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first standard in 5 years?


pashtp June 30, 2012

Hello Friends. I am relocating from India to SJ this summer. My 5 year old (dob 29march) has already done her kindergarten in India and I do not want her to repeat it again, otherwise she may get bored. She progressed very well in kindergarten in India and meets all the criteria listed here and more about what to expect at the end of kindergarten. I have seen that the minimum age requirements for California seems to be 6 years by 1st nov for admission to first grade. My daughter will not be able to meet this. What options do I have to get her admitted to 1st standard. Thanks in advice for you comments

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MagnetMom July 9, 2012

Hi pashtp,

Contact the school district directly. There are work arounds for this rule. Since she is coming from another country's school system, they might be able to see what she can do and let her in to first.

Another option would be what many parents here do--test into a private first grade and return to public school for second grade.

Good luck!


1098765 August 10, 2012

If you want non standard enrollment based on a foreign school record in any California public school.....well, good luck. I was a student with similar situation in Texas as a child coming back from an ex pat private school in Latin America. My sister ended up repeating and I was almost forced to do the same except for a teacher's intervention the first day. The principal there literally misled my Mom about where they would place us and followed their "repeat a grade" policy after my mother left the office!

You will need to work directly with your school principal and put your request in writing, probably multiple times. Be prepared to show her work and possibly have her evaluated- if they bother. There is no standard procedure for testing out of kindergarten in the public schools. Most schools do not want kids advanced in grade because of perceived emotional maturity issues. There is definite bias in California against grade skipping in school policy. Some schools and principals will be more flexible than others, but remember they all answer to the school superintendent. I would not start at that level, but if you get shut down there is higher authority. If you go that route, be prepared not to be liked by the school staff.

While not to dismiss your concerns with boredom and not advancing as fast as possible, you might consider giving your child a repeat year to acclimate to the U.S. A lot of people here already delay their kid's entrance to kindergarten, "red shirting" to give their children an advantage in maturity over the other kids in class. There is often a two year age difference within a grade school classroom.

If you are set on moving into first grade, I would recommend a charter school or a private school. They can more flexible and test for placement. but most of them use a September 1 cutoff date for enrollment rather than November 1. Challenger schools have a lot of experience with the Indian ex pat community in SJ area and have multiple locations.

I agree with the MagnetMom poster that it will be easier to transfer in at an advanced grade for her age when she has completed a grade in the U.S. locally. Even if the public school agrees to place her up this fall, they may change her after the first day or week.

It can be tough to be the youngest in class here. My child's Kindergarten class had a very small girl, I think birthday eligible by one day. She cried every single day for months. Academically she was fine and made progress, but her life was miserable. Every little drawing and worksheet paper was tear stained. The more she cried, the less accepted she was by the class. No one wanted to be friends with the "cry baby". It was brutal.

A lot could depend on your child's personality and how well they adapt to the move. It might be better to give your child a little time with no challenge to become comfortable and confident in her new home. Being the "smartest" in class could be a boost and you can always supplement with more reading, enrichment classes out of school, and going to lots of new places in the San Jose area.

I was the youngest in my class by a considerable amount. It was fine in elementary school. High school was a little more awkward. There can be a big physical and emotional gap between a 14 year old and a class full of 16 and 17 year olds.


thibaud August 15, 2012

Try Noddin Elementary in the Union School District in southwest San Jose (borders Los Gatos). The principal, Miss Jones, is conscientious and savvy and will provide good advice, even if she doesn't or cannot grant your request.

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