Tuesday, March 10, 2009

School For Aaron

I had a disappointment on Monday morning. Let me give a little background first.

In Michigan, the cut off date for kindergarten is December 1st, which means that a lot of kids who are only four enter kindergarten each year. A large percentage of them end up repeating the following year because they just weren't ready maturity wise to be successful in that environment, no matter how "book smart" they are. Michigan is also changing their school funding requirements so that only full day, five day kindergarten programs will receive full state funding starting next school year.

To counteract the December first cut off, Young Fives programs have become very popular in our state. Parents whose kids are technically old enough to go to school, and even academically ready (like Aaron) but may not be mature enough to handle the work load, enroll in Y5's programs, which are generally a pretty good mix of preschool and kindergarten.

With Aaron being a late October birthday, I have always known that I think he would benefit from the extra year of Young 5's before kindergarten. But unfortunately, because of the funding changes, a large number of our local schools have nixed their Y5's programs for next year.

There was only one left, a charter school near our home. Yesterday was the lottery to get into the school. Aaron was 8th on the waiting list to get into the Y5's class.

That seems okay, right?

I was feeling pretty good about it until I talked to the principal. The kindergarten class is full with 95 KIDS on the waiting list. The kids who made it into the kindergarten classes will all be screened in April and any one deemed "not ready" automatically gets moved into the Y5's class, ahead of those who are on the waiting list. So by the time school gets out, Aaron may be 20 or 30 on the waiting list, or even lower.

I really have no other options for Aaron next year. If I were to put him into a kindergarten, it would be knowing that he would be there for two years. And since I don't want to put up with one, let alone two more years with the teacher that Noah had for kindergarten, I am totally stuck.

So as of right now, I have no place to send my little boy to school next year. I will be doing a lot of praying for guidance in this matter.

Thanks for listening. I needed to write out these thoughts before I stored them in the back of my mind for awhile.

Happy Tuesday.


Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Wow, I didn't realize that our district wasn't the only one who axed Young Fives for next year. I can't believe that the State would let this happen. Oh wait, yes I can. Sigh.

Ugh - I hope that you can figure something out for him! What a mess.

Shana said...

I hope that this all works out for you. I knew things in OHIO are going to be changing next year. I think that our district is going to all day K too. We have a program just like your Young 5's called Begindergarden (sp) here, I hope that they don't do away with it as I plan on sending Andrew. I hate that fact that they are going to all day K for that matter. It seems like they are pushing these children to much, to fast!

Debbie Yost said...

It's going to be a rough time for all of us. Our district is slashing funding this year with even bigger cuts next. I'm concerned about how it will affect special ed. and was asking Peanut's teacher about it today. We don't really know anything right now. My older girls are already in school, so they're good to go, but I do feel for you. However, I will say this, even though it is frustrating now and a concern, I'm sure Aaron will be fine in the end. I never attended preschool as far as I can remember. Granted, Kindergarten WAS preschool back then, but I think our kids catch up fast. Diva didn't really learn to read in Kindergarten and started 1st grade with the need for special classes. Now she is reading very well. I don't know where she falls in the class, but she no longer needs extra assistance.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, when he's 18 and graduating from high school, this probably will be long forgotten. Again, I'm not trying to belittle the situation, I know it is important to you and a concern, just trying to help ease your fears a little. I hope I did.

Stacey,momof 2 said...


I will be praying for some answers for you..
I truely want to believe that there will be a window or a door that will open and provide an answer!

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh... I could write volumes about this whole subject, but I won't. I am very angry about it.

What I will say is: my son is in a Young 5's program at a charter school. He was number 25 on the waiting list to get in... and was the last kid to get in. The list moves up, so hang in there. We didn't know until July which school he was going to though, it's nervewracking. Email me if you have questions. It might be the same school :)