We are moving to California early in 2014. Planning to live around the Burbank area, or further out around Valencia. Undecided yet. My son has just finished Preparatory here which I think is your Kindergarten. He is already 6 turning 7 in September 2014. I would love any school recommendations for these areas and if you think it would be wise to enrol him in the current school year or wait and start first grade in the 2014/2015 year. Any information on how to go about researching this would be great! thanks so much!!
I'd enroll him once you're settled or even shortly after you arrive. Having a child in the neighborhood school is a nice way to join in with a new community - it's a nice way to meet people and fairly quickly in your new community. It's also a nice way for your son to meet and make friends and to become familiar with the curriculum and its expectations in a Kindergarten setting - which is usually more relaxed and 'family-friendly'. Some Kindergartens are still half-day here - that varies from school district to school district.
And it raises eyebrows a bit to keep a child out of school... You'll get questions... If you move in January, there are still five months of the school year left - most schools are in session until mid-June, even a bit later.
Researching school districts is a challenge - our best districts are in areas of affluence - sad but true. Trying to figure out a difference between suburban school districts is difficult - this website and some others will suggest they have solid statistics for you but the truth is - we don't know how to measure excellence in education. We give standardized tests and applaud those schools whose students do well on the tests but invariably its schools of affluence that do well on the tests. Ferret out the districts that you can afford to live in - California is expensive. The best way to find a good school district is to know someone who lives in that area.
Your son will be very popular - Americans love Australians. 83892
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