Public schools feel that my child should repeat kindergarten due to cut off?
I live in NY (Long Island) My child who has attended Montessori schools and was evaluated and completed the accredited k program.This year I was looking forward to 1st grade placement. I looked over the public school curriculum which does not look any different from the private schooling. Honestly my child can do the work with her eyes closed. The school seemed to be very argumentative when I requested an evaluation to have my child placed in 1st grade. Considering her birthday is a few days past the Dec 1st "Cutoff" Academically, Socially & Emotionally she is ready for 1st grade. An appt. was set with the school psychologist who asked me to step out the room to give her an aptitude test. Once the testing was complete the psychologist immediately sent my child out and said "I will let you know the results". I asked my kid how was the testing and how did you do? I was told well mommy I did good except 2 questions I failed. Considering my kid is very mature and felt the need to be honest regarding the situation I was pretty confident. She is reading books, writing complete sentences, extended clear vocabulary, adding& subtracting multiple numbers etc. Strangers are surprised when they hear her speak. I received a call one week later and was told even though the work can be done. The district decided repeating kindergarten. I told a few of my family/friends and they feel strongly it is a racial issue (black child predominately white neighborhoood). Should I fight this?
I would. You seem to have a good sense of the curriculum/expectations, and your daughter's competencies. My first stop would be asking for more information about their decision as to their placement decision - what specific skills they feel are missing that warrants repeating the grade. If they have a really good answer and seem genuinely concerned, I'd consider what they have to say. If not, I'd make your request again.
My only hesitation with fighting would be that you'd damage a bit of your relationship with the school/district, which is an unfortunate way to start off what may be a relatively long or at least moderate-term relationship. Still, it may be a fight worth having.
This is a tough situation. Some school systems have a pretty rigid idea of who is "ready" for kindergarten or first grade, primarily based on the child's age (and sometimes gender). It is difficult to assess if race might play an additional role in their decision and I think that would be a hard battle to win. I would also be concerned about starting out with an adversarial relationship with the school. Could your child do one more year in Montessori? She seems well-prepared academically for first grade, not sure what area the school psychologist thinks is not "ready," but as I said, sometimes schools have policies that are based on long-held beliefs that may not apply to a specific child.
Sorry there is no one good answer here.
Jeanne H. Brockmyer, Ph. D.
education.com expert clinical child psychologist
So horrible. Terrible how my school district cut off in, Wantagh is Dec 1st
While in NYC ( where we moved from) is Dec 31. I def feel we got robbed and bec of my race, But b/c parents believe in red skirting and it seems to be ridiculous trend. My son will now suffer bec he was born Dec 5th. I totally sympathize with you and your issue and should fight it .