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UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Old Jan 31st 2017, 8:04 am
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
Judging by all the 'why in god's name does my 5 year old need to know what an adverbial phrase is?' that crops up around SAT testing time, I suspect it's changed somewhat since we went.
Yep, this. My son (10 years old) has learned far more advanced stuff in primary than I did even in the first couple of years at secondary. The 'what on earth is a fronted adverbial' question was definitely mentioned in our household!

My daughter is 12 and has just started secondary, she's again doing far more advanced stuff in her first year there than I did (including Mandarin, a French language immersion program that means she'll be taking her GCSE in it 2 years early, and biology that is at the level I did at GCSE). It's definitely a lot more academic than it was in the 90's!

She also gets to do scuba diving and climbing for her PE lessons.......can I go back to secondary school and have another go please?!

Last edited by christmasoompa; Jan 31st 2017 at 8:08 am.
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Old Jan 31st 2017, 10:57 am
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Thanks so much guys, you've given me/us loads to think about. I guess the other problem with going for a public/state option, is simply that we won't know if our kids will get a place until we find somewhere to live/rent (ie it's a postcode lottery), is that right? And I guess you don't necessarily get a place at your chosen school. That just seems such a risk (especially as we're only planning a 2 year trip so can't afford to move schools too often!)

Pulaski it's great your 9 year old seems to be thriving/learning - sounds ideal. Do independent schools offer all the extras that you get at a British private school (ie lots of sport, play in fixtures against other schools, learn musical instruments and join orchestras and have opportunities to try all kinds of extra curricula activities)?

thanks so much for all your help.
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Old Jan 31st 2017, 11:05 am
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Generally - and you have to check with the specific school district - a public school must accept any student living in their intake area. It is common in some areas for parents to move to a specific neighbourhood so that they can be in a specific intake area for a particular school and thus there is guaranteed acceptance. They cannot tell you "no" and make you go across town if you live in their zone.

If you move houses frequently, sure, that can result in a forced change of school.

It can be very difficult, though not impossible, to get acceptance into a public school that is not in your intake area.
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Old Jan 31st 2017, 12:54 pm
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Originally Posted by NessC View Post
.... Pulaski it's great your 9 year old seems to be thriving/learning - sounds ideal. Do independent schools offer all the extras that you get at a British private school (ie lots of sport, play in fixtures against other schools, learn musical instruments and join orchestras and have opportunities to try all kinds of extra curricula activities)? .....
My daughter's school does, and then some! They offer a wide range of competitive sports playing against other schools - football, soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, swimming, running, wrestling, volleyball, basketball, and probably others. Of course there is a gym, and pitches for football, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball/ softball, and other facilities to support all the sports they offer.

They have a director of international relations with educational visits and exchange programs to six (I think) countries. The on-site facilities include a music block with a theatre and rehearsal rooms, and a full suite of science and technology labs, including a fab-lab of CNC machines.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jan 31st 2017 at 12:58 pm.
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Old Jan 31st 2017, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

In my experience of US state schools, the elementaries do the sort of music lessons and orchestral experience you describe, but not the sport. It's plentifully available, but for younger kids is usually run by an outside organization. A wide range of competitive sports teams are available in middle and high schools; it's often possible to take a particular sport as a class, for credit, rather than just a general PE class.

Same with the other things Pulaski mentions: fully equipped technology/ manufacturing workshops, theatre auditoriums that would make most UK towns weep in envy*, a wide arts program so kids can specialize and do sculpture or ceramics or fabric crafts instead of simply painting, etc. These aren't things available in elementary schools (although they usually have access to them for performaing arts shows), but are a given in any high school in a decent (ie, high property tax paying) area, and in many middle schools depending being on size.

*like in Glee, where the kids are constantly wandering up on stage in what looks like a fully equipped theatre with lights, curtains, endless rows of stadium seating, etc? That's a standard US high school auditorium.
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Old Jan 31st 2017, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
.... Same with the other things Pulaski mentions: fully equipped technology/ manufacturing workshops, theatre auditoriums that would make most UK towns weep in envy*, a wide arts program so kids can specialize and do sculpture or ceramics or fabric crafts instead of simply painting, etc. These aren't things available in elementary schools (although they usually have access to them for performaing arts shows), but are a given in any high school in a decent (ie, high property tax paying) area, and in many middle schools depending being on size.

*like in Glee, where the kids are constantly wandering up on stage in what looks like a fully equipped theatre with lights, curtains, endless rows of stadium seating, etc? That's a standard US high school auditorium.
Even though she's in fourth grade, Little Miss P benefits from the high school facilities because she is in a K-12 private school.
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Old Feb 1st 2017, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Generally - and you have to check with the specific school district - a public school must accept any student living in their intake area. It is common in some areas for parents to move to a specific neighbourhood so that they can be in a specific intake area for a particular school and thus there is guaranteed acceptance. They cannot tell you "no" and make you go across town if you live in their zone.
Hah, no. Schools that are in (I forget the exact terminology) overflow can and do assign kids to nearby schools in the same school district. We had it ourselves just recently. More of a problem if you move mid-year but can also happen at the start of academic year.
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Old Feb 1st 2017, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

GeoffM

No - it depends on the specific school district's policies (that is why I told OP to check those in my response). Yours did that but others generally can't or won't. Generally, as well, in such cases they can't shift out a student from the intake area in order to keep one who is not from the intake area.
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Old Feb 1st 2017, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
GeoffM

No - it depends on the specific school district's policies (that is why I told OP to check those in my response). Yours did that but others generally can't or won't. Generally, as well, in such cases they can't shift out a student from the intake area in order to keep one who is not from the intake area.
Well, you did mix "generally", "must", and "guaranteed" in the same paragraph so it's hard to work out exactly what you meant!

To add to your last, they can't also shift out a non-home-school-area student just to accommodate a home school area student, and also can't exceed class sizes. So the only option is find an alternative placement nearby.
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Old Feb 2nd 2017, 12:26 am
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Hi there,
We moved to the US this summer. Our kiddo was 10 years old and had just finished year 5 in the uk. When we moved here we were given the choice to either have him go straight into 6th grade (with children a year older than him), or 'redo' 5th grade with kids his own age. We chose the latter and are thrilled we did. He's been able to focus on making friends, and getting used to the system here...
The system here is different, but I think the grade number is irrelevant. He's at a similar level at his age here as he would have been in the uk. Of course there are some differences - maths and science are way ahead here (at least at his school), but English is very basic (we just do more writing at home to make up for it). In our county they also have a fantastic gifted system. Overall we've been happy with the system - it's just different...
But we are here for the long haul, so haven't had to worry about transitioning back. But if we were going back I'd just take some time to get used to the US, then see where the gaps might be and get some extra support for those bits - or talk to the school. They may help you...
One of the things I've appreciated here is that his education is taken very seriously and the communication has been great. (The UK wasn't always great for that)
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Old Feb 2nd 2017, 9:35 am
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Well, you did mix "generally", "must", and "guaranteed" in the same paragraph so it's hard to work out exactly what you meant!

To add to your last, they can't also shift out a non-home-school-area student just to accommodate a home school area student, and also can't exceed class sizes. So the only option is find an alternative placement nearby.
Point taken about "generally" etc.

They can shift out a non-home-school-area student, depending on the district. Perhaps not yours but others. Education policy in the US is not centralized and there are thousands upon thousands of districts that have their own policies.
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Old Feb 2nd 2017, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
...... Education policy in the US is not centralized and there are thousands upon thousands of districts that have their own policies.
However there are only 50 states, plus DC, that set the laws that the policies must comply with.
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Old Feb 2nd 2017, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Point taken about "generally" etc.

They can shift out a non-home-school-area student, depending on the district. Perhaps not yours but others. Education policy in the US is not centralized and there are thousands upon thousands of districts that have their own policies.
Our district in AZ was open enrollment, so parents could send their kid to whichever school they'd liked, providing there was a place and they were willing to transport them there. My kids' elementary school was an over-subscribed, highly excelling one, but they 'had' to admit my kids the minute we got a lease on a house in their boundary. Kids who attended from out of boundary had to reapply every school year, and took the chance that they might be dropped if a bunch of similarly-aged kids had moved into the boundary over the previous year.

Our current district here in OH is fanatically strict on boundaries. We're in a suburb on the outskirts of Columbus, with several other school districts adjoining us with schools ranging from mediocre to terrible. There is no flexibility or appeal, no exemptions for childcare arrangements or moving house - if you don't live in the zone, you're out. But again, as soon as you have the magic piece of paper with the correct address on, you're golden.

Aside: when we first arrived here, a week before school went back and with a high schooler who HAD to get registered or lose credits, we lived at an extended stay hotel in boundary and used that as our 'home' address. This was not only accepted as legitimate - as we were genuinely living there and had no other home - but the counselor explained that we would technically be classed as homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act, and that would give us the right to demand any school we wanted, even if it was full and turning away other in-boundary children: Rights of homeless youth under the McKinney-Vento Act
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Old Feb 3rd 2017, 10:40 am
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Default Re: UK kids 'move down' a year in the US?!

Kodokan - yes.

Some districts also employ officers who specifically visit the homes of those registered in the "intake" area to make sure they are actually living there and it's not a phony address.

This can be an issue in high school athletics - schools recruiting and listing garages as a student's address, etc.
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