Accommodations for kindergarten?

Posted by: ojojojoj

Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/23/21 08:06 AM

Hello. I posted on this forum previously when trying to make a decision about preschool for my daughter. For the current academic year she is at home with me, doing distance learning pre-k through our neighborhood school and doing other activities with me or on outschool. If we send her back in-person next year she will be going into kindergarten.

She is reading chapter books independently and her math skills seem to be a mix of first and second grade. I got the singapore Dimensions math first grade books and we're moving through them to try to consolidate her skills.

I'm worried about what kindergarten will look like. In some ways after a year of isolation she could probably use a year of diving back into socialization. But she doesn't need work on alphabet or sight words or a prolonged time of adding within ten.

Any ideas for what I could ask the school about the possibility of offering her some kind of differentiated reading and math in kindergarten? I'm trying to be realistic and certainly don't want to overburden the teacher. The school officially starts GT programming in second grade but it's a pull out enrichment program that talks about growth mindset and does projects. I asked about acceleration in core classes and was told that the teachers use cluster grouping on assignments but it's not under the guidance of the GT teacher, it's just whatever each teacher decides to do it for his or her classroom.
Posted by: indigo

Re: Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/23/21 09:04 AM

Are there any sports or rec department or other similar outside activities available to your child in the current COVID-19 climate...? For example: Swim, dance, tumbling & gymnastics, T-ball? Any places to meet other parents/children in a play group, such as at a church, neighborhood group, park playground, or reading event at a local library?

I ask because it will be important for your family and your child to recognize and emphasize any interests the child may have in common with other classmates or older children they meet. Socializing and forming friendships may occur largely based on participation in outside activities and arranged play dates, if your child has little in common with chronological age peers.

Government schools are NOT set up to nurture and develop gifted pupils. They are established to achieve equal outcomes among diverse populations, which often involves capping the growth of gifted children. It is crucial that gifted children do not stop learning and just wait for classmates to catch up... once learning is put on hold, it can change the brain, making it difficult to begin learning again, leading to underachievement.

Here is a link to an old thread with roundups of many topics which may be of interest throughout your journey.
Posted by: ojojojoj

Re: Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/23/21 10:46 AM

Thank you. Our kids been pretty holed up, we will consider re-evaluating when the adults in the family are all vaccinated. She's been doing outschool classes on legos, chess, dinosaurs, space, talking about feelings, and other topics of interest. When she was in a multi-age preschool class last year she preferred to play with kids her own age. Her closest buddy didn't talk much and would get stressed out and bite her. She acted like she couldn't read because her friends couldn't do it and would do things like pick very easy puzzles so she could sit with a friend but then would actually ignore the puzzle and mostly did really silly things to make her friend laugh until the teacher asked her to stop. Things like petting herself with open scissors, repeating nonsense phrases. Age-appropriate for a three year old. But not a type of social interaction that's going to be helpful to her in an elementary school classroom if it continued when she was older. Her social age seems like a data point against seeking a grade skip. I wish we had more and different options available for her future schooling. Unfortunately I'm struggling to get my work done while pseudo-homeschooling this year. And our hypothetical private school budget dwindled when we had a baby last year.
Posted by: indigo

Re: Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/23/21 11:30 PM

Personally I would not overlook or dismiss seemingly unrelated circumstances such as a child:
- choosing a friend who hurts (bites) them,
- dumbing self down (pretending they cannot read) in order to fit in,
- engaging in potentially unsafe behavior (open scissors).
A bit of negativity and/or self-punishment may be creeping in.

As you mentioned having a baby in the past year, I would redouble efforts to make sure the three-year-old has plenty of positive parental attention and feels supported and encouraged in asking questions, receiving answers, and continuing to develop academic and social skills.

Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, as it is an experimental mRNA injection (not an attenuated virus), have you read the Pfizer factsheet for Healthcare Providers, 30-page downloadable PDF? COVID-19 has a better than 98% recovery rate. Early outpatient treatments are especially effective, and have been outlined at recent Senate Hearings. A few links:
1) Senate Hearing Nov 19, 2020
2) Senate Hearing Dec 8, 2020
3) NIH paper, Feb 10, 2011 called "Ivermectin The WonderDrug... "
4) NIH paper, Aug 22, 2005 stated "Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread"
5) Peer-reviewed study published Dec 3, 2020
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/24/21 10:30 AM

Hi oj,

I'm sympathetic to your situation; many parents are in a similar boat juggling childcare and work, and it can be a challenge, doubly so with a new baby! (Congrats!!)

My answer will hinge on the degree to which you require childcare coverage for your work. When I evaluated kindergarten for my child a few years ago, my calculus was a combination of three goals. This thought process was helpful then, and I'd use a similar lens if I were to do it again.

1 - Childcare coverage so I could work
2 - Academic fit and opportunities for meaningful learning
3 - Opportunities for positive socialization

It sounds like item 1 is a fixed constraint for your family. Only you can gauge to what degree your family can juggle / stagger schedules (if you are partnered or have supports), and how the options available to you meet your needs. Your older DD seems like she's getting a rich experience at home - obviously thanks to a concerted effort on your part! Given how difficult conditions are in the pandemic, I hope you're giving yourself a pat on the back. What you're achieving is no easy feat. smile

In my own experience, childcare was my most intractable constraint for the kindergarten year. We achieved a tolerable, but not ideal, balance with my child attending public kindergarten for half-days to have opportunities to interact with age peers and sound off half my work day. The remainder of his time was with me - as my work was flexible enough to swing into morning and night shifts remotely to cover the remaining hours, and he spent about an hour with a family member in our home. His learning profile was similar to your DD's. For us, this arrangement served as a stopgap year, nothing more, until I could afford a more flexible private school.

We ultimately found a better fit in a mixed-age private school environment for the elementary years that allows considerable flexibility and individualization to reach ahead of grade level.

I hope this is helpful, in some small way. Know that there are many of us here who can lend a sympathetic ear and suggest things that worked (or caution about things that didn't). However, your knowledge of your own family is paramount.

Good luck! smile

Posted by: ojojojoj

Re: Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/26/21 08:47 AM

Thank you both.


I spend more time browsing this forum than I do posting in it and I appreciate the information you assemble in your posts. They're great resources. On the vaccine front we have a family member with cancer so we need to be particularly cautious. I am the last unvaccinated adult in the family and luckily I get my first dose next week.

The negative things that happened in my daughter's three-year-old experience at preschool were concerning and remain red flags in my mind. I would not want her elementary school experience to repeat that pattern.

I'm definitely working hard (successfully!) at keeping her immersed in interesting material this year and doing my best to give her attention during the day. My work productivity is taking the hit on that one. My husband is stretched thin working in COVID response but we're both doing what we can. At the moment she's thriving academically but misses being with kids in-person. The extent to which I'm successfully meeting her academic needs makes me wish we could swing homeschool. I'm just feeling very leery of sending her in to a standard classroom next year.

I am not sure what I can realistically request from her school for kindergarten next year but I wish they could do something like offer her appropriately leveled reading and math with other students, either within her class or by letting her visit a higher grade class. If working at her level means working alone while the rest of her class does different activities I am not sure that will be a positive experience for her.


Childcare is the huge hurdle preventing us from homeschooling. I am fortunate to have a job that is forgiving of my need to duck in and out of work at the moment due to being at home with children during COVID. It's unsustainable in the long run. I would love to have a half-day or half-week school option not just for kindergarten but beyond. I could move a feasible number of work hours into the evening and let her work on her academic level for at least part of the day.

Wishes aside, I'm currently stuck trying to figure out what, if anything, I can ask our neighborhood school to do for my daughter. My husband and I are on the same page in believing that if attending this school appears to be harming her we will do whatever we need to do to pull her out even if it means one of our careers takes a hit. But that would still be Plan B. I think I have to start there and probe for possibilities.

Do you think these questions are in the right ballpark?

--- What would it look like to opt her out of the many hours of letter-sound exercises they apparently engage in?
--- Can we send books to the class that she could sit and read somewhere cozy? Is the teacher able to engage with her on books for hypothetical independent reading? (the second part seems like a big ask)
--- Could she visit first or second grade for some activities?
--- Am I right in assuming a grade skip is a bad fit when her current level of executive functioning means she isn't always ready to just accept and cooperate with assignments and see them to completion?
Posted by: aeh

Re: Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/26/21 02:17 PM


Based on what you've said is on your pragmatic list and your wishlist, I'm going to add a few questions to your list. (If I've misunderstood which items below on which list, my apologies!):

-Does the district allow partial homeschooling? E.g., attending school half-days (regardless of k or higher placement) or on certain days of the week, attending only for certain subjects (say, math and specials (art, music, gym) only).
-Is kindergarten mandatory? (IOW, if there is no formal provision for partial homeschooling, could you reasonably make an informal arrangement, where she just has consistently bad attendance every Tuesday and Thursday.)

And in response to some of your existing questions:
-early entrance to first grade may or may not be a good fit--but it's quite difficult to accurately assess this, to be honest, at this early date. It's only February now, and, as you've no doubt noticed, a substantial amount of development can occur in six months. You do need to start conversations somewhat early with schools both public and private when it comes to grade skips or early entrance, but her EF is going to be a moving target.

We went through a similar conversation about early entrance to 1st with our DC1 (although for somewhat different reasons). In our initial conversation with one tiny private school, the director acknowledged, after administering their kindergarten/first grade screening/placement instrument, that DC was well above the expected cut scores for first grade (at around this time of year), but that they had concerns about maturity and safety (this was because DC's response to the stranger-danger question was, shall we say, in keeping with DC's high extroversion), and recommended kindergarten, with the usual line about how rigorous the curriculum was, and the ability of the teacher to differentiate. I observed the classroom subsequently, and learned definitively that it would be a poor fit for DC (not only academically--much longer story). The second tiny private school gave the same screening instrument again, a few months later, and similarly obtained comfortably first-grade ready scores, but also made the same comment about maturity, accompanied this time by concerns about high activity level. This time, we requested that additional data be collected at the end of the summer, both on academic skills, and informally, in DC's interaction with the teacher. At this third assessment (second with this school), the director pulled out some first grade end-of-course materials and early reading (think Amelia Bedelia, Frog and Toad-level), and established to her own satisfaction that DC wouldn't be out of place academically in second grade, which seemed to be what she needed to say that the tradeoff in "maturity" would be less than that in instructional appropriateness. It likely helped that additional time with DC allowed her to see that much of the chattiness and activity level were not purely developmental. She finally agreed with us that placing DC in kindergarten would not make DC less active, just active and inadequately challenged at the same time, which would be extremely likely to present as even more "immature behavior."

And the result of the early entrance to first was an excellent year, in which the very-experienced first grade teacher scaffolded all the EF needed to be successful (both behaviorally and organizationally). Because that's what first grade teachers do. Having older classmates to act as behavioral models also helped DC considerably, whereas (not unlike your DC's 3-year-old school year), having younger models would likely have resulted in downward social referencing instead--a point volunteered by the director, who was convinced within the first half year. It is likely that a child who has already demonstrated high levels of social perception, and the ability to adapt easily to the social norms, would perform up to the expectations of her first-grade peers.

Now obviously, your child, circumstances, and options are all different from ours, but just to say it can work, even with a supposedly "immature" child.
Posted by: indigo

Re: Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/26/21 03:59 PM

Requesting the appropriate challenge level for reading and math (possibly with 1st grade or 2nd grade pupils) would be appropriate and in my observation and experience it would be helpful if you met parents/families at out-of-school events, to provide these benefits:
- learning from other parents what programming, cluster grouping by ability and readiness, or other accommodations have been made by the school for other pupils,
- having a friend in the upper grade which your child may visit for reading and/or math.

It would also be helpful if you had some data to support your request to the school. Documentation is important. For example:
- a list of books read, which might include date, child's age, book title, book author, book reading level, new vocabulary words encountered.
- a collection of math workbook pages completed, with date and child's age on each page, and notes such as any questions the child asked, observations the child made (such as whether the work was fun, hard, or easy).

Suggestion: Always keep a copy of any documentation. Better yet, keep the originals if you can give the school a copy.

It is important for parents of gifted children to meet local parents, make contacts, and strike up supportive friendships, and it is important for gifted children to befriend older children met outside of school.
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/26/21 09:40 PM

I smiled at aehís question re: informal homeschooling. Iím going to second her suggestion of architecting your own part-time enrolment option if such a choice isnít available formally and KG isnít mandatory.

Academic work, like letter learning, should be easy to resolve if there is some play-based learning in the schedule too. If your child is capable of reading, no decent educator will deny her that opportunity. All that is needed is a comfortable nook or seat and a selection of appropriate books. It might be worth asking if a resource teacher can work with her 1-1 selecting books from the library and providing weekly reading lessons/ discussions at level if grade acceleration is rejected, or if you decide acceleration isnít appropriate at this time.

You might also ask that your DD be exempted from nose and toe counting to work on a math curriculum of your choice, that you supply from home. You could spend 20 minutes a week at home introducing the subjects (the Singapore series is excellent in this context.) I would not be strict abiit math output in the school setting, though. smile

If you end up in negotiations, put them on the back foot and have them justify why your daughter shouldnít learn to read (or learn X skill, that sheís capable of doing at a more appropriate level independently in parallel). Itís a rather unethical and embarrassing argument for an educator to make. Try to do this sweetly. If you sense thereís no support for acceleration, you might want to take a sequential approach and start with reading accommodations, then wear them down. No money or resources in budget? A cost effective solution that doesnít require scheduling gymnastics or a panoply of interventions is acceleration. After all, youíre a team player...! wink

In our case, this bought my DS a grade 1/2 telescope instead of an initial acceleration, and a supportive school team. In yours, it might buy you a year of runway to finagle your ideal work schedule!

Please excuse my subversive approach. I find these negotiations enjoyable, and have no problem colouring outside the lines, but then Iím constitutionally disposed to advocacy.
Posted by: spaghetti

Re: Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/28/21 02:41 AM

Originally Posted By: indigo

Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, as it is an experimental mRNA injection (not an attenuated virus), have you read the Pfizer factsheet for Healthcare Providers, 30-page downloadable PDF? COVID-19 has a better than 98% recovery rate. Early outpatient treatments are especially effective, and have been outlined at recent Senate Hearings. A few links:
1) Senate Hearing Nov 19, 2020
2) Senate Hearing Dec 8, 2020
3) NIH paper, Feb 10, 2011 called "Ivermectin The WonderDrug... "
4) NIH paper, Aug 22, 2005 stated "Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread"
5) Peer-reviewed study published Dec 3, 2020

Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, as it is an experimental mRNA injection (not an attenuated virus), have you read the Pfizer factsheet for Healthcare Providers, 30-page downloadable PDF? COVID-19 has a better than 98% recovery rate. Here is a source:
Early outpatient treatments are especially effective, and have been outlined at recent Senate Hearings. A few links:
1) Senate Hearing Nov 19, 2020
2) Senate Hearing Dec 8, 2020

Here is an update Feb 23,2021 from NIH

Updated guidelines for treatment of Covid 19

3) NIH paper, Feb 10, 2011 called "Ivermectin The WonderDrug... "

That source is from 2011, prior to the current pandemic. Here is a source from Feb 2021

4) NIH paper, Aug 22, 2005 stated "Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread"

That is a source from 2005, prior to the pandemic. Unfortunately, there has been at least one death.
Here is 2020 FDA government webpage regarding revocation of Emergency Use Authorization based on clinical trials. EUA was never authorized for early treatment.

ďJune 15, 2020 Update: Based on ongoing analysis and emerging scientific data, FDA has revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) to use hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19 in certain hospitalized patients when a clinical trial is unavailable or participation is not feasible. We made this determination based on recent results from a large, randomized clinical trial in hospitalized patients that found these medicines showed no benefit for decreasing the likelihood of death or speeding recovery. This outcome was consistent with other new data, including those showing the suggested dosing for these medicines are unlikely to kill or inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19. As a result, we determined that the legal criteria for the EUA are no longer met. Please refer to the Revocation of the EUA Letter and FAQs on the Revocation of the EUA for Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate and Chloroquine Phosphate for more information.

5) Peer-reviewed study published Dec 3, 2020

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Posted by: cricket3

Re: Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/28/21 05:13 AM

Bravo, Spaghetti.
And thank you.
Posted by: ojojojoj

Re: Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/28/21 01:20 PM

Thank you all so much. I have contacted the district and school to start the conversation about what is possible. Iím to fill out a document with information about her traits and development to date. They will then administer an olsat as an eligibility step for district GT program eligibility. Her preschool WPPSI scores are too old. I sent the school an email asking for information about what they can do during the core curriculum. Kindergarten is a mandatory year here in the sense that opting out of kindergarten requires homeschool. Pre-covid the school said it was working very hard to improve its attendance because that data is used to score the school at a state level. Iím not sure whether theyíll have any more flexibility on that in the future.

I will use your collective suggestions as a reference when Iím talking to the school.
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Accommodations for kindergarten? - 02/28/21 01:26 PM

Wishing you every success, oj. Please keep us posted. smile