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Help! we, a Dutch family, will be moving to DC in August, and need to find a place at a (preferably public) pre-kindergarten for our headstrong 4 year old son, who is fluent in french and dutch, but does not yet speak english. I am a little lost in the lottery system... Ideally we find a school first, and then a house. Can anyone recommend where best to go? thanks!! Kirsten
You might find this article of interest: http://www.greatschools.org/find-a-school/moving/3986-choosing-a-school-from-a-distance.gs?cpn=homeflash It will help you with tips on making that choice a little easier.
Also check for information in the Washington DC area of GreatSchools parent community: http://www.greatschools.org/washington-dc/washington/community.gs?content=1975
You might want to look at a cooperative preschool such as Rockville Community Nursery School in Rockville Maryland. It's a very diverse school with lots of parent involvement, so you would be able to be a part of your child's school experience and help him transition into an American school smoothly. Teachers and parents are very welcoming there. Many of the kids speak English and another language (or two) at home so you would have lots of parent buddies to talk to about language issues. It is very common around here for parents to speak only in their first language to their children so that the child will learn that language even in America, and then they can learn English from their classmates/teachers when they start preschool at 2 or 3 or 4 years old. Kids whose parents speak to them in a different language at home learn good English just over the course of a school year because they learn so easily when they are young. It helps if you (the parent) speak English, so you can easily join the community, but your child will learn very quickly, especially since at a parent-cooperative school you take turns with other parents helping in the classroom, so you can be a guide for him. 78472
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Our mission is to inspire and support families to champion their children's education - at school, at home and in their community. We are a national non-profit with offices in San Francisco, Milwaukee, Washington D.C. and Indianapolis.