We arrived shortly after our phone call, only to find out we weren't on "The List". We called *W*, our contact at the school only to find she was shopping at Staples. So we arranged to meet her at a certain gate an hour later. No problem! We weren't in a hurry and had plenty of time.
Approaching the gate...wondering if we'll get on base...
When we came back we had a bit of trouble finding her, as we weren't familiar with the area and parking lots. Once we made contact with her, we got our car in a line, opened up all the compartments and went into an ID tent. The tent was semi-permanent, hot and stuffy, with just one fan blowing on the guy working there. Not the job I'd want! We submitted our driver's licenses, car insurance and registration and signed waivers allowing them to search us at any time. I'm sure this is all standard stuff, but it's a lot more security than I'm used to when trying to enter my child's school!
Once we were cleared, we watched as they finished our car check...complete with big mirrors underneath. We drove through to another checkpoint where we showed our licenses (again) and a temporary pass. Then we followed *W* to the school for the first time. This was on Wednesday.
Thursday evening was an open house orientation where you got your schedules, paid your fees, and met your teachers. We were assured we'd be on "The List" for this event. Still, we made sure to come early just in case. Which was a good thing. Once again, we were turned away. Thankfully we had *W* on speed dial. 10 minutes later she met us at the gate...a different gate where we went into an air conditioned permanent ID Badge building. Showed our licenses, insurance, and registration. Followed *W* to the school....hoping this wouldn't be our daily routine!
The orientation went smoothly. Friendly teachers. Still not sure on the principal...very reserved Turkish gentleman who was quite formal. Got schedule, PE uniform, paid money. Paid more money. Went home.
We made an appointment to come back on Friday so Katie could take her math placement test. Again we were assured we'd be on "The List" and would easily get through security. And, I'm sure you know by now that we weren't on "The List". Back to the first ID/Badge station....the one with the auto search, ID check, and escort to the school.
Katie takes the test, gets into the advanced math (thankfully they're picking up right where she left off in Oregon) and life is good. We physically watch *W* email us our application for a "Contractor's Badge". When we got home, we promptly filled them out, emailed them back, and held our breaths.
Sunday we receive an email confirming that we will be on "The List" for Monday, and should be receiving our Semi-Permanent ID badges on Monday.
Ahhh...sweet success!! We left a bit early Monday morning (just in case...). When we got to the ID check gate, WE WERE ON THE LIST!!!!! We showed our licenses, insurance, and registration and drove through by ourselves. YEA!! The girl made it to school on time.
Monday morning I received an email stating that *I* was cleared for my badge. Brian wasn't! They ran his information and couldn't find anything. He called and learned they were one number off on his license...that one number off has been an issue lately! When we went to pick up Katie from school in the afternoon, we came early so I could get my badge. Thankfully Brian was with me, as his was ready too!!! The guy we spoke to told us we were pretty boring as far as background checks go. I'm sure he says this to everyone, but for once it was great to be boring!!
Now we both have clearance to go on base (ONLY to/from her school...no dilly-dallying.) from 06:30-18:30 M-F.
Hopefully there are no evening programs later than 6:30, or anything on the weekends. If there are, I fear we are back to square one with the car searches and escorts...
(On a side note...we learned that this is the first charter school on a military base. The newspaper said it was the first on an Air Force Base, while Katie reported that her school said it was the first on a military base in the world. Either way, there were photographers there for the first day of school recording the "historic moment". Also...we are 1 of 8 families (out of 110 students) not living on base. And, we are only 1 of 2 families without a connection to the base!!)