While the possibility of CJ attending kindergarten in the fall is slim, we still have more options than I knew.
After his daycare teacher brought up the idea of Kindergarten Readiness, I looked into it. The focus on social and fine motor skills appealed to me since these are the areas where he most lags. On the school website, I pull up the list of requirements. There my heart sank at the sight of: Student must be 5 by September, 30, 2012. And have a birth month of June, July, August or September.
CJ is a May baby. Crap-o-la. 15 days…really?
So I retired the thought for a few days in defeat. Then it hit me. Every week I take my oldest, WC, to open library night at school. Once a week they open the library after school so students can read and take computerized tests on the books- called AR. This is a requirement for every kid in the school to read and test on books. WC and I have been going since he was in kindergarten-so three years now. My point is that the assistant principal runs open library. So we’ve gotten to know her over the course of going in. It occurred to me to talk to the assistant principal- ask her about the program and how strict they hold to that whole birth month requirement and if they could make exception for a child who really needs it.
Well my conversation with the assistant principal went great. Over the course of the conversation, I let her in on CJ’s delays and sensory issues. She was wonderful. She suggested that I contact the teacher in charge of the Kindergarten Readiness program to discuss CJ with her. Then she told me something else. On Saturday the 10th they are having free screenings for children aged 3-5. If I bring him in and let them run him through a series of tests, then he might qualify for his OT through the school and possibly qualify him for other services and possibly qualify him to start kindergarten with special ed assistance or their pre-k program also admits special ed as 2nd tier admittance. The first ones admitted to pre-k are people who qualify for free/reduced lunch. We do not.
With all the above in mind, I contacted the Kindergarten Readiness teacher- via email. Explained who I was, I already have a child in the school, and I’d spoken to the assistant principal who suggested I contact her. And I explained why I wanted CJ in KR and what his challenges are. To my surprise the replied fairly quickly and we corresponded back and forth several times over the day.
Basically, if CJ qualifies for an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) then he is not eligible for KR program. But if he isn’t, she will be glad to test him at pre-registration. She has to fill her slots with June-Sep birthday’s first, if anything is left then she can admit him. And bringing him to the screening on Saturday should help with finding the appropriate placement for him.
If he doesn’t qualify for any of it, then we will stay where we are. I’ll hold him out a year.