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Entering Kindergarten Sept 2016: Moms Chat

  1. brownie

    grapefruit / 4110 posts

    @Mamaof2: yes. The new foos has the kids create their own video game levels.

  2. Baby Boy Mom

    pomegranate / 3982 posts

    I'm going to follow along, although our plans are still totally up in the air-

    1. N- June 2011
    2. We are in NYC and the public school we got is a no-go. So waiting to hear back from charter lottery, or get off the waitlist at a better public school, or most likely- Move! If anyone has suggestions I'm all ears. We have only just recently come to terms with possibly having to move to the 'burbs so I haven't yet started researching towns. Most of LO's preK classmates are going to private schools next year but I just don't see us there at this point.
    3. tbd

  3. Mamaof2

    squash / 13208 posts

    @brownie: awesome!! Will check it out!

  4. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @Paddington10: Welcome aboard!

    @Baby Boy Mom: Yeah, I know that feeling, it's kind of crazy that it's April and things are still up in the air for some of us.

    @Mamaof2: I am pleasantly surprised too!

  5. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24134 posts

    So I just looked into after school care options. Our public school runs from 8:30-2:50. We can drop off (free) as early as 7:45 but will need to pay for after school care from 2:50-6:00 pm.

    It looks like through the school the cost is $165/18 school days. About $1,700 for the school year. This does include early release days which is nice but still leaves us with 18 uncovered holidays through the school year.

  6. SunriseMama

    coffee bean / 35 posts

    1. Child's name (or identifier), date of birth: B, born 6/2011
    2. Type of program (public, private, charter, magnet, etc): He's currently enrolled in a private Catholic school, but we are considering moving to a home zoned for a great public school.
    3. How is your kid getting to school?
    If we go the private route, we will take turns driving him. If we go public, we'll probably drive him sometimes and have him ride the bus sometimes.
    4. Special things about the program you want to share
    I can't even count the number of hours of research and the amount of angst we've had over where to send our kids to school! I'm definitely looking forward to making a final decision and having this years-long question resolved.

  7. MamaG

    pomelo / 5298 posts

    @T.H.O.U.: That's similar to ours. We pay $160/month through the district and it includes longer hours for early dismissal. Our daycare allows for "drop-in" on school holidays. We pay a daily rate. This is available since we have a younger at the daycare and also use daycare for "summer camp". It's not "cheap", but it saves us from having to use all of our vacation to cover school holidays.

    Our extended day program includes a snack and they do all sorts of fun activities. My daughter does like it. She's grouped currently with Pre-K and Kinder kiddos so they keep them in age appropriate groups. The "teachers" are mostly pretty young and energetic.

  8. Mamaof2

    squash / 13208 posts

    @T.H.O.U.: my 1st grader does before and after care at the school and he loves it (not available for K )

    They have a ton of activities, snacks, and special events. They also include coverage for 1/2 days. There is another school in our district that have coverage for days off ($50 a day) but I just work from home those days)

  9. Mrs. Chocolate

    blogger / nectarine / 2600 posts

    Oh this is so cute! I wish someone would start with a 1st grade one since my oldest is going into that and its a big deal as kindy is only half day here so this will be his big transition into full day school

  10. yin

    honeydew / 7917 posts

    1. E, April 2011
    2. He got into our local charter school. We are very lucky. It's a lottery system with preferences in the following order: faculty's children, siblings, and 5 mile radius. There are only 100 spots up for grabs with over 500 kids applying.
    3. E will be taking the bus in the morning and afternoon.
    4. It's a k-12 charter school, and we'll be set for the next 13 years. Phew. Rated among one of the best in the state.

    I'm more nervous about Kindergarten than my LO is. He has been ready for a while and cannot wait to take the bus to school like a big kid. On the other hand, I'm a mess. Also worried about his food allergies. One of the first people we talked to was the nurse when we went in for open house last fall. It is not a nut free school, and peanuts are the worse among his allergies (anaphylaxis ).

  11. DisneyBee

    apricot / 340 posts

    1. C, 1/2011
    2. Public
    3. By car. His current preschool will pick him up after school, so I can pick up my 2 sons in one place.
    4. Kindergarten here is only from 8-11:30 am. I hope he makes good friends. I only know one other child from his pre-school going to his school, but his close group of friends are all going to different schools. Since I work part-time, I'll try and be active with the PTO.

  12. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @Mrs. Chocolate: You should start it! And you can be a consultant on this thread!

  13. Pancakes

    nectarine / 2180 posts

    @yin: Regarding your son's allergies, I recommend talking with his teacher. I worked in a first grade classroom with a child with severe nut allergies. Her mother basically brought in all of the classroom treats to make sure they were allergen-friendly, and though it was not a nut-free school, they had a nut-free lunch table, and all the children who had eaten peanut butter at lunch washed their hands immediately upon returning to the classroom. It was very positive, and really the whole class took responsibility for keeping this child safe. I hope that your son has a similarly positive experience.

  14. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @SunriseMama: I am glad you joined us over here.

    @yin: That's awesome! I had a similar thing when we entered the lottery for the magnet school. I wasn't counting on getting in at all, so it was a nice surprise. It's also nice to know that you're set for the next chunk of years, isn't it?

    @DisneyBee: I am curious how it goes on the PTO and what kinds of things they do as well. I kind of feel like there might be a lot of interest but not that much to actually do.

  15. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24134 posts

    @yin: So I asked a friend and she said this.

    The first week they ask all kids to bring nut free lunches (until they figure out who has allergies and teach the kids the procedure).

    After that there is a special table in the lunch room that is for kids with allergies. If they are alone, another child can have their lunch inspected and go sit with them so they aren't by themselves.

    I'm not sure about other food brought into the classroom (like for snacks or parties or treats) though.

  16. yin

    honeydew / 7917 posts

    @Pancakes @T.H.O.U.: I talked to the teachers at open house as well in regards to food allergies. I can handle treats during special occasions, but I worry most about snacks and lunch. The teachers will make my LO sit at a different table if someone nearby has a peanut snack. There might be a lunch table set aside for those with nut allergies as well. In the beginning of the year the kids are taught not to share foods and maybe a little lesson about food allergies.

    I think my issue deals with his safety and worrying about him feeling left out. Sure, kids will wash their hands, but will it be thorough? Peanut butter is sticky. Plus he has a milk and egg allergy. Will he feel left out? Probably. I remember kids being cruel when I was in school and singling out the one kid who had a peanut allergy. Kids made threats to her, and it was just horrible.

  17. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @yin: But a lot of schools have really strict anti-bullying policies now, so I kind of take comfort in knowing that it's not the same as when we were growing up.

  18. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11551 posts

    Great thread idea, @looch: !!

    1. Child's name (or identifier), date of birth: N, Jan 2011
    2. Type of program (public, private, charter, magnet, etc): Public
    3. How is your kid getting to school?
    Driving. It's located in a neighborhood across the street from us, but still a good 20 min walk. Though DH says he wants to bike her there... we'll see if that actually happens, lol.
    4. Special things about the program you want to share - It's only a half day program. Our district doesn't have full-day Kindergarten.

    @yin: I have the same worries about the allergy issue. I asked about it at orientation, and all they do is have the kids with allergies sit at a separate table. I'm nervous about the cross-contamination issue (and yes, the feeling left out issue!). So far, N has always been fine being around peanuts or in a room with peanuts... She only reacts badly if it's ingested, but you never know with peanuts. Her next exposure might be completely different. I take some comfort in knowing she is a super cautious girl, and inspects everything before she eats it... but still, you just never know!

  19. Mrs Z OT

    pea / 21 posts

    1. M, March 2011
    2. Private Gifted & Talented, K-8
    3. Driving, but I'm hoping to find a carpool from our area to reduce the driving time.
    4. The application process was intense: written app, letters of recommendation, IQ testing, & social/behavioral analysis. Honestly, I felt like it was more than a college application! The school is incredible, though. I'm envious that I didn't go there! Even though it is definitely the right environment for her; I am still mildly conflicted as I worry how we'll handle it if my son doesn't qualify/isn't a good fit down the road. I don't want anyone to develop a complex about perceived favoritism/resources, etc.

  20. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @Mrs. High Heels: I love the biking to school idea, my husband has really fond memories about his biking commute to school.

    @Mrs Z OT: I think you have to do what you can to address the needs of each child, sounds like you're really on top of that though.

  21. Mamaof2

    squash / 13208 posts

    @yin: our public is not nut free but they do have a nut free table in the cafeteria and the snacks we send in are suppose to be nut free - I would assume your school will have similar rules in place

  22. MamaG

    pomelo / 5298 posts

    @yin: My LO has learned about allergies through her friend that has a nut allergy and her old daycare was nut free. It's a bit comical (though not cruel), she now tells us that she's allergic to things she doesn't want to eat. Green beans for dinner? Yup she's allergic! Little stinker.

    Also, we bring in snacks by the week (class effort, each family gets a week) and the teacher put a specific listing of ideas and requested nothing with nuts.

    I can definitely see your concern about hand washing. I still have to remind my daughter sometimes to wash better.

  23. regberadaisy

    GOLD / wonderful pomegranate / 28905 posts

    @yin: reach out to T-Mom. She's been there and a wealth of knowledge on navigating this.

  24. T-Mom

    honeydew / 7488 posts

    I don't have a rising Kindergartener this fall (although my DS was born September 2011 like a few of yours and does not make our state cut-off) but I just wanted to weigh in as someone who is navigating through the allergy issues at school (and still learning).

    @Mrs. High Heels: @yin: My first piece of advice would be to sit down and think about what safeguards you would like implemented in order to keep your LO safe. It doesn't matter how the school currently does it, only what you feel is safe. And then document those either in an IHCP (not legally binding) or 508 plan (legally binding). Then get an audience with the principal of the school (or whoever handles 508s, accommodations, etc) and nurse as early as you can before the school year starts. They can review how you are asking the allergy to be handled and tell you if they feel comfortable meeting those requests. I documented everything I wanted in an IHCP and the school said they could meet all of them except having the epi pen in the class room (it's in the nurse's office). Other things I asked for were hand washing after lunch, etc. They flat out told me they don't "do" 508 plans for food allergies, but I know that is bogus. I didn't fight it, but if I have to down the road, I will. I am generally ok with how my DD's peanut allergy is accommodated. She has the same assigned seat every day at lunch and no one is allowed to sit next to her that is having peanuts (not a nut free school). It is true that food in the classroom is more challenging, but I'm the room mom and I do what I can from that side. Birthday treats often get brought unannounced and there is just not much I can do about it. She has a box of safe treats and just eats those when necessary. I have offered her to send safe cupcakes to school, etc. but the poor girl just wants what everyone else is having. It's just part of the life. We have had some issues with food being served on a field trip (to the food pantry of all places, why are they giving out the food?) that I was not at. The teacher tried to reach me, and I was in a meeting at work. That was a real downer day, but she did the right thing by not allowing my DD to eat anything but fruit. The real key is communication from the teacher. I also do a lot of "reminding" - e.g. I reminded the nurse at the beginning of the year that she may need to do the yearly refresher training for DD's teacher in epi pen use (she had not). Parents are usually very understanding, but it still sucks when someone says something insensitive to you like they are "disappointed they can't send nuts for mid day snack" (believe me, not as disappointed as I). Sorry for the novel, I understand the challenges and feel free to contact me if you have specific questions.

  25. 808love

    pomelo / 5866 posts

    @looch: awesome!
    E will go to kindergarten in a very large public school that has many similarities to a private school. It starts in July and I was so excited to get her uniforms already. There is widespread use of technology and are launching district wide kinder- thru -12th grade biomedical/computer/engineering modules next year. I introduced LO to Scratch Jr. last week and she enjoyed it more than code.org but I think when she gets older she can move on to that. I am very happy LO will be starting at the school where I teach so I can bring her to school with me. I am part of a three person team that started the PArent Teacher Organization at E's preschool this school year so feel free to ask about that too.

  26. Boogs

    hostess / papaya / 10540 posts

    1. Spring 2011
    2. Public
    3. Walk
    4. Nothing special to mention

    I'm just curious to see how life will change with a kinder!

  27. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11551 posts

    @T-Mom: this is great advice, thank you! A good thing about our Kindergarten is that they do not allow any kind of edible treats for celebrations. If parents want to bring treats for the class to celebrate birthdays, it's stuff like pencils, erasers, bookmarks, etc.

  28. Mamaof2

    squash / 13208 posts

    @Mrs. High Heels: our entire school doesn't allow birthday treats - the birthday child is allowed to bring in a favorite book to share with the class - that's it!

  29. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @808love: I'd love more details about what you did to start that PTO up...why wasn't there one in the past? Is the school very new?

    @Boogs: I remeber kindergarten fairly well, considering it was so many years ago, so I am eager to see what my son remembers about it long term. I just loved school and I hope he does too.

  30. 808love

    pomelo / 5866 posts

    @looch: The school needed to have a fundraising group because of some financial issues. They found some parents they could trust.
    I went into it totally idealistic with huge make a difference plans and strategies. Even though we are on good terms with admin, I suddenly realized I am not living in a bubble and school admin needs a lot of time to adjust to our great ideas as a new stakeholder in the picture. To start, I set up meetings for our lead team first, organized a way to communicate with parents by sending a flyer and getting them to sign up on Remind.com. I sent out a Google form link so I could survey the areas they were interested in helping and made timelines for projects and scheduled one meeting the first Friday of each month for consistency. . I don't want to overwhelm you with too much so I'll stop here for now. Also I asked for a supply wish list from the teachers. I am glad I did this but I wish I had more autonomy as I feel the red tape held us back a lot. The trust and change factor takes time so a lot of patience is needed. Also, be sure to keep good relationship with all parents, even the crazy ones. Your role is critical in developing a strong community and over time, it will be rewarding with commitment. Remember, you can help a little or lot. It is all volunteer. I just took on a major portion of responsibility.

  31. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @808love: Hey thanks for that! I have no idea what the expectation is going to be (I hope it isn't a lot of fundraising because the school is brand new). I still haven't called the principal, he's currently still employed at another elementary school in town, maybe I should.

  32. Mrs. Tiger

    blogger / pomegranate / 3044 posts

    Preschool graduation pics anyone? I die!

  33. Pancakes

    nectarine / 2180 posts

    @Mrs. Tiger: So adorable! I'm pretty sure our preschool doesn't do them

  34. 808love

    pomelo / 5866 posts

    @Mrs. Tiger: Your not so little one now is so cute! We have preschool pics coming up soon too!

  35. Mrs. Tiger

    blogger / pomegranate / 3044 posts

    @Pancakes: @808love: Thank you! I thought they would be cheesy and they are but I love them anyway

  36. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11551 posts

    @Mrs. Tiger: He looks so mature and grown-up in that picture!! So handsome!

  37. Mamaof2

    squash / 13208 posts

    @Mrs. Tiger: so cute!!! Ours are in June

  38. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @Mrs. Tiger: Cute!

    My son's school doesn't do the photos. They have some kind of moving up ceremony, we'll see what it entails.

  39. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @808love: I called the principal, finally. He invited me to attend a session at the end of this month to help plan the orientation. Sounds like he's open to parental involvement, which is cool!

  40. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24134 posts

    @Mrs. Tiger: Very cute! Our school did them in just the white cap and gowns. She looks SO grown up in them.

    @looch: Great news!

    I think our Kindergarten registration packets are ready for pick up. I need to decide between two teachers (we dont pick but can give our preference).

    Choice 1 - Mrs. D - Lead Kindergarten teacher, the popular choice for people to pick. Known for being a bit louder/outgoing.

    Choice 2 - Mrs. T - Also been at the school forever. A bit older and known for being more stern (maybe not the right word) but grandmotherly.

    My mom finally go to see the attitude/bossiness of my daughter this weekend around other kids. She agreed finally I think that it probably is best for her to be the youngest of her class versus holding her back and having her be the oldest.

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