Moving to a place with different cutoff dates - Mothering Forums
Learning at School > Moving to a place with different cutoff dates
cyberfish's Avatar cyberfish 11:08 AM 02-24-2011

My daughter has a September birthday and is in public kindergarten in a state with a Sept. 30 cutoff date.  We love her teacher and the other school staff and faculty but academically my child is ahead of most of the kids and pretty bored with school overall.  She's reading 3rd grade books at home.

There's a good chance we'll be moving to a place with a Sept. 1 cutoff date over the summer.  I've been told that they won't accept K transcripts or her (advanced) assessment scores, she'd need to repeat K, and they won't budge on the cutoff date for any reason. 

This would be a disaster for my child on so many levels.

She's bored, angry, and frustrated now.  Her teacher even  told me my daughter absolutely needs to be in 1st grade next year, not repeating K.

What do you do in cases like this?  Keep your child out for a few years until the cutoff date doesn't matter anymore?  Realistically I can't afford private school.  And we'll be moving to a place where we know nobody.  I'd love to homeschool but that's not realistic for us at this point in time, either.  Once again it'll be the two of us, alone, in a completely new place.  Thank you for any wise words you may have :-) 



KCMichigan's Avatar KCMichigan 12:08 PM 02-24-2011

This happened to us.

 

Girls did PreK in one state. Academically excelled and advanced. Suggested that they go on to K at 4 turning 5 by schools (instead of developmental K for Fall/Summer Bdays). Cut off date Dec. Oct Bday.

 

Moved.... new state. Cut off date of Sept 1st.

 

Had to do PreK again. No exceptions to the cut-off dates for K or 1st. No matter what. We had teacher letters, testing scores, etc. Nothing. Privates schools also followed the cut-off dates.  We did a lot of 'fun' stuff at home to keep them learning! Both my DDs are reading easy chapter books, writing in journals, and doing basic math. It has been nice to have the freedom to explore their interests- we have learned all the different states of the US!  They love it and that is not something we would have had time for if they were in school all day or is it part of the K programming.

 

 

If they had done K in 1st state, they would have had to repeat it.

 

 

This year they did PreK (AGAIN). The only thing they got out of it was friends (1/2 day program) and they enjoy it since it is play based.

 

Our solution to next year is to place them in a K/1 split classroom. They will technically be 'K' kids, but can work at a K/1 (or higher) level. The school has splits for most grades so we could enjoy this set up for awhile. Starting in 1st they also have Gifted programming (pull out once a week). After that we will have to do 1st grade, and we will see where they are at. Starting in 2nd kids sometimes 'skip' grades that are older and/or redshirted or just missed cut-off dates.

 

I am not happy with having to do PreK again, but am thrilled that they can do 1st/2nd grade work in a K(ish) setting.

 

 

Your options woudl likely be:

 

1. homeschool

2. talk to the local schools- she what they offer, they may be willing to put her in K adn then maybe move up later in the year and/or offer a K/1 split like we are doing. See if they have gifted/advanced programming

3. Find a private school that would offer a scholarship and/or some allowances on cut-off

4. Plead your case to the local school board (done K, have a teacher letter suggesting 1st)

 

 

If you get a choice of school districts (like we did) in picking housing for varying districts. Talk to a bunch of principals & local teachesr. visit the schools. See what they can do for you. I know the school we are going to send our girls to is willing to work with us (them) and another district was not. We could have chosen to find housing in either area. Guess which area we picked?

 

Good Luck. It is very frustrating.


whatsnextmom's Avatar whatsnextmom 12:52 PM 02-24-2011

Who told you this? Was it the school itself? I ask because often districts have blanket policies but individual schools can have more wiggle room. That particular rule is in place because many would try to get around the cut-offs by putting their kids in private kindergarten and transferring over. Being a transfer from a public school in another state with different cut-offs should be more a possibility when presented in person.

 

You might want to check out various schooling options too. Charters can be more flexible with age or provide a more challenging environment. Immersion schools can offer another kind of education. She could repeat kindie but learn a new language in the process.

 

If there really is no way around it, enroll her in kindie and see what happens. My eldest started kindergarten on schedule but was transferred to 1st grade after winter break. It's much easier to advocate for a child they've seen in action than a child they only know on paper.


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 03:48 PM 02-24-2011


Quote:

Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

Charters can be more flexible with age or provide a more challenging environment. Immersion schools can offer another kind of education. She could repeat kindie but learn a new language in the process.


agreed.

 

we currently live in a state with very firm cut off for K and first, but not for second. Private schools and charters do not have to follow the state law.

 

Also check with private schools for scholarships.


KCMichigan's Avatar KCMichigan 04:35 PM 02-24-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




agreed.

 

we currently live in a state with very firm cut off for K and first, but not for second. Private schools and charters do not have to follow the state law.

 

Also check with private schools for scholarships.

I agree, it does not hurt to try this.

 

 

Where we moved to there are no charter schools and all the  private schools follow the same cut-offs as public schooling though with no exceptions (I called around) except one private school that did not fit in our religious beliefs.

 


 


Emmeline II's Avatar Emmeline II 05:20 PM 02-24-2011

If you haven't talked to the school directly, I'd ask where they placed children who are moving from a state with an earlier cut off. If they insist on her repeating K you could press for more advanced work, doing some subjects with the 1st graders, and GT.


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 05:34 PM 02-24-2011

another thought -- Kindergarten is very different in different places. In some places, it is what first grade used to be. Depending on what K is like where you are now and what it is like where you are going, it may be more challenging even though it has the same name.


cyberfish's Avatar cyberfish 06:54 AM 02-25-2011

Thank you.  These are all good thoughts.  The K my daughter is in right now is pretty rigorous academically, as far as I can see.  It's a low-performing school with a huge ESL population so they really push them so they can stay accredited under NCLB.  K looks a lot like 1st grade to me but still my daughter is way above that in terms of what she can do.  I will look into some of your suggestions.  I can't see her repeating K, though, for clerical purposes.  She comes home angry now when they do things that are easy for her so if she were sitting in a circle learning the alphabet again come September I think she'll implode.  lol.gif We do lots and *lots* of supplemental stuff at home and beyond so I can't help wondering if I could actually homeschool her in just a few hours a day and have her still make progress.  She's also pretty self-motivated for 5 and if she wants to learn something she'll focus on it and learn it.  The trick would be finding/paying for a reliable sitter for those hours I need to work undistracted. 


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 07:17 AM 02-25-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post

It's a low-performing school with a huge ESL population so they really push them so they can stay accredited under NCLB. ... She comes home angry now when they do things that are easy for her so if she were sitting in a circle learning the alphabet again come September I think she'll implode.



In many places, a child who didn't already know not only the alphabet but have some basic reading skills would be considered VERY behind at the start of K. It sounds like your DD is not in a good school, and that the program is designed for children VERY different from her. I suspect that they do lots of drill on very basic things. It's really not an indication of what other K programs are like.

 

Finding a sitter is another option for you. But I think actually checking out the schools where you are going makes sense.


whatsnextmom's Avatar whatsnextmom 10:01 AM 02-25-2011

There is very little "letter learning" in our area. They do a couple weeks review in the very beginning to build confidence but I can't think of any kids who didn't know them in my own children's kindergartens. In my DS's class, several were reading well enough to have a reading group. By January, they were writing in sentances and simple paragraphs. They kept a journal. They were actively adding, subtracting, learning the multiples of numbers by skip counting, ect. They had a full science and social studies curriculum including writing paragraphs on Lincoln and more. I'm not saying this would be enough for your child in the fall, only that it's a far cry from sitting in a circle learning letters.

 

Another option, if she must go to K but have a subject acceleration in English and/or Math.

 

I do feel you could easily homeschool her 1st grade in just a few hours a day. Due to the cost factor, I'd be inclined to try the public school first but if it really doesn't work and they won't work with you, it could be worth the money of a full-time sitter.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post

Thank you.  These are all good thoughts.  The K my daughter is in right now is pretty rigorous academically, as far as I can see.  It's a low-performing school with a huge ESL population so they really push them so they can stay accredited under NCLB.  K looks a lot like 1st grade to me but still my daughter is way above that in terms of what she can do.  I will look into some of your suggestions.  I can't see her repeating K, though, for clerical purposes.  She comes home angry now when they do things that are easy for her so if she were sitting in a circle learning the alphabet again come September I think she'll implode.  lol.gif We do lots and *lots* of supplemental stuff at home and beyond so I can't help wondering if I could actually homeschool her in just a few hours a day and have her still make progress.  She's also pretty self-motivated for 5 and if she wants to learn something she'll focus on it and learn it.  The trick would be finding/paying for a reliable sitter for those hours I need to work undistracted. 




elus0814's Avatar elus0814 12:38 PM 02-25-2011

This situation happened to us and we ended up homeschooling while waiting for her to get older than the highest cutoff date. She was in preschool in a state with a dec cutoff with a sept birthday then we moved to a state with a sept 1 cutoff and they would not allow her into K even though she was reading and doing addition. I was told it's because if they start kids later and account for the drop out rate they end up with fewer kids overall in all the grades. It's also so they can spend less time teaching since older kids learn the same things faster than younger kids (for example, it might take eight hours of active teacher time to teach basic subtraction to an average seven year old but 14 hours to teach it to and average six year old). 

 

We had to homeschool, there was no way I could have kept her home for a year then send her off to learn how to count to 10 when she was already doing skip counting and subtraction. 

 

Why not homeschool? If not then look into lower cost private schools or co-ops or scholarships. 


pianojazzgirl's Avatar pianojazzgirl 09:07 PM 02-25-2011

I think in your case right away I'd start talking to schools in the area to see if they might actually be able to budge on the issue or if this is going to be an absolute no-go.  If they do insist that she needs to re-do K what I would do is put her in an intensive language-immersion program.  That might be challenge enough for her this year (I speak from experience).  When my dd started pre-K at not-quite-4 she was already reading simple texts in English.  We live in a mainly-French speaking city and so enrolled her in a French school.  She would have been bored to tears "learning" the alphabet and "learning" to count to 10 in English, but having to learn those things in a completely new language, and more importantly, having to communicate EVERYTHING in that new language (thus gaining fluency in just a few months) made pre-K just challenging enough for her.  For you guys you could at least try that out, and worst-case-scenario, pull her out if it really wasn't working and look for a babysitter to enable you to work and homeschool her at her level.


annethcz's Avatar annethcz 06:10 PM 02-26-2011

I think it's interesting that people keep suggesting charter schools.  Charter schools ARE public schools, so they need to adhere to the same laws as all other public schools. 

 

That said, in many states there is a policy to allow younger children to enter kindergarten (and presumably 1st grade) early.  In MN, the child must undergo testing with a licensed psychologist (paid for by the parents) in order to gain early entrance to public school. 

 

FWIW, my kids were homeschooled for a few years and were placed with their age mates when they started school.  After a few months, it was clear that my DD's placement wasn't working for her.  She was moved up a grade for math, then for reading.  Eventually, she ended up skipping a grade. 


Emmeline II's Avatar Emmeline II 06:44 PM 02-26-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post

I think it's interesting that people keep suggesting charter schools.  Charter schools ARE public schools, so they need to adhere to the same laws as all other public schools. 

 


Not all the same laws. According to Texas Educational Association (my state)  "Charter schools are subject to fewer state laws than other public schools with the idea of ensuring fiscal and academic accountability without undue regulation of instructional methods or pedagogical innovation."


whatsnextmom's Avatar whatsnextmom 10:10 PM 02-26-2011

In our area, the state sets standards and are given some freedoms as to how they reach them. Charters have far fewer restrictions. In our state, there is no "law" against kids entering kindergarten before the cut-off. It just says it's up to the district and parents to determine if early-enterance is in the best intrest of the child. I know some of our local districts are more stringent. Some have hoops to jump through. With some, a good argument to the principal of an individual school is all that is needed. We have tons of charters in our county and they are routinely more open to these sorts of things.

 

OP, I found a great link for you. Seems most states allow transfers from states with different cut-offs as long as the child has completed or done several months of public kindergarten.)

 

http://mb2.ecs.org/reports/Report.aspx?id=32 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post

I think it's interesting that people keep suggesting charter schools.  Charter schools ARE public schools, so they need to adhere to the same laws as all other public schools. 

 

That said, in many states there is a policy to allow younger children to enter kindergarten (and presumably 1st grade) early.  In MN, the child must undergo testing with a licensed psychologist (paid for by the parents) in order to gain early entrance to public school. 

 

FWIW, my kids were homeschooled for a few years and were placed with their age mates when they started school.  After a few months, it was clear that my DD's placement wasn't working for her.  She was moved up a grade for math, then for reading.  Eventually, she ended up skipping a grade. 




cyberfish's Avatar cyberfish 11:36 AM 02-28-2011

This is even more great information.  Thanks so much!  I'm not sure what we'll do yet but I feel better prepared with options now. 


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