New Jersey Nesties

Kindergarten cut-off questions

I know these are questions I should be directing to my Board of Ed, but I reckon with the recent budget cuts now might not be the best time.

Our daughter misses the kindergarten enrollment birthday cut-off by 1 month and 2 days. We feel like we'd want her to be tested for early enrollment instead of making her wait another year (we're completely confident she'll be emotionally and mentally prepared for this). Do most districts even do testing for early enrollment?

If not, and if we have to send her to private school for kindergarten (ugh, I get ill just thinking about what this costs), can she start 1st grade in public school at age 5 (turning 6 that November)?

And I know it looks like I'm jumping the gun here since this is a couple years away, but if private school is our only option, we have a lot of financial discussions to have sooner rather than later.

Thanks!

Re: Kindergarten cut-off questions

  • I can't speak for all district, but in the 3 districts I worked for in NJ, the cut off is the cut off.  They do not test for early enrollment. 
  • My Mom did exactly that for my sister who has a December birthday. She went to private kindergarten and then transferred into the public school for 1st grade with no issue. Another alternative is to move to my town where she will make the cut-off.  :)

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  • My niece is a December birthday and she jumped ahead at her daycare/preschool because she was really ready for the next class even though she was young. So right now she is in private kindergarten at her daycare center. Next year based on her town she should be entering kindergarten, but bil and sil want to have her go into 1st grade. In their town I believe she will start kindergarten and then after a certain period of time she will be tested to see if she should advance to 1st grade or not. I think it's after a month. My sil is concerned that she will come into 1st grade after everyone has already made friends and it will be tough for her. But they really don't think she needs to repeat kidnergarten. They live in Freehold. Not sure if this is the case in all towns. And that's a really long answer to your question, but I hope it helps.
  • My town will not test for any reason if you miss the cutoff and they use the same cutoff for first grade, even if you have your child enrolled in a private kindergarten program. 


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  • I've heard that my district will test if it's less than a month after cutoff. My sister is one district over and she was told that she can get my niece tested (she misses by 2 days). So I'd call and ask.

    I was talking to my mom about this a few weeks ago and she said that Kindergarten isn't required in the state of New Jersey - but I would assume that since she'd still be too young for first grade (since she was too young to enter K the year she missed the cutoff) that she'd have to be tested.

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  • I see several people posting about going to private kindergarten for the year then moving her straight into 1st grade to try to avoid the cut off.  I recommend that you check that out with the town as well.  I know in our town the cut off is the cut off and they have one for Kindergarten and 1st grade.  So if you go to K in a private school you still must be 6 by October 31st to enter 1st grade.  Just thought I'd let you know.
  • B is in the same boat. We are not having her tested though. We thought about it, but because here in NJ so many people hold their children back, she would be at a disadvantage age-wise. You don't notice the difference in the beginning, but you do over the years. I've been told that people regret sending their kid early, but no one ever regrets holding their child back.

    The K cutoff in my town is strict. My friend adopted a girl and her birthdate was listed as October 2nd and she couldn't guarantee that it was a correct birthdate. They wouldn't make an exception for her.

    You can have your child tested (I think my friend who works for EI told me that they HAVE to if you request it) though. I'm not sure what that testing entails.

    Also, Kindergarten is not mandatory in the state of NJ. In my town, you can't go to private school for K, and then go back into 1st grade in the public schools if you don't meet the age requirement (age 6 by October 1)......you would have to transfer back in 2nd or 3rd grade, and at that point, I wouldn't want to pull my kid out of private for public.

    We looked at the options for B, but have decided to follow the cutoff date, and she'll start school September 2011.

    In NY where I grew up, this isn't an issue. The cutoff is December 31st in NYC.......and no one holds their kids back.

    I'm a December baby. I went to K when I was 4, and turned 5 that December. I was always at the top of my class, BUT, I started college at age 17, was the last of my friends to drive, and felt socially awkward being at least a year younger than most of the kids in my class.......I was also supposed to skip the 8th grade, but my parents refused. In fact, I was so bummed that they were adamant about it. I never understood their reasoning until I got to college. I would have been 16 starting college - would not have been the right move for me.

    GL in your decision! It's a tough one!

     

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  • granted this was a lot of years ago

    i went to a private kindergarden. then my mom tried to enroll me in first grade in public school and they made me repeat kindergarden. then thought i was some sort of genius because i was breezing through everything. my mom is like no dumb f's she did it LAST YEAR.

    In my heart i graduated with the class of 96 :)

  • Just an FYI, Zach turned 6 on September 13th, just after starting kindergarten.  There were 6 kids out of 14 who were already 6 and the rest are all 6, except for one boy who will turn 6 in July.    With so many keeping their kids out of kindergarten if they are near the cutoff, kids who are just five when entering kindergarten are often the youngest by more than a year.  Just something to think about. 

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  • Thanks for the feedback. Now I'm even more confused about what to do. Indifferent

    I have a bunch of neighbors on the BOE, so I think next time I see them I'll ask. My sister missed the cutoff and could have been tested (granted, this was back in 1982) but my mom thought she was too babyish at the time. Now they both regret that she was the oldest in her class, but I suppose the grass is always greener.

  • I don't have much advice but to say our district is pretty strict about the cut-off from what I've heard....and this year they have to add another class b/c it's so big.  But speaking from experience teaching in Pre-K and Kindergarten I would really think a lot about this decision.  While you may think she's ready emotionally and mentally and maybe even physically for Kindergarten (at the time).....you also have to consider down the road...like how will she be when all the other kids are hitting puberty, getting their drivers licenses, and just the all around "social" aspect of it all...not only at this stage (K-2nd or 3rd grade) but into middle and HS.  I know it's a lot to think about, but 9 out of 10 times parent's opt to hold them back for many of these reasons...or some choose to push them up a grade.

    GOOD LUCK with whatever you decide!!!!

  • I have to say as a person who was an oldest in the class. I really appreciated being older then my classmates. When I started school the cutoff was the summer or something like that. I started in K and at the end of K they changed the cut off and gave the parents w/ summer/september babies the option of going into a transitional primer class. Which was basically an extra year between K and 1st. I have to say my parents putting me in that class and giving me the extra year was the best thing. All of the kids in that class were in the top 3rd of our graduating class and a few went on to ivy or other fantastic colleges. I liked being one of the first w/ a drivers license rather then waiting and being one of the last. I know my mom really appreciated that so she wasn't running like crazy with all of my after school activities.

    Just something to think about from someone who was one of the "old" kids in the class.

  • In my district, and this is pretty much most places I've heard of, you can't do that.  Otherwise, they'd have everyone close to the cutoff do it, and then all the classes would be kids that are born at the same time.  Even if you send your child to a private kindergarten, the cutoff is the cutoff, so when they were to come into the public school, they'd still be in Kindergarten.  Especially with the new layoffs/budget problems, I'd think that they'd be even less apt to test a child to see if they're in the correct grade.  Madison's going to be in the same situation, she's a November baby and misses the October 31st cutoff by a few weeks...so she'll go to private Kindergarten for two years since she's already in PreK and has two more years before Kindergarten in public school.  Then when she starts, she'll start in 1st grade, at the time that she should have, but will have had 2 years of private school Kindergarten.
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  • I have a daughter in kindergarten at a Catholic school.  She is a Sept birthday.  The class has about 25 students and there are at least 6 kids with birthdays after her and quite a few with summer birthdays.   
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  • We are in the same boat.  Renae misses the cut off for our town's pre-k by 3 DAYS!

    i contacted them asking if there was a chance they would allow her to be enrolled at all just for 3 days and they said no.  i told them she has great speech, will be potty trained..etc.  they said no, they are strict with the date. 

    So my MIL is a teacher in the next town over in a catholic school so she will be there for kidergarten.  my niece is 3 months older than Renae and are BFF and I really want them to be in the same grade and we live in towns next to each other.

    Jen. Mommy to Renae and Jillian
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  • Sigh... homeschooling isn't looking like such a bad gig, after all.
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