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Old 05-19-2008, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
9 posts, read 50,919 times
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We are thinking about moving to Atlanta, but I hear the cut off date is September 1st and my son will turn five on September 19th.

He has been in pre-k since 3 with all the kids that make the cut off date..

His pre-k teacher says he is ready for kindergarden...

How strict is Atlanta on the cut off age? What can I do or is there anything I can do to get him enrolled?
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:33 AM
 
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There is virtually nothing you can do to get around this except send him to a private school until second grade. But you have to find a private school that is flexible on the date. The state will not fund children who are not 5 by Sept 1 in kindergarten.

The other thing you should be aware of, depending on where you are moving in Metro ATL, is that many upper middle and upper class parents hold back their summer and even late spring boys so they can be older when they start K. So if you do send him ahead (see my suggestions above) you need to realize that there can be kids 15-17 months older than he is.

Where are you planning on living? If you tell me that I can be more specific with private school suggestions (maybe).
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
2,105 posts, read 5,066,672 times
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Most of the private schools also have Sept. 1 as a cutoff, and some even have a reputation for holding back those (boys especially) with March or later birthdates. Some schools are hard and fast about this, some (less selective) schools are more flexible.
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
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I think I read somewhere that if you are transferring from another state and your child is already enrolled in kindergarten they will let him go into kindergarten. You might want to check on this and move him a couple of weeks after school started. Or you can look into GA pre-K which starts at age 4.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:58 AM
 
387 posts, read 1,482,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzie02 View Post
I think I read somewhere that if you are transferring from another state and your child is already enrolled in kindergarten they will let him go into kindergarten. You might want to check on this and move him a couple of weeks after school started. Or you can look into GA pre-K which starts at age 4.
Yep, I think you're right. That's what my mom had to do for me with a Sept 2 bday. Though, I wasn't a boy...
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:52 AM
 
214 posts, read 555,862 times
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We went through this with our daughter, who has a September 14 b-day. Once your child is enrolled for 2 consecutive weeks in a grade in another state/country, they are a transfer student when they come to Georgia and the birthday law no longer applies. They will transfer into whatever grade they were already in.
Granted, this was a little easier for us since grandma was a teacher at the time and was able to enroll our daughter at her school, keep her for those two weeks, then fly her here to us. Also, grandma's school was a year-round school, so our daughter didn't miss the first two weeks of school here; she just "did her time" during the summer session.
As for the whole holding boys back thing, my only experience in that is my ex's son from a previous marriage. He is actually a week older than my daughter but one grade lower solely because of this cutoff. He constantly tells me he's bored at school.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
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I am curious about the holding boys back thing. I have never heard of it before. Does it have to do with sports? So they play with the smaller kids?
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
2,105 posts, read 5,066,672 times
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Google "academic redshirting" and you will see a ton of info. There is not a lot of empirical data at this point to indicate whether it is really helpful or not. The theory is that boys (especially) often lack the emotional maturity to start Kindergarten in their late 4's or early 5's. I do think that some people do it for the wrong reasons (e.g., to be bigger/more physically developed for high school sports), but some parents just feel that their boys aren't emotionally/behaviorally ready for a full school day early in their fifth year. I also don't know if this is a regional trend, but it certainly seems to be happening more and more in GA.
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Old 05-20-2008, 01:38 PM
 
Location: East Side of ATL
4,560 posts, read 6,525,123 times
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Good thing, I didn't start school here. I would have had to start school a year later because I have a November birthday...
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:12 PM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,279,192 times
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I started school in the 1960s in New Zealand, where I believe the historic practice still applies. It goes like this.

The day after your 5th birthday, no matter when that is, you are eligible to start school. If your parents aren't choosing to hold you back because they judge you unready (there's some elasticity about this, as there is here in the US), you head off to school with your new lunchbox, etc., on the next convenient school day.

The first couple of year's worth of school are divided into four class levels called Primers 1 through 4. A new P1 student is welcomed by the teacher and seated with the group of least advanced (mostly newest) students in the P1 classroom. The class is seated in groups, and they do some activities all together and others in their small group, as the teacher moves around spending time with each.

As you cover the P1 curriculum material, you transition through the four or so groups in the P1 classroom, then on to P2, and so forth, without any particular regard for when the school years start and end. At the end of P4, you have to get aligned with a school year-end in order to move into the next level class, which is a full-year class. Some kids do move up from P4 to that level (Standard 1) during the year, though. After S1 it's all full-year classes with the class staying together all year, like here.

The advantage of this system is that it better accommodates young children's differing levels of maturity, learning styles and speeds. There's no such thing as that hideous choice of holding back for a full year, or not, or waiting an extra year to start school because your birthday is just after the cutoff. New Zealand has been doing it this way practically forever, and their elementary teachers manage to cope. I don't understand why the rest of the western world doesn't consider this kind of approach.
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