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Old 09-06-2008, 11:48 PM
 
33 posts, read 145,619 times
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OK. Here's the deal. We had a kindergartner in SD schools (Allied Gardens area) and felt things went pretty well. Not great, but decent. We moved up to San Marcos (renting to try it out first) because we were discouraged that the school in our SD neighborhood had very little neighborhood support and mostly choiced in kids. The choice system in San Diego was frustrating and did not create good neighborhood schools. This was important to us, so we thought.

Anyway, after coming to San Marcos, we were shocked!!! The curriculum seems so much lower than in San Diego unified. Our daughter just entered 1st grade and it seems they are learning what was taught in Kindergarten at our SD unified school.

Now, I realize our daughter is a very early reader and might not be the norm for sd schools, but still. Our daughter is currently reading Junie B Jones and other chapter books and even reads silently. She tells time, counts money and does addition and subtraction to 100. Still working on multiplication, but 1st grade in San Marcos is no where near that. Not even at the end of the year. This is going to be one LONG year, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, any input on parents that have been to various districts and know the curriculum and can help us out, would be great. We are planning on buying again this spring. We'd love to find an area that is family friendly, has neighborhood schools and houses in the $500K range.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:54 AM
 
Location: Escondido, CA
1,504 posts, read 6,129,585 times
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Which part of San Marcos is it? Generally speaking, most elementary schools in San Marcos are good except Alvin Dunn Elementary and San Marcos Elementary.

My kids aren't old enough yet, but, from my own experience, I don't think that multiplication is part of normal curriculum for 6 year olds. Is there a GATE program in that school?
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:25 AM
 
33 posts, read 145,619 times
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Default Example of curriculum...

Quote:
Originally Posted by esmith143 View Post
Which part of San Marcos is it? Generally speaking, most elementary schools in San Marcos are good except Alvin Dunn Elementary and San Marcos Elementary.

My kids aren't old enough yet, but, from my own experience, I don't think that multiplication is part of normal curriculum for 6 year olds. Is there a GATE program in that school?
We are at Discovery. No GATE program there. Early multiplication is part of the curriculum in San Diego Unified at the end of the year. But, either way, by year end, 1st graders in SM's district are simply expected to count to 100 by 2's, 5's and 10's.

I'm just concerned that everything from language to math is a year behind. Plus, GATE doesn't start till 3rd grade, so what do we do till then. I'm not defending SD schools, I'm just trying to get a feel if this is typical curriculum for north county school districts. Maybe we consider private? Any suggestions? We are definitely open. We're even considering moving back to SD unified, if that doesn't sound crazy. LOL!
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:38 AM
 
2,769 posts, read 7,210,547 times
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Originally Posted by mommanae View Post
I'm just trying to get a feel if this is typical curriculum for north county school districts.
No, because every district is different. The way SMUSD operates isn't necessarily the way Poway Unified would operate, etc. So it's definitely not a North County problem as a whole.

If it's financially possible for you then you could definitely try a private school, but do you plan on staying in San Marcos long term?
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:24 AM
 
33 posts, read 145,619 times
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Default Long term plans, well...

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Originally Posted by j760 View Post
No, because every district is different. The way SMUSD operates isn't necessarily the way Poway Unified would operate, etc. So it's definitely not a North County problem as a whole.

If it's financially possible for you then you could definitely try a private school, but do you plan on staying in San Marcos long term?
We do NOT want to move any more. Believe me, it's been tough finding that right fit. We'd love to say San Marcos is our dream area, but it's not there yet. We like the restaurants, the proximity to the 78 and the climate is better than expected. Not quite as hot. But, the schools were a shock. We inquired for entry into Sierra Madre when Discovery almost didn't allow my daughter in because the 1st grade classes were full. But, Sierra Madre was also full. So, here we are. Do you have suggestions or experience with other North County school districts?
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:34 AM
 
2,769 posts, read 7,210,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommanae View Post
We do NOT want to move any more. Believe me, it's been tough finding that right fit. We'd love to say San Marcos is our dream area, but it's not there yet. We like the restaurants, the proximity to the 78 and the climate is better than expected. Not quite as hot. But, the schools were a shock. We inquired for entry into Sierra Madre when Discovery almost didn't allow my daughter in because the 1st grade classes were full. But, Sierra Madre was also full. So, here we are. Do you have suggestions or experience with other North County school districts?
Ok, that's understandable.

In my opinion Poway Unified is the best in the county. Carlsbad Unified has some schools that are not to far from San Marcos, and they happen to be very good schools. Vista Unified is a large district and depending on the area it has some good schools, but you might find it similar to SMUSD. In Escondido where I live I would not recommend the elementary district here, there are a couple of very good schools, after that it's not great.

I'm a fan of private schools also so if you feel you can afford it then it wouldn't hurt to look into some of them, but you could probably find a public school that your happier with in terms of curriculum. However, would where you live come into play here? In other words you live within a certain school boundary, so could you enroll your child in a public school in an entirely different district while using your address?
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:53 AM
 
33 posts, read 145,619 times
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Default Neighborhood school is a must

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Originally Posted by j760 View Post
In other words you live within a certain school boundary, so could you enroll your child in a public school in an entirely different district while using your address?

A neighborhood school is a must. We could have stayed in Allied Gardens, added on to our house (we just had a baby) and choiced our daughter to a school with a Seminar/GATE program. But, I believe in kids getting off their duff and walking to school, making neighborhood friends and generally socializing as well as learning. I'm beginning to feel like my hopes of finding that happy medium are impossible. Do you think?
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Old 09-07-2008, 03:04 AM
 
2,769 posts, read 7,210,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommanae View Post
A neighborhood school is a must. We could have stayed in Allied Gardens, added on to our house (we just had a baby) and choiced our daughter to a school with a Seminar/GATE program. But, I believe in kids getting off their duff and walking to school, making neighborhood friends and generally socializing as well as learning. I'm beginning to feel like my hopes of finding that happy medium are impossible. Do you think?
Well, since you want to stay in San Marcos your going to be limited to SMUSD. For public schools at least, but there is private so that's at least another option should you want to consider it. Only other option would be to move again, but like you say you'd rather not. It really comes down to what you feel is most important, but of course you shouldn't sacrifice curriculum if that is indeed top priority.

How long has your child been enrolled at Discovery?
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:31 AM
 
Location: SAN DIEGO
94 posts, read 294,278 times
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i had to go to school for 1 year in Morelia Mexico and i was learning multiplications in 1st grade, then i returned to the u.s. (San Marcos) and it was just a review in 2nd grade.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:04 PM
 
33 posts, read 145,619 times
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Default We could move again...

Quote:
Originally Posted by j760 View Post
Well, since you want to stay in San Marcos your going to be limited to SMUSD. For public schools at least, but there is private so that's at least another option should you want to consider it. Only other option would be to move again, but like you say you'd rather not. It really comes down to what you feel is most important, but of course you shouldn't sacrifice curriculum if that is indeed top priority.

How long has your child been enrolled at Discovery?
Really, we could move one last time. We're renting now, because we wanted to make sure that SM was for us and to try out SMUSD (specifically, Discovery). Now, it is only the first week of school, but we were just shocked at Parent's Night and with the core curriculum sheet. The teacher and other parents didn't seem to be concerned at all. They seemed more concerned with not getting too much homework.

I laughed when my daughter told me that the teacher was reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to them and when she brought home some worksheets the class did the first week. It was a sheet on identifying letters of the alphabet and writing missing letters. She does book reports for me after every book and was doing similar writing in Kinder in SDUSD. I'm not trying to sound like an elitist, but we don't want to go backward here and we don't want to spend a year repeating work, etc.

Do you think we should go back to the best SD area we can find or is Poway district truly that much better?
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