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Education in California - Help

Education in California - Help

Old Sep 29th 2009, 8:21 pm
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Default Education in California - Help

We hope to move to the Bay area January/ Febuary 2010. We have a 12 year old who has just started year 7 here this September and a 4 year old (Shes 5 in January ) who has just started reception year here. My question is what years will they be in over in the US and will our 4 year old actually start school.

People keep telling me that the US education system is better than ours and that the school day is much longer can you please enlighten me.

I look forward to hearing from you all with your views. Thank you
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

The 12 year old will either be in grade 6 or 7. Your 4 (5 in January) year old will not start kindergarten for another year. I believe the cutoff for kindergarten is 5 by December 1st. So they will not be in school for the rest of this year and the whole of next. Check where you will be moving and the district rules. Usually all the districts have websites. Also, you can call the district before you move, they can probably give you better information.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

I read the title and thought it was a plea from The Governator!

Joking apart, here's a grid showing grades and ages. There's a lot of other useful info there too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educati...#School_grades
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 9:13 pm
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

Originally Posted by chartreuse View Post
I read the title and thought it was a plea from The Governator!
*California + education + cuts* is a useful search term...
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

We found this site quite useful:

http://www.greatschools.net/

My then 12-year-old went into grade 7, they may place your child higher or lower if there are significant differences in what he/she has covered.

He found the curriculum to be much more prescriptive, emphasis on memorizing/testing. That could possibly just be LA, though, historically school performance here was poor and the answer has been seen as rigid learning criteria. School day varies but is not longer. My daughter's middle school day is 8.23 - 2.35, my son's high school day is 7.40 - 2.55.

The system is quite different, I would say more emphasis on algebra and geometry, smaller range of subjects covered.

Budget cuts in California are a significant concern.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

I'm not in CA but my 12 year old (13 in November) is in 8th grade and my 14 year old (15 in November) is in 10th grade, but both started school earlier than the majority of their US friends and are therefore the youngest in their grades.
Both their school days start at 8:40am and finish at 3:50pm
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Old Sep 30th 2009, 1:11 am
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

I used greatschools for all my research, I think I "lucked out" because the school we got our children into is fantastic. Look for Blue Ribbon award winning schools. I was pleasantly surprised at the standard in our school here, they expect more from the children both academically and as far as discipline in the classroom goes. Although, I have been told that is our school/school district that drives that, other schools may not have that kind of ethos. The school day is about equivalent to the length of day that they kids would spend in the UK but just different hours/days/holidays. eg our kids have 11 weeks summer holidays (OMG) but no half terms, but the district in the next town has 4 quarters with equal "terms" and holidays. You need to talk to someone within your proposed school district, phone round and get the feel of the places/options. Good luck! We are about to return back to the UK after 2.5 years here and the school (Southern California) has been a brilliant experience for the kids.
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Old Sep 30th 2009, 1:46 am
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

Good guide here.

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/What_d...s_in_school%3F

The Bay Area is a large place, from Petaluma to San Jose is over 100 miles, so where you end up specifically (your exact address, down to which side of the street you live on) is extremely important. Schools are generally geographically based so if you live in the district you are going to that school. If they don't have room they add room. Can be kind of crazy in growing areas.

Some areas of Silicon Valley have some very intense schools, such as Palo Alto and Cupertino. You can also find several schools that offer immersion programs, where they speak Spanish/Chinese/Japanese half the day and English the other half (or something like that). Can be kind of cool to get your kids bilingual from an early age.

Better - worse. Really depends exactly where you are. It's different is probably the best way to put it.
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Old Sep 30th 2009, 2:37 am
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

Our school district cut off is Nov 30th so the almost 5 year old would enter Kindergarten here at the end of July (just like my Dd who will be 5 in January )
The 12 year old would likely be in 7th grade middle school unless the birthday falls where they would be 8th grade like my oldest was.
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Old Sep 30th 2009, 2:55 am
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

Originally Posted by AmerLisa View Post
The 12 year old will either be in grade 6 or 7. Your 4 (5 in January) year old will not start kindergarten for another year. I believe the cutoff for kindergarten is 5 by December 1st. So they will not be in school for the rest of this year and the whole of next. Check where you will be moving and the district rules. Usually all the districts have websites. Also, you can call the district before you move, they can probably give you better information.
I couldn't edit, but I meant to say the younger child would start kindergarten next year.... You should also check to see if the kindergarten isn't for just half days as well.
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Old Sep 30th 2009, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

Originally Posted by hels9369 View Post
We hope to move to the Bay area January/ Febuary 2010. We have a 12 year old who has just started year 7 here this September and a 4 year old (Shes 5 in January ) who has just started reception year here. My question is what years will they be in over in the US and will our 4 year old actually start school.

People keep telling me that the US education system is better than ours and that the school day is much longer can you please enlighten me.

I look forward to hearing from you all with your views. Thank you
There really is no such thing as a "US education system" because there are such wide variations in provision from state to state and indeed from localized school district to localized school district.

As you're moving to California, be aware that budget cuts are a huge issue here because of the state's budget woes. I think there are moves afoot to reduce the length of the school year, which is already very short by UK standards.

Bottom line; choose your school district very very carefully!
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Old Oct 3rd 2009, 1:36 am
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
There really is no such thing as a "US education system" because there are such wide variations in provision from state to state and indeed from localized school district to localized school district.
That is SO true! The best schools are exceptional. The worst?
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Old Oct 3rd 2009, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

my 5 year old just started Kindergarten here in ohio and does 2.5 days a week (2 days one week, three days the next). I know other kids in nearby school districts just do all 5 mornings or afternoons.
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Old Oct 3rd 2009, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

Originally Posted by MsElui View Post
my 5 year old just started Kindergarten here in ohio and does 2.5 days a week (2 days one week, three days the next). I know other kids in nearby school districts just do all 5 mornings or afternoons.
Oh wow, that's not very good. I know in the district we live in, they do half day Wednesdays, so because there is a morning and afternoon kindergarten class, every other Wednesday one class has to stay home. In the district I work in, two weeks out of the year is parent teacher conference, all week half days - so children in both kindergarten classes don't attend school.

For a lot of the kids (especially the kindergarten class I'm working in this year) first grade will be that much tougher on them and the teacher the following year. It puts a lot of pressure on parents to teach their children the basics.
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Old Oct 3rd 2009, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: Education in California - Help

Originally Posted by hels9369 View Post

People keep telling me that the US education system is better than ours and that the school day is much longer can you please enlighten me.

u
OK no one has touched the quality part.

Day length for us is 7.30am to 2pm 4 days a week and 7.30am to noon on fridays. (elementary school)
8.20 to 3.15 five days a week for 7th through 12th grades


Quality? It depends where they are comparing it too. I can honestly say my kids did not get a better education here than they would have in Wales (back home) our school are good performance schools too.
Not sure where your friends have got that idea from.
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