WTF, why? I hear you ask.
Well, where we live there are 3 ok primary schools within walking distance. However, there are no intermediates or high schools. The schools we are in zone for require a bus ride. One could walk to them, but a new harbour crossing of some description is in the near future and pre-construction work has already started making the walk a tad iffy. And would take well over an hour. Not that the bus ride will be any quicker given Auckland's traffic woes, and said harbour crossing is one of the bottlenecks (hence the new one in the works).
Anyhoo, given that attending intermediate/ high school will require travel of some sort and that Jess does NOT want to see half the kids from her year ever again, we are investigating schools other than those we are in zone for. Some of these schools are processing their enrolments for 2009 over the next 4-5 weeks - hence our needing to think about next year already as this is Jess' last year at primary school.
So we attended one open day today, and there's another next Wednesday. We'll apply to both schools, and then wait and see. If they turn us down, then the next two schools on the list tend to process their enrolments late in Term 2, leaving time (should that fail) to enrol at the in zone school late in Term 3.
I have no real preference for any of the four. The first two are good schools in not so convenient locations but are Y7-13, requiring no change of school at Y9 as with the second two. The second two are good schools in relatively convenient locations (one is near gym, the other near ballet). Jess knows girls already at 3 of the four schools so is comfortable either way.
Really big after-school activity logistics juggling next January when having two girls at two completely disparate locations kicks in...