In Rhode Island the cut off for Kindergarten has been September first for well over 10 years now. As a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher having this cut off pretty much gave me a job. After all these years of seeing the benefits as an Educator, I am now seeing the Parent perspective of how the September 1st cutoff effects children and their families.
I have been a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher in a few settings within the past 10 years. I have ALWAYS Loved my job to prepare children for Kindergarten. The growth throughout the school year in each child has been amazing to see. From children who were struggling with confidence, writing their name, or gaining independence to the same children showing confidence in their abilities to accomplish their tasks, writing their first AND last names and transitioning through the day and through activities independently are the reasons I have become so passionate about this field and no longer think of this as a job but as a career.
Now years later, I have my own children and my oldest has a November 1st birthday. So instantly I always knew she was going to go to Pre-K because of her birthday. Well now the time has come where children in her class and family friends are graduating from Pre-K moving on to Kindergarten and she has another full year of Pre-K because her birthday is November 1st! Though she has made some wonderful friends in her class some are staying and some are moving on.
As a Teacher, I have seen this many times and have always felt it was good for the child to get an extra year, in some areas the extra year was needed. Then I've had children that should've moved on but because of their birthday needed to be held back with only missing the cut off by 2 days and this child read at a 3rd grade level when leaving my class.
Now as a parent, I feel the same, yes she has a chance to develop some skills more before Kindergarten but I feel bad that others around her are moving on already.
She is in my class and will be again next year, so in that aspect of thinking I'd like to see her move on because I feel she would do well in Kindergarten. I love having her in my class don't get me wrong. I love seeing her interactions with the other children, having first hand knowledge of her academic skills and most of all being with my little girl everyday while working. But for her to be with me another school year may mean a harder transition to Kindergarten then if she moved on in the Fall.
Well as things are, I cannot change anything, she will be in my class for another year, then at this time next year I will not only watching my daughter practice for graduation with her friends but I will be the one giving her her very first diploma.
How do you feel about this September 1st cutoff? If you live in another state, what is the Kindergarten cutoff? Has it effected your class or your child?