Monday, October 20, 2008

Hot topic: Changing kindergarten mid-year

An SF K Files visitor would like to get feedback on her situation:

"I have a 5 year old child who is now several weeks into a private kindergarten. There's a chance that it may not work out, through no fault of anybody's. So, I'm at a loss to even think about what options I may have. I already called the SFUSD and not surprisingly the options are pretty lousy. Right now, moving seems like the only albeit draconian option. I'm pretty upset about it and feel pretty helpless. I'd like to hear from others who've been in a similar situation."

19 comments:

  1. I had to change my daughter two weeks ago, and we're delighted! Couldn't have turned out better, and the transition was a no brainer.

    We got Yick Wo Elementary, which is such a great school. We came from a top private.

    Feel free to email me, if this link works.

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  2. Which private? Have they found someone for your spot?

    Were there issues with the private or was it a financial decision?

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  3. if you are looking for a private option, KMS may have a kinder spot.

    katherinemichielsschool.org

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  4. Just curious as to what some of the reasons might be for switching kinder mid-stream.

    Why might things not work out?

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  5. If a private school discovers any sort of learning disability (i.e. dyslexia) the student is often asked to leave.

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  6. Why would the private school employ learning specialists if they ask kids with manageable issues like dyslexia to leave? I just don't believe that this happens. Anyone have a first-hand account?

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  7. 6:02, I would prefer not to name the private, but they filled the girl opening immediately, yes. It was a great school, and they were understanding. It was a financial decision because of the number of kids I have, but also a desire to go public. And I think Yick Wo Elementary School is just as good, if not better in some ways. I just couldn't say no to a great public school. Six years of free education will pay for a lot of private high school and college.

    I will be open to going to Lowell, because I think the SF public schools will look very different in another nine years.

    The SFUSD came around to my name on the waitpool the first week of October.

    Better late than never.

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  8. Darn, I pressed publish instead of preview too soon.

    About Lowell, I meant that if it's a good fit for my kids in eight or nine years, I'd go to Lowell, if we are lucky enough to qualify. I don't think I'd go to Lowell if it looks like it does now: cut throat, not enough liberal arts/too much math science, not diverse enough.

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  9. A friend of my son's transferred to private school in second grade and was subsequently asked to leave mid-year when the teacher discovered that he had a mild case of dyslexia. (He wasn't able to get a spot in the SFUSD school he had originally attended and needed to switch to yet another public school in the second semester of second grade.) It definitely does happen, though I don't know if this was the case with the O.P.

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  10. We are very unhappy at our public school and wondering if we should go to EPC for a transfer. On the site it says there are only 3 conditions under which transfers are allowed, but I know many kids who have transferred from one SFUSD school to another without meeting any of those criteria. Any comment on how difficult this is?

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  11. I know someone who did change schools in the middle of the kindergarten year but she had to make a really big stink. If there are any safety lapses then that can be helpful. This is certainly an area where you have to be very aggressive. You'll need to find a school with a spot as well.

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  12. My nephew was told he couldn't continue with his private school class because of his dyslexia. This is in L.A. -- the class moves on together to a private middle-high school, and he was uninvited to go on to the middle-high school. The elementary private is the Stephen S. Wise school in Bel-Air, and the middle-high school is the Michael Milken school.

    I also know a number of families where younger sibs with disabilities weren't accepted to the private school specifically because of the disabilities. Two are Brandeis and St. Cecilia's.

    Private school friends have told me that private schools have learning specialists for students with very mild disabilities, but can't/won't cope with more serious situations.

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  13. Caroline, this really doesn't address transferring does it? Just another slam at private schools.

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  14. Private school friends have told me that private schools have learning specialists for students with very mild disabilities, but can't/won't cope with more serious situations.

    Of course this is true! Private schools advocate for all of their students getting the very best education possible. They are the first to recognize when they are presented with a situation they can't adequately address with their in-house resources. In those cases they will refer the family to a school with specialized resources.

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  15. I agree with the commenters that transferring is not as disruptive for many kids as parents sometimes feel (with the caveat that the kid does not have some type of learning disability in which case frequent transitions may actually be too stressful). On the other hand, I also agree with commenters that SFUSD is going to be a tough nut to crack into terms of getting into a decent elementary for K at this point. The original poster may want to try Creative Arts -- it has, in the past, had openings in K in mid-year (I have no idea if it does now). I also think KMS or, frankly, a preschool that offers a "transitional K" program might still have an opening. Then you can try to lottery for first grade.

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  16. But families move all the time, leaving openings, even at extremely popular schools. And if I'm understanding the current situation correctly, the waitpools don't function after a point a few weeks into the school year -- not sure what that date is this year -- so an out-of-district family (which is what you are) is quite likely to get those spots.

    I know a family who was trying to transfer their kid to Balboa midyear, immediately, in a situation like this. There were no openings at Bal -- but there was one at Lincoln, which they took. Overall, Lincoln is far more oversubscribed than Bal -- though Bal is increasingly popular -- but Lincoln is where there was an opening at that time.

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  17. To 2:58, I would suggest NOT waiting till first grade to make a transfer. If you have the ability to do it now, do it. The sooner a kid is in the newer environment, the better. It's awful for a child to have a whole year with a group of kids, only to have the group torn from him/her and have to start the process all over again in a new environment.

    I was in this situation, and the k teacher and all the experts told me, do it sooner than later. If you wait, it's better not to do it. Assuming you even have the choice, that is.

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  18. I agree with the last post. It should be a last resort, and the sooner the better. This why it's so important to make the right school decision for your child!

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