Archive for the ‘mom journalism’ Category

All Day Kindergarten.. or Not

September 7, 2009
My youngest is in Kindergarten!

He’s amazing. He can nearly read. He can count to 100… and often does in the van (!). He can tell you what 7 plus 4 is (after counting it out on his hands.. but still)! He understands time, up to a point (every morning this summer he would run into my room very early and tell me it was past the ‘6’ number and could he get up now)!?

And maybe I’m crazy, but I’m super excited that our school has all day Kindergarten. Yippee! We dreamed of this for the older kids, but it was always the school district next door, or we moved just after our school was about to get it…

On TK’s first day of school both the Dad and I picked him up after the parent meeting. When we walked out of the building this conversation followed:

TK: Hey? It’s still light outside?

Me: Huh? Yeah…and…?

TK: I thought it was ALL DAY Kindergarten?

Us: Oh? Hahahahaha… Kindergarten gets out at 2:45, still Day Time!

The thing is, at that parent meeting I mentioned? They told us that the all day thing was in jeopardy. That the funding grant that had allowed all day in the first place had been lost/taken away… blah blah blah.. you know how it is.

Here’s what they’ve been able to cobble together (and I really praise them for the effort and pains they clearly went through to save this program). They located a set of funds to get the kids to 1:15PM. Leaving 1.5 hours left til the end of the school day. I have no idea how they can work like that— in hour and bit increments, but anyway.

It turns out the school we attend has this year has become a Title I school (meaning there is a magic number percent of kids on free lunch, etc.). Therefore the administrators were able to also tap into additional Title 1 funds to extend the school day that extra bit for Kindergartners… but there’s a catch.

Due to some sort of ‘your school is new to the Title 1 thing’, and other stuff I don’t understand… not every kid will qualify for this ‘extended’ day. Every kid will need to be ‘tested and assessed’ and after judging their Kindergarten skills or lack thereof, they will receive a recommendation: either they are in the program (need additional skills) or they will need to be picked up earlier than the other kids in the same class (show sufficient Kindergartner skills).

Oh and get this. If your kid is one of the un-included ones. You have the option of paying the school to allow your kid that extra 1.5hours per day.

I have enough money to pay the extra, I promise I’m not complaining about that. (Although you should have seen the dance we did when we made the last pre-school payment!) Here’s what I really wonder, though? If my kid is rejected from all day Kindergarten because he has more skillz than the rest of the kiddos…

…shouldn’t he move up to first grade?

He NEEDS all those Kindergarten (non-testable) skillz.

  • Going to the big boy bathroom by himself.
  • Sitting still.
  • Following directions.
  • Standing in line.
  • Eating in the cafeteria.
  • PE
  • Art

Heck no he doesn’t have these things mastered.

Maybe I’m selfish, but we were looking forward (for the first time in a really long time) to picking up all the kids at the same time. And it’s one of the reasons we chose to live in this school district in the first place!

I think he will still fall into the needs-Kindergarten-therefore-qualifies-for-an-extra-hour-of-school category. We find out Friday.

How cute is this? YES that’s a cast. YES he broke his arm the weekend before Kindergarten started. YES we were on vacation and doing awesome cool things like going to Legoland and the Beach. YES he broke it climbing a friend’s tree!

To TK: Have a great year!

UPDATE: He failed. Which in this new world of Title I, blah blah blah means he ‘qualifies’ to attend the rest of the school day… YAY!!