How to convince public pre-k to let me pick my 4 y.o. up early (half-day)? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 09-01-2011, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone out there successfully persuaded a public school to let their kid do a half-day in spite of the program being full-day?  We live in Texas and my son has started pre-k montessori, 8-3.  I'd like to pick him up before rest time at 12:30 every day.  I was told that that was not allowed but that I could make an appointment with the principal to talk about it.  I know parents in the past have gotten permission to do this, at least for some of the days of the week. I explained this and was asked if these kids had special needs/circumstances -- which they didn't.  Before I fight this one, I'm wondering what might qualify as a special need, how I should go about persuading the principal to give me permission.  Honestly I just think this is too many hours per week for my kid.  I don't really believe in this much school for a 4 y.o. (but I do need him to be there for some hours because I need to work).  My guess is that "reason" will not be honored as a good enough reason.  I think this is ridiculous of course but I do like the school...

 

Thanks for any input/advice!

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#2 of 11 Old 09-01-2011, 12:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kmm2v View Post

Has anyone out there successfully persuaded a public school to let their kid do a half-day in spite of the program being full-day?  We live in Texas and my son has started pre-k montessori, 8-3.  I'd like to pick him up before rest time at 12:30 every day.  I was told that that was not allowed but that I could make an appointment with the principal to talk about it.  I know parents in the past have gotten permission to do this, at least for some of the days of the week. I explained this and was asked if these kids had special needs/circumstances -- which they didn't.  Before I fight this one, I'm wondering what might qualify as a special need, how I should go about persuading the principal to give me permission.  Honestly I just think this is too many hours per week for my kid.  I don't really believe in this much school for a 4 y.o. (but I do need him to be there for some hours because I need to work).  My guess is that "reason" will not be honored as a good enough reason.  I think this is ridiculous of course but I do like the school...

 

Thanks for any input/advice!


Have you considered how your son will take being the only one to leave class early? He'll see the next day the projects they worked on while he was gone. He may feel disconnected socially from the others. He'll miss special guests and other things often planned in the late afternoon. I'm not at all saying it's right for your son to be in school for 7 hours (which is almost an hour longer than both my middle and high schooler goes to school.) The most my kids when to preschool was 3 mornings a week. However, if you like the school and the program, you might need to accept that it's full-day.... especially if it's public and free.


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#3 of 11 Old 09-01-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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My dd started pre-k when she was just short of 4yo.  She had never been in daycare or preschool before so it was a big adjustment for her.  The school policy was that all kids had to attend full days, BUT, her teachers (different teacher in the morning and afternoon) were the ones to suggest that we ease her into things by starting with half-days.  Of course this was with the understanding that at some point we would be working up to full days. 

 

Maybe try talking to his teacher.  Even if it goes against school policy she might be ok with it.

 

Also, I agree with the pp that you might want to reconsider sending him for full-days.  Dd was actually much happier (once she got used to school in general) with being there for full days.  Most of the "fun" stuff happened in the afternoon.


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#4 of 11 Old 09-02-2011, 05:51 PM
 
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I'm kind of curious as to why you signed him up for a full day program if you didn't want him to go full day. That seems like a long day to me too. Would it be feasible for you to look for a half day preschool to send him to instead?

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#5 of 11 Old 09-02-2011, 06:02 PM
 
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Just from my experience as a former public school preK teacher.  In order to be cheerfully granted a shortened program one would have  an IEP developed my the school's special education team.  Things that might be considered would be health issues documented by a medical doctor or extreme behavioral problems that are exacerbated by the extended day. 

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#6 of 11 Old 09-03-2011, 12:14 AM
 
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I was concerned by the long days for DD when she first started (only just 4). I;m sure our systems in the UK are different but here's our experience in case it gives you things to think about.

 

Our first response had been to ask for her starting to be delayed from Sept till April (which is our legal right here) however the school suggested half days as an alternative option so that she would be there for all the settling in and making friends at the start of the year. It was always with the intention of building up to full days.

 

It was not ideal her missing half of the time at school as she did miss out on some of the activities, though the teacher was good about letting me know if there was something special in the afternoon so DD could stay for some of them. As we built up time in school she also let me know a couple of times when she thought DD was just not up to the afternoon so I could collect her.

 

I won't say it was easy trying to bend the rules at every turn, even simple things like school letters being given out at the end of the day meant I spent a lot of time catching up with other parents to see what I had missed. There were quite a lot of accommodations which the teachers made to make it work and it's not something that I think would have worked if they had not agreed with the idea.

 

For DD though things worked out well, she still ended up doing full days  a little earlier than I would have liked but I think the gradual introduction helped her cope well and I'm glad we did it.

 

 

 

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#7 of 11 Old 09-03-2011, 05:11 PM
 
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My 4 yo just started a full day pk program 2 weeks ago. He's thriving, looks forward to going, & is adjusting easily. My dd successfully completed the same program several yrs ago. While it might not be a good fit for every child, your dd might enjoy it and do well. Could you try it, & if she doesn't adjust well, use that as a reason to move to half days?

ETA: Do you know who the teachers will be? I might try approaching them directly and try to get some feedback from them on the idea. Find out if they be supportive of a half day, or not.
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#8 of 11 Old 09-04-2011, 07:55 PM
 
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My 5 1/2 yo just started kindy after only going half days in pre-k for the past 3 years. I still think full day is too long for kindies so I understand how you feel. It's been about 4 weeks now in kindy and she's finally adjusted to a full day but emotionally she is a wreck at the end of the day and is very tired. She still could use a nap once and awhile which they don't do at school.

 

I would try talking to the school about starting out just half day and working up to the full days if they would agree to that. 

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#9 of 11 Old 09-06-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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I can see why you may not want your child in school all day but that is the program you signed them up for when you put them in public school. If your child leaves early, he will miss out on activities, work and other events during the rest of the school day. The teacher will then have to take time away from the other kids to catch your son up when he comes back in the morning. I don't think that is fair to the other kids or to the teacher. If you want a half day program, you should find one that is set up that way or you could homeschool but I think expecting to allowed to be the exception to the rule is unrealistic and unfair.

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#10 of 11 Old 09-06-2011, 10:46 AM
 
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Really, I'd look for a Pre-K program with a half-day option.

In my experience, what that then means is that the program is structured so that the bulk of the "instructional" activity happens in the morning. Afternoons are more free-form--at dd1's pre-K, after rest time there was afternoon snack, playing outdoors (though frequently with an option for drawing at an outdoor table), then a move indoors at the very end of the day.

It was *not* a public school; the day stretched until 5:30, for those working parents who needed it.

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#11 of 11 Old 09-07-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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It sounds like you would be happier with a half day program. As others have said, it really isn't fair to your child, the teacher or the other students to ask for a special arrangement based on a preference rather than a true need. If your little one isn't ready for full days then you need to find a half day program that is a good fit rather than asking a full day program to make allowances. Many kids aren't ready for full days at that age and that is why there are so many half day programs around.

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