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Old 01-07-2008, 07:02 PM
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We have a a son ready to start Kindergarten next fall, but whose birthday is in late September. We're weighing the pros and cons of continuing him in pre-k for another year (he's been in daycare/preschool since 9 months) but right now we're having a hard time finding any school districts with a start date after September 1. Less interested in hearing more about the merits of 'redshirting' our child, we would really benefit from any advice on districts with flexible registration policies.

We are currently living in Delaware but are contemplating a move closer to Philadelphia. Does anyone know of a district in PA/NJ with an October 1 cutoff date to turn five years old in order to start Kindergarten? So far only Cherry Hill in NJ appears to fit.
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:32 PM
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
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Hi, I can't answer your question about school districts but I was born in Early Sept and my mother kept me back 1 yr. before kinder. The benefits were terrific. I was the most advanced in my class. I was the leader and it benefitted me greatly. Just a thought.

Good luck
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:59 PM
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You won't hear of any educators advocating boys starting school earlier then the cut off date. Most people think that if boys are born in August they should wait another whole year. It's not their intelligence, it's maturity. School is so much more about sitting down and following rules. I would much rather have my child be the oldest rather then the youngest. I don't know of any schools that have a later cut off date then Sept. 1.
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:23 AM
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Cinnaminson has an Oct 1st cuttoff

http://www.cinnaminson.com/nas/pdfs/Kindergarten%20Registration.pdf (broken link)

Obviously they'd test him but most boys with a late birthday like that end up in developmental Kindergarden.. my son did, but the teacher is wonderful.
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:41 PM
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. (Especially for the Cinnaminson tip - looks like NJ has a more flexible policy, even as PA allows local districts to establish their own rules).

Honestly we were caught by surprise by the Sept 1 cutoff; Jan or Dec 1 used to be the rule (and still is in many states). Right now we're talking with our teachers about where our son might be come September, so there's a good chance he'll wait a year to start. Nevertheless we were hoping to at least explore the options, so we welcome any further tips for PA or NJ.

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Old 01-09-2008, 09:02 PM
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Like I said, our son wasn't ready either, but they have this DK program that has the same cirriculum as the regular kindergarten except they go a little slower with a smaller class size (max 12) to get everyone up to speed.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:05 AM
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I've thought about the cut off date quite a bit. When I was a kid (in Delaware) I think the cut-off date was January 1. My birthday is in late September and my husbands is in December and both of us started first grade at age 5. But back then kindergarten was optional and mine even had a built in nap time. First grade was even pretty laid back.

Now however, kindergarten is learning to read and it's pretty fast paced. Children that have learning disabilites are mainstreamed into the classrooms and teachers have very specific academic goals to meet. For many boys they just aren't ready to sit and learn until they are five. I worked in the kindergarten and first grade classroom for a couple of my kids and I really was suprised at the high level of learning.

I'm not saying that the schools are correct in having such an early cut-off, but I do believe that it's there for a good reason and the majority of kids are not ready for kindergarten if they are not five by Sept. 1. Many parents in the three districts that I've lived in held back boys that had summer birthdays.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:29 PM
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I know of two in Delaware County, PA who have a Sept 30 cutoff. They are Ridley Township and Radnor Township.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:23 PM
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Downingtown is Sept 30 I believe. I'm having the same problem but what I've found out is you need to speak the principal, possibly in person, then submit a letter in writing, and you may need to have your child evaluated by a psychologist who states they are ready to start school. Don't take the word of whoever answers the phone as gospel...I called 5 different districts and got the same song and dance from each one. My friend is a school psychologist and said you don't get anywhere without a letter requesting the admission. So I'm waiting to see where we end up living and will work from there; if not, you could always do Catholic school for kindergarten...you'll probably pay less than with daycare and he'll still be on track.

Its absurd, really, I have a mid-November birthday and my college friend's was even later, in January, and I'm pretty sure it didnt scar us for life.

If the child is intelligent enough to handle the classwork and mature enough to sit still, they should be allowed to attend. I found being the youngest to be a benefit...I may not have been the class leader but I was one of the smartest, and felt having a free year at the end of High school pretty cool...like I had a year to do what I wanted without penalty...it was sure better spent as an adult than it would have been as a 5 year old.

And the financial burden on parents who need to pay for daycare is also unfair - if their kid is within say 3 months of the date they should be allowed to go, especially considering its optional in PA anyway...who ever heard of restricting attendance in an optional program?

Its all been brought about by the general laziness in the academic system...teachers want as little nose and butt wiping as possible and they figure if the kids are older, they'll have less headaches.

But just like in shoes, one size does not fit all...

Last edited by orrmobl; 02-14-2008 at 02:34 PM..
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:03 AM
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Why do you think the cut-off date was changed to a later one? It's because most of the boys are not ready to sit still and pay attention at age 5. Kindergarten today is not the same as it used to be.

Here's an interesting article from the New York times:

And an excerpt, "After crunching the math and science test scores for nearly a quarter-million students across 19 countries, Bedard found that relatively younger students perform 4 to 12 percentiles less well in third and fourth grade and 2 to 9 percentiles worse in seventh and eighth; and, as she notes, “by eighth grade it’s fairly safe to say we’re looking at long-term effects.” In British Columbia, she found that the relatively oldest students are about 10 percent more likely to be “university bound” than the relatively youngest ones. In the United States, she found that the relatively oldest students are 7.7 percent more likely to take the SAT or ACT, and are 11.6 percent more likely to enroll in four-year colleges or universities. (No one has yet published a study on age effects and SAT scores.) “One reason you could imagine age effects persist is that almost all of our education systems have ability-groupings built into them,” Bedard says. “Many claim they don’t, but they do. Everybody gets put into reading groups and math groups from very early ages.” Younger children are more likely to be assigned behind grade level, older children more likely to be assigned ahead. Younger children are more likely to receive diagnoses of attention-deficit disorder, too. “When I was in school the reading books all had colors,” Bedard told me. “They never said which was the high, the middle and the low, but everybody knew. Kids in the highest reading group one year are much more likely to be in the highest reading group the next. So you can imagine how that could propagate itself.”

If you ask any teacher, not psychologist, but an elementary ed teacher, about what is better- for a boy to be put into a classroom a bit early or on schedule and they will all talk about the "gift of time". Another year to develop maturity is invaluable. I would think long and hard about sending my child to school early, especially a boy. This is not about teacher laziness, it's about educators caring enough to want every child to succeed.
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