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My daughter misses the cut-off date for Kindergarten by 1 day. But her teacher says she's ready. What do I do?


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Anonymous January 29, 2009


Also she's already in pre-K, I can't repeat the same class cause they will be doing the same thing over again and there won't be enough challenges for her. Public schools won't take her and Private schools are not my choice . What do I do?

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healthy11 January 30, 2009


If the pre-K teacher's recommendation can't influence the public schools in your area to accept your child, and you don't want to send her to a private school, would you consider homeschooling her? Greatschools does have a Parent Support Group for Homeschooling at http://community.greatschools.net/groups/11543

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Lcastle February 5, 2009


I am speaking as a KIndergarten teacher of 37 years. Think about the distant future. Do you want to send your daughter off to college when she's 17? That fact alone should convince parents to let their children be children for as long as possible. Also remember that for her entire school career she will be competing with children a whole year older. She may be very bright, but how is she developmentally? Our standards in CA are so much harder than they used to be, why put extra stress on her? My recommendation is to let her do another 5 day a week transitional kindergarten and then begin K. the next year. You'll get to enjoy your baby at home one more prescious year. Good luck with this difficult decision.

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momto3girlsNC February 5, 2009


If you are insistent about sending her to Kindergaten, you can petition the school district. You may be required to have her tested (at your cost) to assure that she is indeed ready emotionally, socially, as well as academically.

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MagnetMom February 5, 2009


Hi Anon. I see you're in Woodland Hills, CA. California law is pretty specific. The date is December 2nd, and unless you can move out of state to a school with a December 3rd cutoff (and I swear we're close to the latest), you'll have few options.

As healthy has pointed out, you might be able to have her complete a year in private kindergarten and then apply. But the school district has the right to make her start kindergarten per the law and then move up if they deem her ready. I'm not sure which school you're zoned for (Calvert, Woodlake, Woodland Hills, or ??), but contact them directly, and see what their policy is.

You might want to contact Ivy Academia charter also and see what their enrollment policy is for December birthdays.

The CA Dept. of Ed. page on Kindergarten age is here: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/em/kinderinfo.asp

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jadecloud March 6, 2009


I wish my daughter and I live in your state as over there, she will be just right for the cut-off date of Dec 2. Over here, the cut-off date is Sep 30. My daughter was deemed ready in all areas for kindergarten when she was 4 yrs 10months old. She is doing well so far and will graduate her kindergarten class this year. However, for her next academic year beginning Aug 2009, she will have to repeat kindergarten grade as she is 2 months shy of being eligible for 1st grade. There are options open, for instance, I was advised to send her for an IEP test(physical, intellectual, emotional, etc) at my own costs and that includes being evaluated by a Child Psychologist at my own costs, before she can be considered for 1st grade. Or I can just register her for repeat kindergarten grade, after which if the school deems her more advanced for kindergarten, they can send her for some test and evaluation and move her up vertically. Although I am concerned she will feel bored, be under-challenged, or lose her confidence in her abilities having to repeat kindergarten again, I don't have a choice here as the testing and evaluation costs, its unknown associated costs, and the bureaucracy of the process is not something I'd like to deal with, or to have my daughter be subject to. Perhaps the education system, nation-wise, should co-ordinate and have their cut-off date as the first day of the new year. That way, students with just a day or a few days or a few weeks differences will not be subject to discrepancy that the system creates.

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healthy11 March 6, 2009


I agree that a "universal" kindergarten date across the U.S. would be nice, but I fear that no matter what the date is, whether Sept. 1 or Dec. 1 or Jan. 1st, there will always be individuals who have children whose birthdays fall "close" to the cutoff, and they would seek a variance. By the same token, the law doesn't prevent holding children back, and I do know that the differences between a kindergartener who is 4 years and 10 months, versus 6 years and 10 months, can be staggering....
I hope your daughter does well and the school recognizes her abilities without your having to "go broke" doing private testing. Best to you.

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jadecloud March 7, 2009


Hi healthy11, thanks for your best wishes. a universal school system beginning 1st of every year would be good. after all, we all generally regard ages by the year vs by the day and month born. Or at least the school or school system/board should consider each child based on their merit, not by the rule or by policy restriction. here, kindergarten starts at 5 yrs old and my daughter being 4yrs 10mths old, was only 2 months younger than the rest of them so I dont see much difference there. but on the scenario based on sep30 cut-off, she would be 5yrs 10mths old when she gets into kindergarten, essentially almost 10mths older than the rest of the kindergarteners. i consider that as holding her back and causing her to lose all that 10mths worth of advanced education that's right for her capability. But then again, who am I to say? It seems now in this climate, we all just have to toe the line and take what is handed down.

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trooper March 7, 2009


It is difficult to understand sometimes - but there is a lot of thought given to cut off dates. Your daughter would not yet be five, and the oldest child could nearly be six. To parents these cut-offs seem arbitrary and ridiculous. It is helpful to recognize the difference months make in a child's social and emotional development. There is a noticeable difference between each year during early childhood. Have you noticed any changes in your child's development in the last 12 months? I am sure she has been growing and flourishing.
I know this information has not help change anything for you. But please know, there is a far greater risk placing a child in a learning environment too early - then waiting a year. Sadly, parents and educators do not see the effects manifest until the child really starts to struggle with transitioning into middle school.
I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you and your daughter.
Best of luck to you!

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ninapav March 12, 2009


Hi! I feel your pain with this problem! My daughter misses the cut off by 7 days. We were told to have her tested with a Pychologist to see what her IQ was so we did pay out of pocket 400 to get the standard IQ test done for 4-7 year olds. Well she tested expectionally well with a IQ of 144 way over the 130 score of exceptionally high. We met with the principal today and she raved about all the schools gifted programs etc how she would be great etc and when I mentioned misses cut off for K by 7 days everything haulted. My daughter has been in Preschool for two years two and now we are not sure what to do yes she can attend private schools which already accepted but why spend all the money when live in great school district. I understand rules and cutoffs but like someone mentioned there has to be exceptions to the rules especially for gifted kids. We paid for expensive test still no where asked principal if could pass higher authority for consideration mentioned we could try writing letter to Superintendent for review but didnt seem to optimistic what do prek or two years of K shes already bored!! Same boat as you not sure what to do!

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healthy11 March 13, 2009


ninapav, if you have not yet written the District Superintendent, then that IS what you should do next. Many parents say they think their children are bright, and should be allowed to move ahead, but few actually have the documentation from an evaluation to show it. That may be what convinces the district to make an exception.
You may also want to join Greatschools Gifted Group at http://community.greatschools.net/groups/11537



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