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Old 02-27-2011, 02:04 PM
 
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We are planning to move to NJ in the summer and are looking at the following places - Millburn, Glenridge/Montclair and Princeton. My husband will be commuting to NY (midtown). Any suggestions as to which town would be better than the other.

We are moving from philly, pa and are planning to rent initially till we get a feel of the area we are moving into. I guess the single most important factor in deciding a place to stay would be the school district and the second would be a decent commute for my husband to Midtown NY.

The other question I had was I have a child who will be 4 this November. I tried finding a public/private school with a late cut off and have not been successful. We were hoping he could do his private pre-k this year and then do public school kindergarten next year 2012, but have not found even private schools with cutoffs later than oct 1.

We are open to any kind of good private schools with a later cutoff. Could anybody let me know if there are any private schools with a later cutoff? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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The "good" private schools have earlier cut offs than the public schools. Even if you find one to take your kid the public school won't let them in early to K or 1st grade. You would have to enter in 2nd grade to avoid the birthdate issue. Consider Long Island instead or allow your kid the year to develop.
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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I would not recommend trying to get him in earlier. You would not believe how often parents are holding their kids back now, even more in the "good" school districts or private schools. Especially boys.

Many private schools have moved their cutoffs to June 1st, but you will find kids being held back with birthdays anywhere after Christmas now.

Anyway, let him just go when he is supposed to go. You are lucky that he naturally misses the October cutoff so you won't have to think about this. Everything is accelerated now because of this phenomenon.

There are also a whole bunch of transitional pre-Ks popping up now for these older kids, who are a bit too old for a traditional pre-K 4s class, but aren't being sent to K. Maybe you can consider a program like that for him the year before Kindy.
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Millburn wins. Decent commute (train to Penn Station), and best schools in state. Princeton too far for commute. Montclair public schools not so great.
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:59 PM
 
Location: NJ/NY
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Originally Posted by dne1969 View Post
Millburn wins. Decent commute (train to Penn Station), and best schools in state. Princeton too far for commute. Montclair public schools not so great.
Glen Ridge public schools are on par with Millburn. Millburn has a better down town, but if you live in Glen Ridge, you have easy access to Montclair's downtown. You can commute to the city by train from either location. So it really depends on what you like. Millburn's downtown is more upscale suburban, while Montclair's downtown is a little more edgy, bohemian, and diverse. Glen Ridge has a lot of nice old colonials, while Millburn's houses can run the gamut from old tudors to modern mcmansions.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Toms River, NJ
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Check to see if you can find a Goddard School. I live in Toms River and if my daughter had attended their Pre-k program and they felt she was ready, they would have allowed her into their Kindergarten Program (She is also a Nov. baby). Since The Toms River Goddard's Kindergarten Program is state accredited (not all private Kindergarten's are), Toms River would allow her to enter 1st grade even though technically she should be entering Kindergarten. Some Catholic schools also allow for early entrance into Kindergarten.

Check with the Public School district where you want your child to attend and find out their policy. I've heard some districts only allow entrance into 1st grade after the 2nd quarter meaning the child has to also attend private school for for half of 1st grade as well.

Just an FYI, I didn't enter my daughter early...She is very mature and is way ahead of the others academically because she had an extra year of pre-k. I am sure that she could have handled Kindergarten last year.

This is a personal decision. People have lots of opinions and experiences on both sides (you can even search this forum and you will some threads). Ultimately you have to decide when your child is prepared to begin school. Some of the things I thought about were about what the future would hold. When she's old enough to drive, did I want her to be first among her friends or last to drive? Will waiting the extra year help her be top in her class? Will waiting the extra year better prepare her for high school sports?

I'm sure you probably thought about these. I did. Like I said, I waited.

Good luck and welcome to NJ!
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:24 PM
 
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Thank you all for the comments. Each of them is greatly appreciated. Thank you all for your time. I did do a lot of thinking and research and also reading on the forum before posting. Every child is an individual developing at his/her rate. If the need be, I will definitely hold back my child. But I see no meaning in holding back just because my child is born later in the year. As of now, I cannot see the future, as in 2012 when he will be 5. I am just doing my homework now so that if and when the need arises in 2012, he does not lose out a year.
Like another poster said most of the "good" private schools had an earlier cutoff. I never thought of the Goddard school though. Anyone know of a Catholic school with a late cut off date?
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
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There have been extensive studies that being slightly older is a huge boon for academic and athletic achievement. Red shirt your child.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:23 AM
 
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Actually, there is very little evidence to suggest that older children do better academically in the long term. While there may be some short-term benefits, that "gift of time" year argument is riddled with anecdotal tales with little research to back it up.

Many parents believe that they are giving their child one more year to "just be a kid" while neglecting to realize that they are likewise taking away a year where their children can be independent, productive adults. Teachers also like to have older kids in the class because it's easier, and initially those kids will test better.

My son was in a kindergarten class where 1/3 of the kids had been red-shirted. He is a March birthday, which to my surprise made him one of the youngest boys in the class. All of these "red-shirted" kids could read and were fairly ahead of my child academically when they started school. Now, only half- way through 1st grade, my child is miles ahead than these "red-shirted" kids academically, already reading at a 6th grade level. What I am trying to convey ( probably inadequately)' is that the academic advantages of holding a child back who is academically and socially ready for Kindergarten are minimal and short-lived.

As for cut-offs for the OP, it soulds like you haven't really settled on a location. As far as schools are concerned you may want to try Ridgewood. When we lived there I know they school district had just started a program wherein they were
willing to evaluate for K any child whose birthday fell before Dec 15th, even though their cut-off was officially Oct 1. You my just want to get a list of towns and start calling school boards to see if they have a similar program. Good Luck!
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:53 AM
 
1,527 posts, read 3,763,078 times
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Originally Posted by AndreaNJ View Post
Thank you all for the comments. Each of them is greatly appreciated. Thank you all for your time. I did do a lot of thinking and research and also reading on the forum before posting. Every child is an individual developing at his/her rate. If the need be, I will definitely hold back my child. But I see no meaning in holding back just because my child is born later in the year. As of now, I cannot see the future, as in 2012 when he will be 5. I am just doing my homework now so that if and when the need arises in 2012, he does not lose out a year.
Like another poster said most of the "good" private schools had an earlier cutoff. I never thought of the Goddard school though. Anyone know of a Catholic school with a late cut off date?
You're not holding him back, he is naturally missing the cutoff. You are trying to push him ahead.

Everyone has to decide for themselves of course, but from what I have seen, Kindergarten is the new First Grade. Many factors playing into this, but one of which is the fact that the kids are generally skewing older. K is not the K we remember as kids. The old Kindergarten is now preschool.

The Catholic schools usually follow the same cutoffs as the towns. In fact, some of the Catholic schools trend like the private schools, with many parents holding back summer babies etc.

Anyhow, good luck
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