapes and sizes, gathering for 3 days of unqualified understanding, comraderie and silly fun. I have rarely seen my kids as happy. In normal life, even in twin filled Brooklyn, they are oddities. "Who is older?" and "who is the evil twin?" are the first two questions that they are always asked. They occasionally enjoy the attention but it can also be a burden. During Twins Days they are the normal ones (we singletons are the misfits). Everyone gets it. Everyone has a bond that has no age, race or philosophical differences. It is a beautiful thing.

Side note: they will want you to know that they are not in any of these pictures although they did dress alike and had their picture taken by a National Geographic photographer (watch for the twins edition in Nov. 2011)

prek application update

I have been talking to a lot of families in brief phone consults about the PreK applications and the strategy of a Round 2 application is coming up a lot.

I just want to give you a heads up about the Second Round paragraph in the instructions:
"Round 2 will take place in July 2010; if you apply in Round 2 after having received a placement in Round 1, your application will only be considered after new applicants and applicants from Round 1 who did not receive an offer. We will use your Round 1 application choices during the Round 2 process. Additional details for the Round 2 application process will be available in the Round 2 directory which will become available in July 2010.
If you wish to appeal your Round 1 match, you must fill out the form which will be located online at Appeals will be considered based on factual errors that may occur during the application process. Appeal forms will be available after Round 1 offers are made in June 2010."

They don't want a lot of people trying to game the system. Put down your choices according to your preferences and keep the lottery priorities in mind. If you get a seat, that is great but it would serve you to take it because in the second round you will be at the end of the cue for being picky.

News for twins:
The online application and the paper app are different, in that there is no place online to enter that the first child is a mulitple. This is what the DOE told me today:

"If you are applying for twins online, you should first complete one child's application, and then click on the 'Submit Application for Another Child.' You will then be able to enter the second child's application. The two applications will automatically be linked."

2009 Twins Nursery School Survey

I have heard, mostly from Manhattan experts, that a family of twins needs to apply to 10-12 nursery programs to gain entrance. I have also talked to people who "heard about parents of multiples" (urban folklore alert) that didn't get any acceptances to nursery programs. When I inquired further it turns out that they got a space off the waitlist shortly after the acceptances went out.

All of this anxiety seemed out of snyc with what I know about Brooklyn admissions. I wanted to get some data. Last month I ran a survey for the Brooklyn Brownstone Parents of Twins Club. 19 families responded. 1 family was very unhappy with their experience and didn't gain acceptance to a school, but they also didn't answer most of the other questions so it was difficult to get a picture of their situation. All the rest of the 18 families either got an acceptance right away or were taken off the waitlist. The most surprising result was that 14 families applied to 1 to 3 prorgams and the other four applied to 4 to 6 programs. Only a few families were trying for the occasional independent school. I will be doing this survey every year to continue to collect data, and I hope that we will find out more about the independent schools twin admissions in the future. Nursery school directors love twins. Looking for spots for twins is not the same as looking for two singletons. So POTs, take heart! It is not purely a matter of math. Here are the results:

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