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Old 05-04-2015, 04:19 PM
Location: Phoenix
7 posts, read 6,227 times
Reputation: 10


Looking to relocate from AZ to MN (either MSP area or Rochester) this summer. I know the kindergarten cutoff date is Sspt 1 but that some districts will make exceptions to this. My son misses it by about a week,but he is currently in preschool here in AZ. Does anyone have experience with the testing process as far as the screenings go,and are there generally waiting lists to get in to kindergarten? Also,if a child is screened at one district would another district be willing to use their results or do they conduct their own tests? The reason I ask this is because ive noticed many districts charge in the ballpark of 150-200 dollars for testing. Ive looked into parochial schools as they seem more willing to accept younger students but the tuition isnt really afforable for me. How are the charter schools in MN compared to the public schools? Thanks for any info!
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:44 PM
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Why the rush? So many parents around here opt to keep their on-the-border kids home another year, especially the boys, (almost all the parents of summer birthday boys I know decided to wait a year, for whatever that's worth), so your child will likely not be the oldest in the class if you enter at the official time, while he'll likely be the youngest if you try to push the date (and younger by 12-15 months than the oldest -- maybe not such a big deal now, but could be a bigger deal down the road).

As far as screenings, I don't know if that varies by district, but the kids here were encouraged to get an initial screening pretty young -- a couple of years before kindergarten, I think (that's the state-required screening) -- and then the month before school started we went in so our son could meet his teacher and have a brief one-on-one interview so she could figure out where he was. But that wasn't a rush-to-start-early screening, just a general school screening. They also have gifted/talented testing in second grade, with an option to get screened for that in first grade.

Charters versus public schools are going to vary by specific school. In general, my inclination is to be warier of the charter schools, although there are some good ones out there. I think the trick is to keep an open mind and look at individual schools and not worry about charter versus public, or with public, look at individual schools and not district-as-a-whole. As far as getting into schools, that is going to vary, too; our school is a magnet and has more applicants than spots, with spots given out by lottery. In general community schools have to give you a space, but I think -- but you'd have to confirm -- that that's not true if your child isn't yet five. If crowded, they'll give the spots first to the kids who are of age. If interested in attending a popular school, that might be another reason to wait a year and start at the normal time.
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:25 AM
Location: South Minneapolis
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We have close relatives in the same position. Their child is over the cutoff by a couple of days and has run through the entire curriculum that their preschool offers. The school district (large highly regarded suburban) told them that while they could have their daughter tested, exceptions were made only for highly gifted children.

You might consider talking to some private schools regarding tuition assistance. My only experience is at Minnehaha Academy where a significant number of students receive help with their tuition. The admissions office would be the place to call. Their number is 612-728-7756.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:41 AM
Location: Phoenix
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Reputation: 10
Thank you for the replies. This is my first and only child so I am probably already behind the 8 ball as far as screenings go. Im also,like most parents probably biased in regards to my childs abilities and development. Im not in a position where I need to move ASAP,but in the near future would be ideal. Im finding out alot of what was mentioned in a previous post, that schools will test for early entrance,but that they are pretty select about it. Since I dont know exactly where i will be living yet it kind of makes it hard narrowing down a district to try and test him in. I am noticing that as far as charter schools go,there isnt anywhere near as many down in Rochester as there are in the Cities. I may just have to delay my move a bit here and get him into a school here in AZ and then do a lateral transfer at some point during the school year. Not ideal,but I want to make sure I am making the best decision for my child.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:04 PM
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My son is in a Montessori program, and they believe in children of different grades in the same classroom. He has tested as gifted, but because the teachers are so good at offering individualized levels of learning for children of different ages and abilities there's been no need to look outside of his regular classroom for stimulation or instruction. The kids were learning multiplication in Kindergarten, and doing basic algebra in first. Really, unless your kid is off-the-charts genius, I don't think there's likely an need to rush him into school early and then have him always be the youngest in the class; certainly there's no academic need to do so, as there's much to be said for play-based preschool and early childhood education.

I would definitely not choose a school based solely on which district or school would let me child enter early; to do so ignores all the other factors at school, and doesn't confer any academic or social benefits (maybe I'm misreading the situation, but it sounds like you're going by a vague "school is good so getting in school earlier is better" viewpoint, but are not doing research to see if that viewpoint is valid). By attempting to help your child, you could even be doing the opposite, especially if you're delaying moves and transferring schools solely to work the system.
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:58 PM
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The Montessori program your the younger kids are very good it make the kids more active in different activities and they are very good before going to proper school.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:49 PM
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The good charters would have a lottery to determine which of the many applicants get in. The other kids on the waiting list would assigned a number. Charters that have immediate openings in K might not be the school you want to go to.
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