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    #365 - 08/14/06 10:08 AM Acceleration from Preschool to Kindergarten in Texas?
    alex13 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/21/06
    Posts: 4
    Loc: Texas
    My son is 4.5 yrs old will not turn 5 till Nov. so he misses the cut-off date to start Kindergarten this year. My son was tested when he was 4yrs 2mths and tested into the 1st grade. I know for some subjects he is half-way through with 1st and with others is already into 2nd grade. I would like to get son into K this year so the difference between the grade his in and the academic level he is at are close. If we have to wait till next year he will be a Kindergartner at an academic level of 2nd/3rd grade. In the state of Texas they say he has to be 5 by Sept. 1st. But, I did read that a parent can partition to have their child tested for acceleration. I am wondering if anyone has used this rule to accelerate a Preschool child to Kindergarten in the state of Texas. Or if anyone in the state of Texas has actually had any success in getting their child enter K early? I don't know if acceleration and early K enterance will slove any problems in the future or if they will solve anything now.

    Thank you
    Kathy
    _________________________
    Educational Flashcards
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    #366 - 08/15/06 07:21 AM Re: Acceleration from Preschool to Kindergarten in Texas?
    delbows Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/25/06
    Posts: 778
    Loc: Midwest
    Hi Kathy. Our schools (IL) start tomorrow so this might be getting down to the wire for you too. You actually have another year to work this out if you skip Kindergarten. Thatís what we did with our son-he entered 1st grade when he was still five.

    You may want to get your son evaluated by an educational psychologist for additional evidence. It sounds like you have already had an achievement test completed. You may want to compliment that with an I.Q. test. If you discuss your desire to have him early entranced he/she will probably address observed maturity and concentration level. That part will defiantly interest the school if they would even consider your request.

    If they absolutely refuse no matter how much evidence you can provide to prove that it is in everyoneís best interest, you might consider a private school for the first couple of years. In IL, public schools must accept students into their respective grade level after completion of first grade. However, if you go private with the intent to switch, make sure the school has actual grade levels rather than forms or some other term.
    Good Luck!

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    #367 - 08/15/06 10:09 PM Re: Acceleration from Preschool to Kindergarten in Texas?
    alex13 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/21/06
    Posts: 4
    Loc: Texas
    I have called the principal where my son whould be attending and she did advise I go to a private school for this year. There is only 1 private school and it only goes up to K. I told the principal that he had been accepted for K at private school but would he be able to transfer to 1st along with the other kids? She said "NO" that he would have to repeat K b/c of age. UGH! Great advice from a principal for a child that works on a 1st/2nd grade level to repeat K twice. I asked about skipping K she said there is a test but rarely do children pass it and she didn't suggest that we do it. We have had son's IQ tested. He was tested with the WPPSI which only go up to an IQ of 160 and son's IQ was 130. I would like to have son tested with a IQ test where the IQ level is 200+. Most people are use to a test where kids can get a IQ of 200. but when the ceiling/IQ only goes to 160 then most people look at this test as son only made 130 out of 200 not 130 out of 160.

    I may call the school or the gifted department and see if they do testing.
    _________________________
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    #369 - 08/16/06 12:00 AM Re: Acceleration from Preschool to Kindergarten in Texas?
    delbows Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/25/06
    Posts: 778
    Loc: Midwest
    My advice is that if it doesnít cause too much financial pain, enroll him in the private K this year. That will buy you some time. Our daughter had this same experience and Iíve become very jaded about our public school system as a result.

    Our daughter attended a private kindergarten (Pre-K through K school) before her 5th birthday and excelled. Even though the school recommended she be admitted to 1st grade at the public school it feeds into, the principle refused based on age. She attended a second year of K with the public school and was labeled as gifted and a delight to have in class. We were assured that the 1st grade curriculum would challenge her because she was put with the teacher who offers a differentiated curriculum. This often meant that she and a few other students were allowed to read their chapter books while the teacher instructed the rest of the class.

    Our public school wasted two years of her early school experience. Although her teachers were nice ladies and probably good teachers for kids at the appropriated level, she learned nothing from them. She consistently stated that lunch and recess were her favorite part of the day!

    To make a long story shorter, we switched to a more academically challenging private school where they grade advanced her. We consider it a 1-Ĺ grade level skip. Her brother was early entranced to 1st grade at the same time.

    The entire public school district gave us grave warnings based on anecdotal experiences such as a slightly younger boy with an IQ of 150 who never really fit in with his peers. It apparently never occurred to them that he was different based on his IQ rather than the fact that he was Ĺ year younger! Despite their predictions, we have never regretted the move. In fact, itís still not enough for our son. (I cringe to think of him a grade lower in the public school though!)

    Our school district does not allow any variation from the grade step regimen The party line rhetoric is since our school district has such high standards, it isnít necessary to grade advance anyone (unless you are the child of the assistant superintendent or live next door to the president of the school board). I BELIEVE THAT MANY SCHOOL DISTRICTS AROUND THE COUNTRY USE GIFTED KIDS TO KEEP UP THE STANDARDIZED AVERAGE FOR THE SCHOOL!

    My husband and I made appointments with the superintendent and petitioned the school board for one year before we left the public system. Our request was that they adopt a method to access readiness for early entrance and grade acceleration. We werenít successful but maybe you will be.

    Please read the following if you havenít already:

    Genius Denied by the Davidsons and Laura Vanderkan

    A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back Americaís Brightest Students

    Smart Boys by B. Kerr, Ph.D. and S. Cohn, Ph.D. This book addresses the issue of K red-shirting and how harmful it is to gifted boys in particular.

    Sorry this is so long, but I am very passionate about this issue in particular!

    Best wishes!

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    #370 - 08/22/06 02:20 AM Re: Acceleration from Preschool to Kindergarten in Texas?
    cym Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 865
    Loc: southwest
    Many school districts have policies (age 5 as of X date) set by the state dept of education. See if the state dept of ed in tx has policies on the internet and review them. Maybe talk to the head of special ed (is gifted under special ed in tx?). Research if there has been a precedent in TX for early start and if so, ask for a meeting with state ed people to talk about it. Perhaps the principal really doesn't have the power to make an exception, but find out who does have the power. There have been many challenges recently in other states that have been successful. Good Luck!

    P.S. I found our private preschool was about a year advanced of the public schools, so challenging to get into K may not be adequate, depending on your child's skills (can he read a little?). I just had my son skip Kindergarten and go right into 1st, but he did make the date cutoff by 24 days.

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    #371 - 08/22/06 03:07 AM Re: Acceleration from Preschool to Kindergarten in Texas?
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Hi Alex13,

    What about this -
    "I asked about skipping K she said there is a test but rarely do children pass it and she didn't suggest that we do it."

    Isn't that a clear indication that if you ask/demand the test that you'll get the accomidation you believe will help you child?

    What have you got to loose?
    Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #372 - 08/23/06 12:55 AM Re: Acceleration from Preschool to Kindergarten in Texas?
    Texas Summer Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 216
    Loc: Texas
    Hi Kathy,
    Kindergarten is optional in Texas, not required, they just don't advertise it. I signed my daughter up for the 1st grade test prior to her kindergarten year. We opted not to take the test because she was accepted into a Spanish program. Otherwise, she would have taken the test and started public school in 1st grade. Don't let the negative attitudes of the principal discourage you.

    Also, here is the link for the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students. Once you get into the system, this may help you advocate for your child.

    www.professorlamp.com/ed/TEA/Tx_State_Plan.html

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    #373 - 08/23/06 03:17 AM Re: Acceleration from Preschool to Kindergarten in Texas?
    Prism Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 08/23/06
    Posts: 5
    Loc: Arizona
    We having a situation at our school that is really bothering me as a parent of a child in this school's gifted program. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas / suggestions that could help.

    The third day of school my child brought home a notice that informed us that all the children in my child's SAGE program were going to be retested for SAGE because the former SAGE teacher had used a test that had a differant copyright date then the most recent copyright of this test. The test they took was the Cognitive Abilities Test. I went on the State Department of Education website and the Cognitive Abilities Test is one of State Board of Education approved tests. It Lists The most recent addition: Form 6, 2001 then states (previous editions may be used) Why are they putting my child through retesting? PREVIOUS EDITIONS MAY BE USED! If another child came in from out of state and passed a previous edition of the Cognitive Abilities Test, My child's school, by law, would HAVE to put them into the sage program. They wouldn't retest them - this is one of the Tests that they approve!

    My concerns as a parent: My child is rather upset about having to retake the test. Please note at this point, she is doing 6th and 7th grade math and reading and has been in the sage program for the last 3 years. If she "Fails" this new test, it would be horrible for her emotionally and academically!!! She'll have to go back and do the math that she has done already! What about the children that have tested each year and finally pass, they think they'll be in sage this year and then retest and fail. What do you think will happen to these children? The school did tell us that even if the child does NOT pass the test -they say the kids can still remain in the SAGE program at the school. I have problems with this also. 1) The anxiety level when they first took the test wasn't that big of a deal because someone had said they were smart - but lets take this test to find out type of thing - they had nothing to lose. 2) Now that they have to retake the test the anxiety Level is extremely high - thinking that if they "fail" they are not considered gifted anymore and have lots to lose - she's been in the program for 3 years and knows the advantages of being in SAGE and 3) Even if they keep her in the SAGE program she's will not do her best if she "fails" this retest because anytime something comes hard for her and she finds challenging she'll have the attitude not to even try because she's not really gifted after all.

    I have talked to the SAGE teacher, the principal, and the Lady that wrote the letter from the District. I explained to them why this would be so stressful for my child. I also told them that there was a big chance that she may NOT pass because of her anxiety level in taking this retest and that other kids would be the same way. I haven't really gotten anywhere! I'm not too sure where to go from here. Do you have any suggestions? I haven't been able to find the State Laws regarding testing once only, etc. Am I wrong in thinking this isn't good for my child? What if I get her tested outside of school with a State approved test. Would they have to accept her then?

    I appreciate any help that anyone can give me in this matter.

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    #374 - 08/24/06 12:35 AM Re: Acceleration from Preschool to Kindergarten in Texas?
    cym Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 865
    Loc: southwest
    A couple comments--
    First, I really love private testing, because you have control over the date/time (time of day is very important for some kids, like mine). Also, frequently the in-school testing setting can be noisy or have distractions. So, if you can afford it and find they'll accept it, maybe that's one way to decrease anxiety.
    In NM, we have to go through a "re-evaluation" every so many years...maybe 4 years? I don't know exactly. The teachers can require re-testing at that time, presumably based on the performance of the child (since your child is doing above level work, I would think she would not be a candidate for re-testing here). I almost wish my oldest son were recommended to be retested, just for curiosity sake (certainly not enough for me to pay for it), because his original test was before he could read, and the whole world opened up to him after that--so I bet his real IQ is much higher. I guess one way to present it to your child and how I would with my kids is as an opportunity. My kids love testing. They ask me to seek out above-level testing opportunites like SCAT, PLUS, EXPLORE, SAT, ACT, etc. If there is so much anxiety associated with testing, maybe you should have her do many, to increase her comfort level. My 11-yr old son took the ACT/SATs last year. He scored higher than I did when I was 17 and applying to colleges! I thought that if I had had the chance to test early/young and do it several times so that I didn't become out-of-proportion anxious about it (I remember thinking that my whole life, my whole future depended on this test), maybe I would have relaxed and done better. Plus learned some test-taking strategies. These tests are important ultimately regarding scholarships, college choices, etc., so practice is worthwhile.

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