Tell me about your family and the age of your kids/kid.
I have a small family of 4. Terrance who is a Professor at NC State, Miles who is a 2nd Grader at Green and we also have Oakley who is a 3-year-old rescue. I am Kiara Ruth, I am a writer, coffee lover, and shop local enthusiast .
What was most important to your family is looking for a school?
I think my why and my husband's why were different. I am more interested in a loving + nurturing environment for Miles and my husband wants to know the stats for testing and the quality of the teachers.
How did you approach the process?
My husband is in education so I allowed him to drive the process and I took a back seat. I felt that he was well equipped to make some major decisions for our family. I went into the process with an open mind, ready to learn, and also willing to let go of whatever expectations I had.
What most frustrated you about the process and how did you manage those frustrations?
I grew up in a state where if the school was a magnet school everyone had the opportunity to be a magnet student. I was a little frustrated that I had to apply for my son to be a magnet student at a magnet school. There is a lot of pressure in making sure that your student gets magnet status. When we applied the first time, Miles didn't get into the magnet program at his elementary school and we were bummed. I was a little upset because there is so much weight on being a magnet student and what that means for your child and more specifically Black and Brown students. So, my husband and I had to reset and apply again and play the waiting game. Miles eventually became a magnet student and while we were excited we felt for our friends who didn't get the status specifically our Black and Brown Friends.
I felt the weight of getting a magnet seat because I knew the benefits of it. I know that Wake County Schools Magnet Programs are exceptional. It was important to us that Miles had access to specific areas of study. The magnet programs specialize in sciences, performing arts, and career educations. We heard so many "good" things about what it means to be a magnet student -- the bar was set very high. But, I also knew that magnet or not I wanted Miles to have a solid education.
What school did you choose in the end, and why?
We chose our base school, which is Green Elementary and they focus on World Languages. We loved that they offered Mandarin. The principal, Dr. Brown is amazing and she truly cares about ALL voices. We ended up moving closer to downtown and decided to keep Miles at Green because of the quality of education, the staff, and the Mandarin Program which Miles is excelling in.
What advice would you give parents going through the process now?
Learn what your child is interested in, go to the magnet school fairs, and ask questions there. Take your time and explore what options you have and be open to exploring new things. I will also say don't be intimidated by the magnet program application and don't give up if the first answer is no!
Kiara Ruth is a master at multi-tasking and simplifying. She gracefully juggles her life as a mother and wife with her presence as a social media influencer and NC tastemaker. Kiara drifts from mom to mogul effortlessly because she remains authentic and true to her brand in every step while keeping Jesus at the center of it all. This authenticity means telling her story truthfully, acknowledging faults, and being transparent while growing and learning. Kiara is a mom to Miles who is 7 years and the wife to Terrance Ruth who is a professor at NC State. Kiara and her family recently rescued a dog, Oakley who is 3 years old. Kiara is the author of The Banana Moon blog.