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Old 01-02-2012, 04:15 PM
4 posts, read 9,787 times
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I tend to see a lot of very positive comments about Carroll School District and in fact it is the main reason, we chose Southlake when we moved to Texas. So now my son is approaching kinder age and I am taking a deeper look at it. I called Walnut Grove (where he would attend) and the schedule sounds absurd to me. I used to teach in California and I have never heard of kinder with only one recess per day. If he went, he would get there at 7:55, recess at 9:00, lunch at 10:15, back to class at 10:45. This is per the school secretary when I called. They are there until 2:55. So I have a very bright kid. He has been reading for a year...has what I would consider an advanced aptitude for math, and has a weird knack for geography. His writing skills are not as much, but he's coming along. The flip side is that he is super active. We do not do a lot of tv here. We are outside for significant periods every day...hiking, exploring, just playing. In my opinion...we are doing what a 4 year old should be doing. I envision Walnut Grove as being a dismal failure for my kid given the limited play time they have. I am exploring other options and am leaning to sending him elsewhere with a "Mom Approved" schedule. I don't have personal experience there however and I want to make sure I am getting this right. So if you have had a kinder kid at Walnut Grove, what did you think? What kind of kid do you have...does the lack of play time matter as much to their personality type? I just want to see this clearly from every angle so I can make a good decision.

On a side note, he attended White's Chapel last year until December when I pulled him. They also had only one play time per day and it wasn't until 12:40. He was very wiggly and was in trouble daily. Everyone raves about WC as well, and my experience was not good at all. He is currently in Pre-K elsewhere and gets 2-3 playtimes per day and is doing exceptionally well there and makes far more academic strides as well. He needs the activity in order to focus academically I believe (and I think this is true for many children as research suggests). Any thoughts....
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:32 PM
Location: Bedford, TX
77 posts, read 194,300 times
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Kindergarten isn't what it used to be when we were young - it's definitely more academic, but I agree that one recess a day is too few. Is there a PE class that will give your guy some added activity during the school day? Since you're in the Carroll school district, I would think that his cohort is expected to know their alphabet and letter sounds, perhaps read some sight words and do very simple math. If your child is only four now, he will only be five when Kindergarten starts. I'd ask around and find out if your neighbors are holding their boys back until they're six to attend Kindergarten. I have a hunch they are. The older he is, the more he'll be able to tolerate the lack of physical activity.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:39 PM
Location: TX
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sounds like the typical all day kinder+ school schedule. They will also have Co-Curr (PE, music,art) for an hour each day as well.
Almost ALL schools that I have been in since having kids (3 states and 13 years) have only 1 recess per day for elementary (Keller has it up to 6th since 6th is not in middle school)
Kinder DOES have "breaks" for the kiddos though, story time, snack break (usually in PM since most Kinder goes to lunch early) then center rotation etc...

I've noticed that most of the kinders in Keller schedule the Academic portion(structured learning), phonics, math etc...are geared more in the morning and then the afteroon has story time snack Co-curr etc...

I suggest that you go and volunteer for the day in school this spring and you will see how the time is spent. Pre-k is not as structured and not state regualted so yes, they can have have many "play times" during the day. Once the kids are in the public schools they have criteria they must follow etc...
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:05 PM
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Holdng him back wouldn't make very good sense in my opinion. He is 5 in Feb and is definitely ahead in terms of what he would need academically in kinder. Socially he is awesome. He is very friendly, plays well with others, etc. He just needs to move. I used to teach all girls (and at a co-ed public school). I have done a lot of reading since having two boys of my own about how schools are letting boys down...that schools are typically more geared to the tendencies of girls. There is a much higher dropout rate among boys and even in preschool....boys are 5 times as likely to be expelled than girls. Is it because boys are bad??? No. It is because schools are not addressing the needs of boys as well as they should. One of the biggies is that they are typically highly kinesthetic learners. I am not going to be able to change that in the public school system. My thoughts are that I need to be looking for a private school that is more child centered. "More academic" as they seem to strive to be around here, does not equate to better preparedness, better retention, more success...yada yada. Research backs this up. So I can't quite figure out the direction of schools here (as I said, I moved here from Cali and things are just done very differently). Read anything on the schools in Finland (rated number one or two currently in the world) and we are a far cry from the educational philosophy they work towards...and we are heading farther and farther away it seems.

Anyway, I have been planning on going to the school for a tour or something...whatever they offer. I would hate to have it in my head wrong and leave public school out of my range of options based on hearsay.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:11 PM
32,541 posts, read 51,077,194 times
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if you want your child to have a more individualized learning environment--then you will have to have him attend a more individualized school--Carroll ISD is pro forma education...
check out Treetops in Euless--
Welcome to the Frontpage

Alana Miramontes (http://www.treetops.org/index.php/faculty-and-staff/alana-miramontes - broken link)

one of the kindergarten teachers who has her curriculum posted on line

the school is on a large campus and I think the classes spend lot of time outside when possible
it is charter school--takes kids from all over
http://www.treetops.org/index.php/student-handbook-mainmenu-19 (broken link)
there is no cafeteria--kids have to bring their lunch every day--and the school has different attitude about parental involvement--

check out the link with alumni info--many students go to TCC often because of economics I think and they are often "non-traditional" learners that don't do well with standardized tests--
don't know the scores for ACT or SAT

but if you are willing to be considered "unconventional" (and drive) then you might want to check it out...

Last edited by loves2read; 01-02-2012 at 11:20 PM..
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:17 AM
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Thanks for the links. I have yet to check them out, but it's on my list today. Can I ask you though...what do you mean "a different attitude about parental involvement"? Also...I have put hisname in the lottery for the charter school in Westlake. They also only have one recess, but have kinder patios. It seemed nice, but again, I don't know any first hand accounts.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:24 PM
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Treetops expects parents to have a minimum number of hours spent actively involved in school activities---from cleaning to driving field trips to other activities. A family can buy/donate materials that sub for time
No public school actually requires parental involvement that directly
And read the note about electric devices like cell phones---very strict and frank--and think it is enforced more than other ISDs' policies
Charter school has more power to enforce policies and dismiss students who violate them.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:25 PM
Location: TX
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Westlake Academy is an ALL IB program, I can't imagine it being less "structured" lor less 'academic" etc than Carroll ISD.
IB is a pretty rigorous cirriculum. The upper school (7-12) IB program is more rigorous than the AP program that Carroll students are being "competitive" in.

It sounds like you are looking ofr something more along the lines of a Montessori school.

The competitiveness you hear about here is due alot to the State University 10% rule for Admissions. If you are in the top 10% of your HS graduating class you gain automatic aceptence into the state universities and Colleges. (except now UT who are currently at 8% and vieying for 5%)
The push for kids to go to UT or A&M is huge here. So kids load up on AP classes, quit Althletics, take summer school etc... in hopes of gaining top 10% status. For those of us who come from out of state it is a shock that your child can have a 3.8 GPA and be ranked only in the top 25% of thier class.

Carroll is an excellent school district, not where I would really fit in per se, but that is personal choice.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:50 PM
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Sounds like you might want to consider a Montessori program. Our kids went to Barbara Gordon Montessori when they were younger. I would think most people in the area consider it the best Montessori in the area. We were very happy with it.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:43 AM
32,541 posts, read 51,077,194 times
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plenty of kids stay in athletics and still do an AP/IB program--and for a child as young as yours college entrance is so far off that you might think it is not an issue but lots of parents start thinking about that question and others tied to raising a "successful" child...

and the competitiveness is about more than getting in to UT/A&M though--it is sign that this area is full of "successful" people who put lot of pressure on their kids to be "successful"--
it is Yuppiedom...with all the +/- that come with that attitude
I guess that is why lot of people view Southlake especially as a kind of "stepford" environment...they like to criticize it but want their kids to have the same type of material success in their lives--just not be too sterile/sterotypical in doing it
that attitude is pervasive over all the Metroplex--
people want their children to have a better life than they are--or to at least have something as good--
and that usually translates into monetary success based in large part on degree from "recognized" college...
so they get on the wheel early and start grinding away...
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