August 11, 2006,
D.N. asks from Boulder, CO on August 04, 2006
Are School Admission Flexible About Age Cut-off?
I just moved with my family to Boulder and thought that my son would start kindergarten this fall because he is turning 5 mid November. But on the Boulder school website I found out that they use September 30, 2006 as the age cut off date...!
My son has been a whole year to preschool already and we have been told that he is very advanced for his age so that I was wondering if the Boulder schools have a process to allow for advanced kids or if they are strict and stick to the September 30 cut-off?
The school office only opens by August 12 to find out how that might work out or not...
Do you have any suggestions and/or experiences to share with me regarding this issue?
Thanks in advance, D.
So What Happened?™
Thank you very much for all your tips and encouragement.
We definitely hit the wall with that Sept. 30 cut off date. It turns out that the Boulder Valley school district (BVSD) no longer considers/makes any exceptions for Kindergarten entry. You can test out for 1st grade but not for Kindergarten. Go figure!
The suggestion was to look for a Pre-K instead of a preschool program. So we scrambled to find a Pre-K program that both, would continue to challenge our son and wouldn't cost us an arm and leg.
It seems like we got lucky with the Mt. View preschool right in our neighborhood! School will start Tuesday after Labor Day. We are very relieved to have found a solution because our son was so eager to go to "school".
T.R. answers from Denver on August 05, 2006
not too sure about boulder but I know when my brother was going into kindergarten he was the day after the cut off date and she tried all the schools around here and they wouldn't let him in (northglenn thornton broomfield area)... I don't think they are, if not u could try a charter school or a gt school a lot of times they judge a lot more by level of development than by age!
M. answers from Denver on August 11, 2006
I am a young single mom of a 6 y/o boy and 2 y/o girl. My son will be turning 7 on Sept. 3rd. He happens to be one of the youngest kids in his classes because his birthday is close to the cutoff date. He does very well compared to his older classmates. I also have a girlfriend who's birthday is in late Nov. She moved from California where their cutoff dates are later than ours. She held her own and is now excelling beyond all our friends in her college studies. I'd definetly suggest talking to the school about it --it is possible for your son to join the kindergarten.
A thought or concern that comes to mind from the school's perspective is whether or not your son is behaviorally ready (can sit still for periods of time, use good listening skills, follow directions, use reasoning abilities, etc.) If he is, then I don't forsee a problem with him starting, especially if you have a recommendation coming from the preschool.
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T.S. answers from Denver on August 07, 2006
If your child's birthday is close to the cut off date you may be able to have them tested to see if they can start early. However, not all districs will do that and I'm not sure about Boulder. Since your son won't turn 5 until mid November, I wouldn't be too optimistic about getting around the cut off date. You might call the school district office rather than the actual school. Sometimes they have limited summer hours and they will definately know what the district's policy is on testing for early admission. If you don't have luck getting him in I would look for a good pre-school that has experience working with advanced children. Another year of that couldn't hurt.
C. answers from Denver on August 04, 2006
Although school offices don't open until mid August, sometimes
principals start back earlier, so you may want to call the school you are interested in and ask to meet with the principal. If you don't get a return call, visit the school directly. Sometimes you will find someone in the office in early August. If you feel your son is ready for kindergarten, the school may require some testing to verify your child is ready. When meeting with the principal, be sure to share your son's progress from pre-school. If his pre-school teacher can
write a letter recommending that your child start kindergarten
that is also helpful. Many schools are concerned about social issues, but since your son has already attended preschool
he already has experience with socialization. You will also be reminded that if he starts early, he will not receive his drivers license with other classmates and dating may occur later, due to his age. Be prepared for these types of concerns and know where you stand on them beforehand. Two of my children were young when starting at Kohl Elementary in Broomfield. One of my sons spent 2 days in kindergarten
and then was moved to first grade upon the teacher's recommendation. He had already completed kindergarten in a
Montessori school, but due to his age he had to start in kindergarten again. Another son, did first grade in a Montessori school, but was placed in first grade due to his age. At the end of first grade, the teacher recommended he move onto to third grade. Schools are doing a better job of meeting children's needs today, but teachers have to see your child first hand to make decisions. You know your child the best and are his advocate. The school process is one of great parent involvement and commitment. If you can talk with the
principal that will start the process. Approach the principal and teacher as part of a team partnership and be sure to listen to any concerns they voice, as you share your own. Don't worry, you have time. It is not unusual for students to register even after school begins. By the way, don't leave your son out of the conversation. Idealy, he should be excited
and happy about school and learning. However, that doesn't
mean there will not be anxiety for both you and your son those first few weeks. Good luck and enjoy the adventure!