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    #23235 - 08/19/08 06:06 PM Should I take advantage of a clerical error?
    crisc Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/12/07
    Posts: 485
    Loc: New England
    A little background first:We took DS5 to register for K at the public school back in the Spring. I had actually hoped that he could skip K and start in 1st this fall. He is a Davidson Scholar and has test scores to easily support a skip. I was told that the answer was NO since K was not mandatory in the state of NH and until he was 6 by September 30th of that year they could nothing to accomodate him. (He will turn 6 in Decemeber of this year) I met with both the Principal and Vice Principal. They both said, "We know that it's not right but we can't do anything for you for this fall". I accepted this and decided that fighting for 1st grade was silly since even there he would need accomodations in at least Math and Reading.

    We decided to keep him at his current Montessori school for the extended day/K year. We did complete all the registration paperwork in case something changed but had no intentions of sending him to public school this year.

    Fast forward to June and I received a letter asking us to indicate if we were interested in a loop classroom for 1st/2nd grade years. I thought this was a little wierd since my son was registered for K. I honestly didn't think they would be preparing for the 2009-2010 school year already. I called the school and spoke with someone who told me it must have just been a mistake since K parents were not supposed to get the mailing. I didn't think to ask her specifically about my son's registration.

    Today I received a card in the mail that told me the bus route and time for my son. K students don't ride the bus in our district---only 1st grade and above.

    Obviously light bulbs are going off now and I think my son is registered for 1st grade at public school. I plan to call tommorrow morning and ask who is teacher is and what grade he is registered for. If he is actually registered for 1st grade do I send him? This could mean a difference of about $10,000 in tuition costs. My fear is that they will realize their mistake and then tell me he can't come to school anymore---on the other hand if he fits it maybe they'll just allow him to stay.
    _________________________
    Crisc

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    #23243 - 08/19/08 06:25 PM Re: Should I take advantage of a clerical error? [Re: crisc]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Ooooh...Big gamble, eh? Any idea how the error happened? It seems unlikely, you know?

    Do you think you have it in you to "play dumb" (as in, "Oh! I thought you changed your minds and got him in." <batting eyelashes innocently> smile ) and not have anyone notice it? Since you have spoken to the Principal and VP, it seems like they might figure it out...

    What happens if they do realize the mistake? Would you be stuck without school? Or could you get him back into the Montessori program? (If you do try it, maybe call him in sick at the Montessori for the first couple of days, just to be sure you don't lose your spot there...)

    Honestly, I don't really feel qualified to advise you, since I do think it's a pretty big gamble. I'm not sure it's a great idea to try to circumvent the bureaucracy this way. Bureaucracies don't like being circumvented! frown

    But it sure is tempting when it falls into your lap like this, isn't it?!?
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #23248 - 08/19/08 06:36 PM Re: Should I take advantage of a clerical error? [Re: Kriston]
    questions Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/24/07
    Posts: 864
    If it's a mistake, they'll fix it when they find out. I would probably write a letter to the principal or the superintendent as appropriate saying thank you so much for arranging for my DS to be in the 1st/2nd loop classroom. We agree that this is the appropriate placement for him and he is very excited about school. That way they have to say no, it was a mistake, or acquiesce, in which case you have the confirmation in writing. I would not suggest calling to say I'm confused, I thought you said he wouldn't be going into first. But it's not worth losing your spot in Montessori if the school did make a mistake without realizing it and then moves your DS back to K.

    ps - isn't this the type of thing your family consultant helps you with?

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    #23250 - 08/19/08 06:40 PM Re: Should I take advantage of a clerical error? [Re: questions]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Good idea, questions. I think that's a smart move.

    My one thought: is there time for a letter? Or does school start too soon for that?
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #23257 - 08/19/08 06:55 PM Re: Should I take advantage of a clerical error? [Re: questions]
    kimck Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/20/07
    Posts: 1134
    questions - I think that is a really smart way to approach it! Really tempting to just go with it, but risky too.

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    #23260 - 08/19/08 07:00 PM Re: Should I take advantage of a clerical error? [Re: crisc]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3290
    Loc: California
    There's a precedent for early entrance to first in NH in spite of district policies like the one you describe: see this web page.

    Citing precedent to them, if it comes to it, is a good way to help win. Especially if it takes them a couple weeks to notice he's been enrolled in 1st and he's been doing fine. It's easier to get forgiveness than permission....

    If you discover that he's enrolled in first grade and decide to chance sending him, you might want to keep your head down. If they do figure it out, you can respond that you called and asked. When you were told he was enrolled in 1st, you assumed they changed their minds.

    Alternatively, would Montessori enroll him in 1st? If he did that, the public school would probably have to enroll him in second after that.

    Tough call!

    Val

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    #23261 - 08/19/08 07:05 PM Re: Should I take advantage of a clerical error? [Re: Val]
    LMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/14/07
    Posts: 902
    Either send them a letter or call them. Otherwise I would probably spend lots of nights worrying that they would find out and jump up every time the phone rings.

    Good idea about the family consultant. Have her/him check the NH law and see if it's possible even if not done by your district.
    _________________________
    LMom

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    #23264 - 08/19/08 07:13 PM Re: Should I take advantage of a clerical error? [Re: LMom]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I think the letter will meet with a greater chance of success if there's time. But I don't think you want to send a letter if school starts in a couple of days...or maybe even Monday. There's just too great a chance that you'll hear nothing.
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #23267 - 08/19/08 07:33 PM Re: Should I take advantage of a clerical error? [Re: Kriston]
    questions Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/24/07
    Posts: 864
    Letter, email. Same thing nowadays. And then of course, there's always the fax machine or better yet, hand delivery or mailing a hard copy of the email or fax.

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    #23270 - 08/19/08 07:42 PM Re: Should I take advantage of a clerical error? [Re: questions]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I'd rather see a standard, formal letter, I think. I don't think e-mails and letters are the same thing, exactly. Bureaucracies take letters far more seriously than e-mails. But they also tend to slow down the response time on letters. Pros and cons...
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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