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Transferring to a US Elementary School

Transferring to a US Elementary School

Old Nov 20th 2010, 10:30 pm
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Default Transferring to a US Elementary School

Hello Everyone,

I have been here in Las Vegas a few weeks now and we have registered our daughter in the Public School nearest us having had some really good reports of it. The school seems great and the staff and children have been really helpful and freindly.

My only concern is that my daughter at 6 and a half is in her 3rd year of full time education - she was in year 2 when we left the UK last month. Yet she has been put into the Grade 1 class. They are doing the same level of work she was doing in reception 2 and a half years ago. I am really concerned she is going to get bored and turn to laziness and misbehaviour (I know what she is like!) We have spoken to the school prior to her enrollment and requested she was put into Grade 2 . They have told us they needed to start her in Grade 1 and test her on their milestones before possibly integrating her into Grade 2. I just want to know if anyone else has dealth with this issue and how they have handled it. I'm not sure wether to come in heavy and demand 2nd grade or to give them a couple of weeks to check her level. Basically at the moment I am home schooling her in the evenings to keep her brain ticking over using mathletics, letter writing to her friends back home and reading so she does not realise so much that she is doing work to stop from falling behind. Essentially the librarian in the school told us she is confidently reading books they would read int he middle of 3rd grade.

Any advice would be really welcome.
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Old Nov 20th 2010, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Transferring to a US Elementary School

Is it coming up time for testing? Dd's school just completed all the assessments and have sent out report cards for the first trimester. and did parent teacher conferences.
I do some home school on my own with Dd too, she gets a bit bored and the teacher is trying to keep her interested, but I know that she isn't socially ready to move to 1st grade, (she's in K) But she is testing at 3/4 of the way though 1st grade already with reading, writing, spelling, math. She just loves to learn and was determined to read and pretty much taught herself with me answering questions.
This week we moved onto telling time she already knew time on the hour, so we moved to minutes past and to we'll see how long that takes her to figure out
I would rather she stay with kids of her own age for the social aspect of it, unless it became a real behavior problem for her.
Ds arrived in the US and was put into Kindergarten anfter having done reception in UK, he was bored silly but as one of the younger kids of his class I didn't really want to move him either, he still graduated at 17 and was still 17 going off to Uni. Socially I think it's good to keep them with their own age group.
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Old Nov 21st 2010, 1:47 am
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Default Re: Transferring to a US Elementary School

Originally Posted by bodypaintgirl View Post
We have spoken to the school prior to her enrollment and requested she was put into Grade 2 . They have told us they needed to start her in Grade 1 and test her on their milestones before possibly integrating her into Grade 2.
Who is "they". If it was anyone below the level of Principal, I suggest you "go in heavy" and start at the top. It'd be a good idea to have the librarian standing by to support your position!

The same thing happened to me when my family moved from Glasgow. I was put in an age appropriate class even though I'd had 2 years more school than the others. My mom raised hell the day she found out and the next day I was moved up a grade. I wasn't quite 17 when I graduated from high school - almost 2 years younger than most of my classmates.

Mommy in the Foothills does make a good point about being with your age group. It really all boils down to whether or not you want your daughter to be in an age-appropriate or education-appropriate grade.

Ian
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Old Nov 21st 2010, 12:36 pm
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Default Re: Transferring to a US Elementary School

Whilst I agree that it important for kids to mix with their own age in class I don't think it should be your primary motivator. Many American parents will hold back their kids and not start them at school until they are six. All my sons school life he has had kids in his class that are 12-20 months older than him. To be honest it's probably been a great benefit for my son to mix with kids older than him.

I agree with Ian, if you think that your child is going to suffer academically, and may get bored in school, then you should go to the principle and push for what you feel is the right thing for your child. After all you know her, and what she is capable of, while the new school does not.
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Old Nov 21st 2010, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Transferring to a US Elementary School

The stance we took, and it helped that my son's elementary school was very understanding, was that we wanted him in the grade above where they wanted to put him and if he couldn't cope with the work/social interaction, then we'd agree to move him.
Same thing when my daughter started. Both are now in High School in classes with kids 12-18 months older than they are and no problems.

There's been quite a few threads on the pros and cons of this situation, might be worth having a search
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Old Nov 21st 2010, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: Transferring to a US Elementary School

It all depends on the child - some children are more advanced socially than others. When we moved here, both our children were put into grades one year higher than for their age. My eldest child coped very well and was the youngest in her class. My youngest did not cope well at all and was moved back. It was nothing to do with her intelligence (she is very smart - graduated 4th in her high school class) but she couldn't cope socially being in a class with children who were a year older. You can have really smart children who can do the work for a higher grade, but if they cannot cope socially with being much younger than the rest of the class, it won't work.
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Old Nov 21st 2010, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Transferring to a US Elementary School

I would say you're doing the right thing, give her a little time in 1st Grade with extra work in the evenings and see if she needs to move up. I think that would better than possibly finding it too hard in 2nd Grade and having to move down again.
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Old Nov 21st 2010, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Transferring to a US Elementary School

Here are a couple of threads concerning similar situations.

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=643985
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=674474
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Old Nov 22nd 2010, 12:38 am
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Default Re: Transferring to a US Elementary School

Are you here for good or is this a temporary assignment? Keeping up with the peers back in the UK might be more relevant if you are going back, but I understand your desire not to "bore" your child.

Please read the threads above--they really go through a lot of the good and the bad that goes with upping a grade or staying back. Because the USA is such a large country and the differences from school districts vary so incredibly much by region, there really is no one universal "this is the right way" answer. It's going to be highly localized and personalized to your situation.

It's also worth considering the value of your kid being ahead in the class. Does she have the leadership personality such that with the advanced knowledge she might be a more dominant person in the class academically? Being the smartest kid in the class can help her self-confidence vs. just getting by trying to keep up emotionally/physically with her classmates.

Again it really is personalized and localized. Schedule a meeting in a week or two with the teachers to go over the tests and her review to see if something can be worked out.

Good luck.
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