September 1 for the 2014-15 school year and each school year thereafter.
Details and more info: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/em/kinderinfo.asp
I'm looking for advice on early admission to kindergarten - that is,
admission to kindergarten on a ''case-by-case basis'' for a child
that misses the cutoff date. Does anyone have experience with this?
I've also been told that a child admitted via the early admission to
kindergarten route would be required to repeat kindergarten the
following year because he or she would not be age-eligible for first
grade. Is that really true? That sounds absolutely crazy to me.
You didn't say whether you were trying to get into K early in the public
schools or in privates schools. I can speak only to private. I called almost
every private school in town to find out whether any would at least evaluate
an extremely advanced child whose birthday did not meet the cutoff. Only a
few were willing to let my son go thru the evaluation process. Out of those,
the only school which offered us early entrance to K was Archway School.
They are a very small school, and seem to be more flexible than most. I felt
that the teacher who evaluated my son was able to see him as he actually is,
rather than only for his birthday. We don't yet have the experience of
attending there, but at least I can tell you that they were the most
flexible w/the birthday issue.
Another early K parent
Hello, my question is about how to find a school that will entertain the
thought of having my daughter starting kindergarden early. I keep
reading about people that have done it by going to private schools, but
all the ones I have contacted are not willing to even test my daughter,
saying that they go by the CA guidelines about admissions. Note: This
question is not about the merit or demerit of accelerating a child, it
is about how to do it practically. I understand this is a very
controversial issue, and am not trying to get opinions whether I should
do it or not. I am very much open to the idea of testing the kid and
having her appropriately assessed before making any decision, but so far
I've only found closed doors... Any schools you recommend? We are in
Castro Valley, but I would be very interested in at least talking to
someone that is open to the possibility. Thank you very much for any
lead you might have to offer.
You haven't defined ''early''. Our daughter went to Bentley, where the firm
cutoff date for entry to Kindergarten was that you had to have turned 5 by
September 1 of the fall you started Kindergarten, not 4, and not 6. Test and
interview were held about a year in advance, so since our daughter was born on
8/15,she applied/tested/interviewed for kindergarten shortly after her 4th
birthday. That seems young to me, but that was the school's rule.
Even though there was a strict interest in having the children in a class fall
within one year of the same age, by the time they were in middle school enough
exceptions had been made that there were kids in her class close to 2 years older
than she was. I don't know if having a large range of ages in the same grade is
a good or a bad thing! She was also the smallest child which can lead to injury
when kids get rough.
Many people consider starting Kindergarten at age 5 to be ''too young'' but in
this case it was the only year she could start. I started Kindergarten 5 months
younger than my daughter did, and I was also very small - not even 25 lbs when I
started Kindergarten. I don't think that starting that young was an advantage,
but of course I don't have anything to compare it with.
The un-aknowleged fact is that girls and boys develop differently. I had a long
talk with a high school teacher driving to a field trip recently, and he said he
thinks the ''maturity gap'' between girls and boys continues through high school,
in general. Maybe some day in the future, boys will be in the same grade as
girls a year or two younger than they are.
mother of a girl
Been there, tried that. We did have our local public school saying they would
accept our DD as soon as she turned 5, the DOE allows districts to accept kids
midyear if 5, but the school would only place her in the JrK program and the
principal was not really supportive, just following the district directive. It
was a very negative experience. We did find a couple private schools willing to
take her, but ended up going another way - language immersion at the PreK level
which offered some distraction from K=readiness. I expect that as the CA K
cutoff date is moving earlier, more private schools will be stricter about their
acceptance dates too. We were looking in Fall of 2010 and even schools with
published Dec 31 cutoff dates were singing a different song once we talked to
administrators. You might check out
orhttp://www.baywoodlearningcenter.org/ After language immersion success we
ended up homeschooling - a misnomer, the kids are in classes during the day and
learning OUT of the home; I'm a facilitator and busdriver, not a teacher.
Individualized education would be more appropriate than homeschooling!
surprised but happy here
My son is very academically advanced but he missed the school cut off by 12 days.
I contacted every private school in the area and the Oakland School District to
find out how to get him an exception to start kindergarten ''early''. All the
private schools but one told me no. Beacon Day said they could assess him and
then determine if he could do kindergarten or preK. We also found a gifted
school (Baywood Learning Center) that would have taken him as well after an
assessment. Oakland said there were no exceptions to this rule because funding
is based on the age. If the kid isn't old enough, no state funding. They did
say we could transfer him into a school that had room once he turned 5. In the
end, we put him in a preK program which turned out to be great for him socially.
Within 3 weeks of kindergarten in Oakland public school, they wanted to move him
to 1st grade. Good luck!
Not everyone wants to hold their kid back.
Not sure how early you want to start you child, but the age cut-off for Redwood
Day School in Oakland is 5 by Dec 1 (or 4 years, 9 months by Sept 1)
We have 2 children at Redwood Day with ''late'' birthdays (both in the late
summer) and both are doing just fine.
Good luck with finding the school of your dreams
I'm facing the same dilemma. I have a child who is cognitively ahead of some kids
twice his age and does better socially with kids at least a year or two older.
I've also been asking around at many schools about starting K early. It seems
they all read from the same script about ''valuing the whole child'' (as if I
don't), and ''prioritizing social/emotional development'' (which, I agree, is
equally important, and in the case of some kids, does not equate to limiting them
to their chronological peers).
Thus far, the only truly receptive folks I've encountered have been some in the
Montessori world. There are a few Montessori schools with ''bridge-K'' programs,
where kids in the multi-age classrooms range in age from 4-6, and materials as
advanced as your child needs can be brought in.
There are schools for gifted kids in the South Bay and Marin which start at age
4, and there is a co-op in Alameda.
I agree: It would be wonderful if schools would assess the individual child for
readiness, based on where they actually are in all areas of development, as
opposed to strictly based on birth date.
also interested in early k admissions
There is a California early start law, not mentioned very often. A child can
start once they turn 5, in the middle of a school year, if it will not cause a
disruption, and you can show good cause for this. At the end of the year, the
child may be tested/evaluated to see if they do an additional full year of K or
move on to first grade. I used this law, and my daughter started in January, and
could show that she met the state guidelines for those finished with K by the end
of the year. She was able to move on to first grade. It has never been a
problem since. You may want to contact a gifted organization if you can't find
the law. It's somewhere in the state laws, so you can search for it. Hopefully,
they haven't gotten rid of it since we used it. This is for kids who are clearly
ready, and not for people who need it for child care.
mom with accelerated kids
None of the schools in our Berkeley public school system would consider a child
out of the designated age range, to my knowledge. Nor would any of the private
schools that we looked into last year for my current kindergartener. Frankly, I
am grateful for this. While she may have been ''ready'' for K early in many ways
with her academic interests and abilities, seeing what K is like now makes it
clear that it's so much about the social and emotional experience. You will do
your child a disservice, in my opinion, if you overlook the importance of the
peer social component of her education. That is my unsolicited opinion. Sorry but
it's impossible not to give it with this question, having just gone through a
very smooth transition to K with a child whom last fall we were really wanting a
new environment for as she just seemed so ready for a more advanced ''academic''
experience. At that point, however, K is theoretical (unless you have older
children and know what is ahead in K), so it's easy to think that this might be
good for your child. I have many friends who have kept their kids back after
starting them on the early end of the acceptable age range, after their kids
really struggled as they weren't socially/emotionally ready. And as advanced as
your kid is, I'm sure they're still just a kid and hitting those milestones in
line with others.
most educators do know something
To the parent who is wondering about starting their child in K early.
First off, let's define what you mean by early. Most private school
have a cut off of September 1 and some up to December 1. Public
schools are changing their cut off dates from Dec 2 to September 2 by
2013. More important than cut off age is your child's overall
developmental age. Does his/her developmental age match their
chronological age in language, gross and fine motor, cognitive and
social skills? if so, then they are ready for K. Should you need
assistance in determining your child's school readiness let me know. I
am an educational consultant trained with the Gesell Institute of
Human Development at Yale. They have developed a very specific
assessment for school readiness which I've used hundreds of times for
the purpose of supporting parents to decide whether or not their child
was ready for K.
Best to you.
I live in Oakland with my 3-year-old daughter. She is
exceptionally smart and tall, and her birthday is in December.
Normally she would start kindergarten in Fall 2009, after 3 years
of pre-school, and would be one of the smartest and tallest kids
in her class. I'd like to explore the possibility of having her
start kindergarten a year earlier.
I don't want to push her into something she's not emotionally
ready for, so I would only want to do this is after a
psychologist has assessed her ability to handle this.
Can anyone recommend a psychologist (who is an expert on
kindergarten-age children) who could help me evaluate if this
would be appropriate for my daughter?
Do the Oakland public schools (or CA public schools in general)
have a process for early enrollment?
How would this affect our participation in the lottery system?
(Would we need to get clearance for early enrollment before being
able to enter the lottery? Or do we enter the lottery to choose
a school, and then get clearance from the specific school?)
If anyone has done this before, I'd love to hear about what you
did and how it worked out.
This is a very personal decision. I only wanted to point out that with a December
birthday your child would likely not be the oldest child in her class (can't speak to
the tallness or smartness issue). Many parents with Fall birthday children are waiting
a year for them to enter kindergarten. Recently a parent told me that her child with
a June birthday was the youngest in her class ( this was a private school). So if your
December child entered in 08 she would likely be the youngest by a long shot....
Best of luck with your decision.
decided to wait
I don't have the specific information you were wondering about,
but I thought I'd offer our situation.
I don't know how smart is smart for your daughter, but I know
that starting K early in the public schools wouldn't have helped
my son at all. His birthday is in November, so we could have
started him last year. However, he had a firm grasp of all the
academic material presented in K the year before that, when he
was 3 turning 4 (including the fact he was reading well), so
starting K would have still been a poor match for him.
We decided to go with a private school we feel is a much better
match for him, and he just started K this year. He will turn 6
in November, and he's doing 5th grade level work in many areas
(including math and reading). It remains clear that K a year
earlier wouldn't have benefited him at all, and socially this is
exactly the right thing for him.
Best of luck as you make the right choice for your family.
So glad we waited
We went through this last year with our son, whose birthday is in
December as well. Our experience was in Berkeley, not Oakland, so
unfortunately I don't have specific advice about who to talk to
or what to do there. In our district there was a very specific
procedure to follow to apply early to kindergarten. There was a
simple test our child had to take, and we had to wait for three
weeks after school started to find out if there was room at our
chosen school. Needless to say, this was terribly nerve-wracking
for us (not for my son, actually, he was oblivious).
What I can tell you about this decision is that in discussing it
with most other people, the response to this idea was
overwhelmingly negative. Besides our preschool teacher, who knows
our son and who really encouraged us, other adults (a
kindergarten teacher, a pediatrician) were extremely discouraging
to the point of hostility. Many other parents had the same
reaction. It is hard to take that kind of negativity.
If you are willing to buck the trend of having older children in
school, be prepared for a lot of opposition. Our son is doing
very well in school, now in first grade, plays soccer, is very
happy and has lots of friends.
Not an easy road
I hate to say it, but I would have been one of the detractors a
couple of years ago about early admission to Kindergarten. My
son also has a December birthday. He was ready for kindergarten,
his preschool said to wait - Oakland Unified kept putting us off
until it was too late. Ultimately, he did not go until he was 5
year 9 months. And all seemed fine in K. He sat quietly, he
could read (it warmed the cockles of the school's heart), he
followed instructions on queue. He was the tallest kid in the
He's now in second grade, he's reading at 5th grade level and is
bored to tears. He's still the tallest kid in the class, his
friends are 10 year olds and I can't get Oakland Unified to help
with an assessment to move him up to the next grade. I REALLY
wish I had forced the issue 3 years ago.
So, I'm sorry you're not getting the support you need. Keep
moving the process forward. To those parents who say an extra
year in preschool is fine, sometimes it is not.
Should have Listened to My Son's Needs
I am wondering if anyone has had any luck with early entrance
to kindergarten in the Berkeley school district, or perhaps
advice for me on what to do with a child who DEMANDS to be
taught academic subjects at age 4. I checked the website,
and it was all about deciding whether to hold children back
an extra year. My son will turn 5 in January, so he just
barely misses the December cutoff. He has been reading for
a while, loves to count into the hundreds, demands math
''homework'' like his older sister, insists on practicing
addition and subtraction facts. He also has a long attention
span and can sit quietly. Now, if he were happy in preschool
I'd have no problem keeping him there... I'm a believer in
the ''let the child enjoy his childhood'' type of thinking. But
recently he has started screaming and refusing to get ready
in the morning, complaining that he hates his school, and
the teachers have said that he is starting to act out
(whereas before they always commented on how well he sat in
circle, etc.). If he's unhappy, he's not enjoying his
childhood. The problem is I can understand all too well
what he might be going through because I was in a similar
situation as a child, so I feel I'm too emotional about
schooling and can't make an objective decision.
I remember my own miserable years of elementary school spent
counting the tiles on the floor while pretending to listen
to the teacher explain the same things over and over again.
Every morning I would dread going to school and count the
days until Saturday, when I could read my library books all
day (I wasn't allowed to read books in school). And I remember
thinking that it was all my fault, that I was somehow bad
for not liking school. Eventually when I got into high school
I was allowed to take college classes, and it felt like I
had been set free. I finally made some close friends, with
kids five years older, and finally had challenging and
interesting work to do. But the dead years of my childhood
had their effect on my self esteem... I never finished my
education and have been an underachiever all my life. I
don't want my child's life to be ruined too! I think all
children deserve an appropriately challenging education.
However, when I called the Berkeley school district they
said they don't allow early entrance to kindergarten. I
understand private schools feel the same way, and in any
event, I don't think we can afford them.
I can't homeschool because I have to work. In the meantime,
my gentle, joyous little boy has stopped smiling and telling
jokes, and has started hitting his sister. This is a
university town; there has to be someone else who has gone
through this! On the web I read about many children who have
been ''radically accelerated'' (skipped multiple grades) and
are happy; I know that would be been the right solution for
me as a child. Is it possible in the Berkeley school
district? What can I do for my child? Is homeschooling the
only answer? Or do we have to leave Berkeley and move to
Colorado? Please help!
anon for the sake of my child
My son will be 5 in October. He is reading at a 2nd grade level
and is eager to do school level math. However, I will NOT put
him in school until 2005. The academics are secondary to the
emotional. A young 5 year old will be ''competing'' with boys
who are 6. Give your child stimulating activities to develop
judgment and compassion when you are at home. When he is older,
and as an adult, those abilities will surpass how ''smart'' he
In reference to his actions about going to preschool: Start
looking for a different preschool. I had a similar situation and
was ready to pull my son but the school changed the teacher and
he was then happy every morning. In September I will be sending
him to a preschool that will offer more stimulating activities
and has computers.
Mother of 4 year old
When I read the beginning of your post my first thought was,
Kindergarten will never do! Your child has already mastered the
core Kindergarten material. Reading and very basic addition (by
counting manipulatives) are about it: time telling to the hour,
the names and values of coins, printing his name with initial
caps and lowercase for the rest of the letters. That is about it.
I took my daughter (who could read) in to visit Kindergarten and
after an hour she started tearing at her hair and saying ''When
wi! ll we be done with the alphabet!''
Radical acceleration could work for him, but he is a little guy.
Is he ready to be behind a desk all day in first grade? I think
it might be tough for any 4-year-old. I think radical
acceleration will be a good option for your little boy, but maybe
next year, not this year. If you radically accelerate you have
to set the teacher up with the right expectations. Radically
accelerated kids are intellectually ready for the material, but
not physically (or emotionally) capable of the large amounts of
writing required in 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade. The teacher will have
to realize that he may need curtailed homework and writing
assignments. It's that whole asynchronous development thing.
Teachers have to get it and be willing to accomodate.
We decided on homeschooling, because i don't work and it seemed
easier than trying to make something else work. If the school
won't let you accelerate him what about a Montessori preK
program? They ought to provide him with challenging materials.
If you get IQ tests done and an assessment you can sometimes get
a district to accept and early Kindergartener. Or you could
chose a homeschool curriculum that you think would suit him and
see if his preschool would help him do it, or give them
worksheets for him to do at preschool. A basket of them that he
can chose from, say.
Sorry for the distracted note, kids are shouting for dinner.
I hope there was something helpful in there.
I don't know about whether you can get Berkeley to let your son
enter kindergarten early, but I would consider checking out a
Montessori preschool. They have mixed ages together in a
classroom, so your four-year-old son would be in a class with
three- and five-year-olds, each doing activities appropriate to
his/her level of development, so a three-year-old who was ready
to read would be helped to do so, whereas a five-year-old who was
still learning the colors would be directed to appropriate
activities. I bet your son would find more academic fulfillment
at a Montessori preschool (though you didn't say much about his
current preschool). Berkeley Montessori School is great and may
still have openings for next fall.
I was bored in public school until they let me! skip a grade
The primary reason for NOT starting a child in kindergarten
before they're 5 is not for academic development, but social and
emotional development. From what you said about your son's
behavior at pre-school, it doesn't sound like he's mature enough
for kindergarten. This maturity issue will continue throughout
his school career... especially in dealing with girls during the
adolescent years and in competitive sports in high school.
I think the first thing you need to do is try to talk to your
son about what's going on with him -- if he's he kind of kid who
will talk or is in tune with his emotions. You also need to
have a long talk with your preschool teachers about what they
think the issues are and what they can do to rectify it. (Has
your child recently given up naps? Has a favorite teacher or
friend left the school?) Or perhaps you need to find a preschool
that's better suited to your child's needs. There are lots of
different pre-schools and philosophies out there, and they're
not right for every child.
I would also start researching schools now. Do the Berkeley
schools offer gifted or accelerated programs? Many private
schools offer financial aid... perhaps you should do some
research on private schools that offer what you and your son
need and talk to them about financial aid.
I also want to add my! personal experience with skipping grades.
My brother spent a good deal of 4th grade disrupting the class
until the teacher sent him up to the 5th grade for math class.
He went on to skip 5th grade. While it was a quick academic
fix, he had a very difficult time socially and in sports,
especially in high school. He now has an extremely gifted 12
year old girl. She is in gifted programs and gets all As and A
pluses and often complains of being bored. I've asked him if
he'd consider having her skip a grade. His answer is ''NO.
Per California state standards, public schools can not admit
before December 1, 2004 (or whatever the date is this year, but
it's usually the first week in December). So, your child has an
option of going to a private school for Kindergarten and First
Grade that does not adopt the California state standa! rd or get
academic stimulation from their current preschool. BUSD does
not bend on that rule and no other public school in California
can legally bend on it either.
From your post, you say that your son is not happy in his
current preschool...but I don't think sending him to a Berkeley
public kindergarten early as a four-year-old is a good
solution. The kindergarten experience is not just an academic
experience, but a social one as well. Even if your son is
academically advanced, you also need to consider his maturity
level and determine if he is physically, emotionally, and
socially mature enough to be in a class of 5- and 6-year olds
when he will be 4 years old for almost half of the school
year. (You should also note that most of the 6-year olds
entering kindergarten are boys.)
For example, at least in my experience throughout my son's
kindergarten year (last year), a lot of the kindergarten and
first-grade boys and some of the girls on the playground liked
to play good-guys-battling-bad-guys games, ''army'' or quasi-
martial arts games or the ''chase game'', and even if they
rarely got into real fights, the games even at a non-contact
level get pretty physical (My impression was that a lot of non-
contact physical play got overlooked by playground supervision,
even if their official policy was otherwise). Plus, there's in-
jest name-calling (esp. among boys), not always with a teacher
or adult around to say, ''Hey, that's not nice to call someone
X...'' Also, it's a sad fact that some kids even at the k-level
have a lot of stuff going on in their homes and come to school
with bad attitudes and bad language--your son will be exposed
to that. It's up to you to determine whether yo! ur four-year
old can handle this kind of environment without the constant
supervision or adult guidance typical in a preschool
Since you aren't considering homeschooling or private school,
the next best alternative, instead of preschool, might be to
find an English-speaking nanny or tutor who is willing to spend
the day taking your son to places like Lawrence Hall of
Science, any of the local libraries, museums, etc., where they
can explore things that interest him, one-on-one, at his pace,
in an engaging, interactive way. That way, he will be getting
his needs met on an individual level, rather than be thrown in
with a group of older kids with a range of skills and needs,
which is likely to happen in a BPS kindergarten class.
A couple of thoughts for you. I believe the cut-off age for
*first grade* may actually be in January, although the cut-off
for Kindergarten is early December (check with the district). If
your son is a very good reader, will a formal (public school)
Kindergarten be satisfying for him? It might actually be more
stimulating for him to go to a private K that is NOT ''academic,''
do reading and math at home for fun, and then go into public
school as a young first-grader. One of my kids did this, and it
worked well for her. Her public school taught the children ''how
to read'' in Kindergarten, and we were relieved that she was able
to avoid those lessons, which would have been dull for her --
besides, private K had longer hours (good for us) and more art and
singing (good for her)! By the way, I was unhappy in elementary
school, too, and found myself fretting far too much about my
daughter's experience in school. As it turns out, however, my
daughter is a much happier kid than I ever was -- just due to a
luckier throw of the temperament dice. So I sympathize with you
in your worries, but want to encourage you to hope that your
son's childhood will not merely mirror your own.
Listen to what the BUSD folks told you: they do not admit kids
early for kindergarten. If I were you, I would start now to look
for space in a preschool with a good K or K-like program that
will challenge your child. Perhaps one of the Montessori schools
would have an opening for an older child, especially if some of
their older children have moved on recently. For our child, we
knew he was reading very well when he hit K at a Berkeley
elementary school, so we stayed in close touch with the teacher
and made sure he got more advanced work to do. This past year he
is still doing very well and enoying school AND more of his
classmates have caught up. We have found that good communication
with the teacher and principle, and helping the teacher out when
poss! ible, really helps. This way, the teacher, the principle and
we can all work together to see if he needs to skip. So far, he
doesn't. We also work with him to make sure he learns to
challenge himself, and with the teacher to make sure he has room
to challenge himself. It is difficult to not transfer our own
eductional experiences to our children, but we must remember that
his(?) school is different from yours, and that he - with all his
similarities- is yet somewhat different from you, too. So don't
assume the worst yet! He may have a great time at Berkeley
smart mom and dad of smart public school kid
Treasure your gifted child and do whatever it takes to keep him
involved and interested in the things that trigger his
creativity and is intellectual pursuits. But don't push him into
kindergarten until he is old enough. I volunteer ! in the
classroom and I can tell you by the second week which child is
the youngest in the class. And it has nothing to do with their
proficiency in the subject.
Keep in mind that school is a marathon, not a sprint. No matter
how early a child catches on, there is no guarantee that he will
have the maturity to keep it up as he gets older. Your child
will have plenty of peer company at his ability in a year or two
at most. The smart kids blossom and find their way around as
they go through the first few grades. But the young ones can
find it quite difficult to keep pace with the rigors and social
demands of their older peers. It is a lot to ask of a 4-year-
old that they function well in an environment designed for
children that are older, particularly as the child goes through
the rest of the lower grades. Ask anyone who skipped grades or
started younger. It doesn't get any easier.
Fortunately, most schools do have differentiated learning
programs that allow your child to accelerate through the
subjects where they excel, so your child will likely not be as
bored as we were ''back in the day.'' Go to the school and meet
with the principal to find out what programs they have to
accomodate your gifted son. A good school can always find ways
to challenge and treasure a gifted child. Thankfully, though,
they cannot find ways to make your child ''grow up.'' And while
your son might be reading Harry Potter at age five and Proust at
nine, the lovely immaturity and innocence of a four-year-old is
a wonderful part of childhood that you can never recapture.
Best of luck.
No longer sprinting
You are not alone. There are different levels of giftedness and most
''GATE'' children, fall into the mild or moderately gifted category
and do fine in a normal classroom. However, the traditional classroom
setting and standard curriculum may pose difficulties for a highly or
profoundly gifted child, who is 2-3 standard deviations above the
norm. It will be helpfulfor you to know the level of your child's
giftedness. My child entered kinder at Jefferson fully reading and
deeply resented sitting through material that she had long mastered,
like ABCs. By 3rd grade, she could read at an adult level, though
still an 8yo. I wish I had learned about the extent of her giftedness
sooner, which was confirmed by a private IQ test. We have found that
few public school teachers/admin, including those at BUSD, have any
training (or interest) in giftedness and even fewer support
acceleration, even in circumstances such as yours. Check out:
www.hoagiesgifted.org. Talk to Anne Marie Roeper,PhD a reknown gifted
specialist in El Cerrito. Do consider getting your child tested. Yours
will not always be an easy road, but of all the *problems* a parent
must endure, this is a *good* kind of problem.
Parent of Two [Very Demanding] HG Children
Our child was born on 12/17, just missing the cut off to get
into public school this fall. Does anyone have experience with
petitioning Lafayette Public Schools (or any public school) to
accept the child anyway? Can you? How does it work? Any
tricks I should know about? I am not looking for advice on
whether to send the child, because this listserv has already
very kindly helped me with that decision, but I just need
advice now on the petitioning process (if indeed there is one.)
Thank you in advance.
Your post brought back a flood of memories from more than 25
years ago when I was a kindergarten student at Lafayette school.
I also have a December birthday, and when my mother learned I was
too young to attend the first grade that year she began a drive
to get me in anyways. She insisted I was way too ''bright'' to be
''held back'' and arranged to have me tested to prove it. I
remember a lot of pressure being put upon me the day of the test,
and I remember specific parts of the test. One segment involved
being shown a series of numbers which were quickly covered up. I
was expected to relay those numbers backwards. Aiming to please
as I was I thought I was expected to name all of the numbers, not
just what I remembered. So I said nothing. FAILED! I ended up
repeating kindergarten anyways. Normally I probably wouldn't have
noticed the difference, but the pressure and subsequent failure
made me feel really bad about it.
If the policies in lafayette are the same today, the answer to
your question is yes, it is possible and testing your child is
the way to do it. I'm not trying to talk you out of it, in fact
I'm rooting for you. My advice is to avoid any pressure on your
child, as a matter of fact don't even tell your child what you're
up to. If you are unsuccessful I'm sure your child won't notice
I have no idea if your petition will work or not, but if it
doesn't, you could always try a private school for a year. My
birthday is 12/16 and when I missed the deadline for public
kindergarten by one day, my parents put me in a religious school.
Once you're in the system, they can't kick you out!
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