kindergarten "cut-off" dates - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 09-01-2004, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just curious if any of you have kids with birth dates close to the "cut-off" for starting school & how it worked out for your kids to be the oldest (or youngest) in their class. My poor girls are both right by the cut off. Here they need to be 5 by Sept. 15th to start kindergarten.

My older dd's bd is August 29th. I was strongly encouraged by the school & the district to hold her back a year b/c "the younger children invariably fail," & a bunch of other negative comments like that. Despite their advice, her preschool teachers felt that we should start her & we did last year. She was the youngest child in her kindergarten class by far, but she did awesome. She is very strong willed & did fine socially & tested advanced on everything that they tested them on. I am very glad that we didn't hold her back b/c I think that she would have been bored. She's in first grade now & doing just fine.

The problem that I'm running into is that my younger dd's bd is Sept. 27th, so she cannot start at almost 5, like her sister did. However, she is significantly beyond where her sister was academically at 3-4 y/o & I am truly worried that she is going to be bored if she is the oldest kid in her class.

I could put her in private kindergarten at the school where she attends pre-k, but we can't afford to keep her there permanently & the public school has told me that they will make her repeat a grade if we try to sneak her in this way & they transfer her to public. I am also worried that, if we do not do kindergarten at 5 & keep her in two years of pre-k, she is going to feel like she is being kept back, while all of her other friends from pre-k go on to kindergarten.

Any advice?
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#2 of 20 Old 09-01-2004, 03:14 PM
 
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Just thought I'd put in two things I've learned around here. All school districts are different, though.
There is a boy in my ds' class who had an early bday and did K at a private school. What they told him is that he'd have to *start* the year in K at public school, then after they did the evaluations and observed his behavior for a couple of weeks they would discuss if he was ready for 1st or not. Ds told me last night that the boy spent 1/2 the day in first grade today, so maybe they will let him move up.
Also, what a friend in your situation told me she learned is that the school system will allow them to enter 2nd grade after completing first at a private school even if they don't meet the age requirements, but won't do it w/ starting at K. Not sure why, though. Just 2 ideas for you to follow up on.
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#3 of 20 Old 09-02-2004, 06:05 AM
 
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I was struggling with this, as dd has a birthday in October, but our cut off is September 1.

I really think that because of all they are expected to know, that I will probably wait that extra year, until she's almost six before she starts. She's tiny, and I worry about that too.

I plan to work with her at home and put her in a lot of activities, like swimming and soccer or something, to keep her busy while she has to wait.

It's not the best thing, but I think in the long run, extra time will help. But I do hate the cutoff being so early. It's like you're penalized for being born in October, November or December. :
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#4 of 20 Old 09-02-2004, 09:41 AM
 
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My dd's bd is close to the cut off age, and I sent her. I'm going to do the same with her sister, who also has a close bd. She thrived and loved K. I wouldn't hold my child back unless I had some serious reason to think that she wasn't ready. Somebody in the class is going to be the youngest.
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#5 of 20 Old 09-02-2004, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I definately do not have serious concerns about Tessa being ready, but I guess that what I am saying is not that I am considering holding her back, but that I feel like I am being forced to hold her back. If I send her at 4, going on 5, it is more like I am pushing her forward than sending a child who just made the cut off (like my older dd).

I am not keen on waiting until she is 6 for kindergarten, but I don't know if I'd be doing her a disservice by trying to push her ahead of what the school district allows.

BTW, I have checked with the district on whether they would let her spent a little time in kindergarten & then move her up to 1st grade if she looks ready (after going thru a year of private kindergarten). They were very firm on saying no on that. The district to the north of us would consider that, but ours has said that they have a firm rule that they will never allow a kid to transfer from private school & move into a grade that they are not age-allowed to be in by the public school. They have actually made kids who went to private school all the way through 5th or 6th grade repeat a grade when transferring into public school if they were not old enough.
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#6 of 20 Old 09-02-2004, 01:43 PM
 
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Does the district North of you that allows transfers to be a grade above "age level" allow out of district transfers. they do that around here, for a small fee....
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#7 of 20 Old 09-02-2004, 02:14 PM
 
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ChristaN---

Aren't there laws that a school needs to provide accomidations? I mean, if you had a genius child on your hands would there be *no* transfers out of age level grade? I'm just confused by the stance of "never" since they obviously have to at times, I would think

 

 

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#8 of 20 Old 09-02-2004, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Re: questions -

Yes, the district to the north of us would allow us to send her there. I am not sure if we want to go that way, but it is allowable.

Re genius kids (and I don't know that I'd term either of mine a genius ), I am sure that they have to have some accommodations. We haven't gotten that far yet. I suspect that they are toeing the line b/c they want to have the same rules for everyone & they don't want us difficult parents to try to get around their rules. Maybe they would skip the kids ahead at a later date, if warranted, but I am not even thinking that far yet. I am just worrying about her being bored in kindergarten for 2 yrs (one private & one public) or feeling left behind in pre-k for 2 yrs.
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#9 of 20 Old 09-04-2004, 11:20 PM
 
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My dd's bd is a few weeks after the Sep 1 cutoff here. Honestly, I'm not worried about it.

She is only 3 yo now, but her preschool teachers say she is very advanced verbally and socially and they recommended that I start her in school a year early. If she's ready for first grade at 5.9 yrs of age, then by golly I'll find a way to get her in first grade rather than wait a whole nother year. If she's not ready, then fine, no problem waiting.

It can't be that big of a deal to get her in a few weeks shy of the deadline, although they like to make you think it is. I have a different perspective growing up as a military brat changing schools very often, sometimes 2 or even 3 schools in one year. The states all seemed to have different cutoff dates and they worked with us transfers. I'm sure there must be a way to work it out if your child is ready, but shy of the date by a few days or weeks.

2boysandadog - yes I bet a "fee" would go a long way to solving that problem!!! LOL
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#10 of 20 Old 09-05-2004, 12:46 AM
 
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christa, where we live they will make exceptions regarding the cut off date only after extensive testing. You might ask if they have an evaluation process if a parent wishes them to make an exception.

The cut-off here is Sept. 1st and my son's birthday is Sept.11. It was a hard decision for us, but we finally had him skip kindgergarten and go right from Pre-K to 1st grade. He attends a private school though.

He has done wonderfully, and I know without a doubt he'd be miserable and frustrated if he was in a lower grade. This is my child who was doing multiplication problems in his head in pre-k while the rest of the class was learning to recognize the numbers 1-10.
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#11 of 20 Old 09-08-2004, 01:46 PM
 
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In our case we had a completely different worry. Our schools cut off date is in december. My dd's birthday is Sept. 27, and she would have been one of the youngest in her class. Academically she probably would have been fine. Socially I was a little worried, she was very sensitive. We kept her out an extra year and started her this year. She's almost 6 and one of the older ones in the class. I can see a big difference in her maturity level and she is loving school. We did lots of schooling at home last year so she feels very confident, and is not board at all. There is so much more to kindergarten than the academic part of it that I don't think you have to worry about the kids getting board.
One of the big factors in making our decision to keep her out a year is that my husband's birthday is also in sept. so he was four when he started school and always struggled. Then he graduated from high school and started college at 17 and still feels he should of had 1 more your to mature before stepping out into the adult world.
They grow up very fast and I don't see a problem with giving them a little extra time to be a kid.
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#12 of 20 Old 09-08-2004, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We moved here from N. Calif., so I am used to the Dec. cut-off, too. The Sept. one struck me as abnormally early! I guess that we do all relate to it from our personal experience. My bd is in Sept., too (9/15) & I started kindergarten at 4, going on 5.

When I look at it from my personal experience, as your husband did, I can't imagine having been any older than I was in school. I was already so bored that I read books in class and just showed up for the tests & got straight A's (and I was in the Advanced Placement classes). I had terrible study habits as a result (b/c I had never had to work to do well) & that was a big draw-back in undergrad school. I really don't want Tessa to be that bored, and I think that this is where my fear of keeping her out of kindergarten until 6 comes from.

BTW, our district does allow children who transfer in from other public schools to stay in the grade that they were in/move on to the next grade even if they don't make the cut-off for our district. Where they are real sticklers for the cut-off is when you are trying to transfer them in from a private school.

Edited to add: Angie, in looking at your post again, I do see your point on them not being bored in kindergarten. My older dd was in kindergarten last year, so I kind of have the drill down on what to expect. I am more concerned about her being bored as she gets older - in later grades when she is the oldest. I'm not too concerned with her being socially behind as she plays with older kids a lot (the benefit of having an older sibling ), either. She isn't as assertive as her older sister, but neither is she super-shy or sensitive. Angelina, my older one, is the sensitive one (she's a "sponge" and Tessa is a "duck," as Angelina describes it.)
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#13 of 20 Old 09-08-2004, 02:24 PM
 
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Here the cut-off is Oct. 1. dd's bd is beginning of August. I plan on starting her next yr, when she's 5. She seems on schedule now at 4 and I would put alot of weight on what her preschool teacher says. I did have a hard time with dd being in the 3-4 preschool class verse the 4-5 class but that has since been changed so all 4yr are together. Her school is already very non-academic and I feel that dd will have to "prove" herself and I was afraid being around so many young children would leave her stagnet academically. Mind you she is still 2m older than the cut off. While having dd an extra year would be nice as she is an only and I'm afraid her leaving after high school will be sad, I think that's greedy on my part. And who know dd might still be nursing then and not able to leave my home :LOL .

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#14 of 20 Old 09-11-2004, 02:16 AM
 
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Christa, I live in Colorado and have a kindergarten DD who will be 6 in October. It has worked well for her, I think she would have done fine last year but I have seen her grow up so much in the past year that I knew without a doubt that she was ready and she is excelling. (Not to say this is the right choice for you-my DD is also very petite, the same size as the kids in this kindergarten and much smaller than the first graders) Also our "neighborhood school' (two miles away) has our areas gifted program and the teachers have a good reputation as far as keeping all of the children challenged if they are ahead of their class but not part of the gifted program which probably added to my comfort level in waiting the extra year I'm not sure what district you are in but you may want to check grade level cut offs--our district has a cut off for kindergarten and first grade (which they stick to unfailingly) but not for second and up (at least none that I have found) --Maybe because the law does not require kids to go to school until they are 7 here?! I thought about sending DD to a private kindergarten but would have had to also do a private first grade then transfer her in second. this would have been very difficult for my family due to the selection and cost of private schools in our area. I also know of a district that will allow a child to bypass the cutoff by enrolling in an accredited kindergarten then transferring into their kindergarten after their fifth birthday. It seems like there is a lot of variation in what districts will do here. I hope you are able to find a solution that is good for you and your child.
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#15 of 20 Old 09-11-2004, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Joycenjackiesmom. We are in the Thompson SD (Loveland area). I am going to put a lot of weight on the suggestion of her pre-k teachers as it gets closer to the end of the year. Hopefully they will have a strong opinion about whether she should go on to the private k or stay another year in pre-k.

Tessa is very small, like your dd, but I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to factor her physical size into my decision b/c she is likely always going to be one of the smaller kids regardless of how long we wait to start her. Thus far, being smaller than her peers in preschool & pre-k has not been a problem. My Dh is only 5'6", my mom is 4'11"... pretty much our whole family is a bunch of shrimps. Oh well, I did just see a study the other day that found that childrens' height had no relation to how popular they were among their peers. It didn't seem to hold my brother, who was 4'10" tall in 9th grade (and one of the older kids), back!
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#16 of 20 Old 09-11-2004, 05:32 PM
 
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I think you are the best judge of your child, not the school officals who might be looking at particular high numbers for a certain year and deter you from enrolling your child to benefit them not the child.

My son was born in Oct, a few weeks passed the Sept 30 cut off. I have had him in private school, so he completed a "kindergarten" program last year. He was offically able to go to public school this year and I had him tested to start 1st grade instead of "repeating' kindergarten.

For me, I knew my son's social and acedemic skills. I knew that kindergarten would be a waste of his time and energy. He is a very social kid and makes friend easily, socially I wasn't concerned. I had his skill level confirmed by the school and then made my decision just before school started.

DS#1 is physically mature as well. He has lost 5 baby teeth which is more consistant with a 6 or 7 yr old in 1st grade, not the 5 yr old in kindergarten. He is tall, he wears size 7 pants for the length and sz 8 long sleeve shirts for the arm length at age 5. SO, you can't tell he is the youngest in his class.

Quite frankly, as far as 1st grade goes, he hasn't learned anything he did already know yet. I hope it picks up sometime soon or he is going to be one bored little kid!

Don't let school officals scare you. If your child is going to be in school next year, go now and take a look around. There are small kids, there are bigger kids, there are the ones in the middle. Take a look at the curriculum and prepare your child with the basics ahead of time, you be the judge on whether or not your child is ready. Is kindergarten a 1/2 day or full day? What will that be like for your child? Start getting him/her ready now.

Who knows your child better than you? Need I say more.
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#17 of 20 Old 09-12-2004, 07:50 PM
 
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Electra, I know we're not in the same state, but what was the evaluation to get into first grade like for you/your son?

Our district allows you to do kindergarten elsewhere, but supposedly the evaluation to go straight to first grade is really tough.

A friend of mine sent her daughter to private kindergarten and she was allowed to start first grade at our ps, but she said the school expected her dd and others who were trying to transfer in to be better and smarter than her dd's peers, who had done kindergarten at the school.

She said her dd had to be reading at a higher level, know more, and be almost perfect in every way to get in. I'm wondering if that was your experience?
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#18 of 20 Old 09-12-2004, 09:36 PM
 
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We're in a similar situation as the OP. My oldest DD's bd is July 29th, 2 weeks before school starts here. The cut-off is Sept 1st. She had some big adjustments going into K, but I think it was mostly b/c she was not in pre-school like most of the other children. She didn't understand how the classroom/teacher thing worked. By the end of kindergarten, she was one of the best readers in her class and still is.

My 3rd DD will be 5 on Sept 6th. She is already ahead of her sisters in every way at comparable ages. I can't imagine having to hold her back an entire year for 5 silly days.
We are currently contemplating homechooling which will make that a moot point, but if we don't HS I'm not sure what we'll do. Don't some states offer testing for children really close to the cut-off?
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#19 of 20 Old 09-13-2004, 10:04 AM
 
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Katana - I'm in VA. Our county is supper big on reading and the kindergarteners take what is called PALS test at the beginning and end of the year. It's a one on one reading accessment test, you can look it up on line. I found out about this test by looking at the public school calander on-line and sure enough testing is scheduled on the calander.

I went to meet with the Vice Principal of the school first and asked what types of things he needed to know and what the format of assessment was. So, for his assessment he had to take the PALS test and then the laughing joke of counting to 20 and then counting backwards from 10! My son has been counting to 100 for a couple of years now and adds to the 1000 place!

Additionally, if he had attended a private school on the "approved list" he would not have to have been assessed. This list was available on-line via the dept of ed webpage and it was under accreditted private schools, as in VA state accreditted.

I hope that helps. It also reminded me that i need to pull out math work to do this afternoon, since he hasn't done any math work since he started public school. It's no wonder their SOL math scores are so low.
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#20 of 20 Old 09-14-2004, 12:00 AM
 
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Just a quick addition to my post of the other night. I was very tired when I wrote it and although it does look like I took DD's size into consideration on the kindergarten issue last year I truly did not even think of it until about a month ago when a friend observed that she was the same size as the children in her kindergarten and a lot smaller than the first graders. Our considerations were her skills as well as the economics of sending her to private school for two years at minimum and what our very small, excellent "neighborhood" school had to offer her this year. HS is not an option for us as we are both employed outside of the home fulltime (at least not official homeschooling--we do teach her things all the time) I did want to let Christa know about the two cutoffs in our district (Jeffco) which is not too far from hers.
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