About BUSD Kindergarten
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– May 10, 2023(3 replies)
What are the drawbacks or tradeoffs to enrolling in BUSD for Kindergarten vs first grade?
We are in the great position of having a kindergarten option at our preschool. However, we are concerned that delaying enrollment in BUSD until first grade will reduce the likelihood of us getting into our neighborhood school or Sylvia-Mendez.May 10, 2023
– Jan 13, 2023(20 replies)
Our son has a late August birthday so we intentionally decided to keep him in Daycare an extra year hoping he could start Kindergarten the following year at age 6 - even his teachers thought it would be a good idea. But we didn't realize BUSD is so strict about the age limit and we were told he is "aged out" of Kindergarten and has to jump straight into First Grade. I'm so infuriated and don't know what to do. The whole reason we kept him back is bc he has issues communicating when he gets frustrated, and we noticed when he's in a class with older kids, they pick on him a lot bc he's so sensitive and unable to speak up for himself. Being around younger kids this year has been wonderful for him bc he's a natural caretaker and loves to help the little ones and it helps build his confidence. When I spoke to the BUSD person over the phone she basically didn't care that I was concerned for him. As the parent of my own child, I feel like it should matter whether we think he is emotionally/mentally ready or not, but they don't seem to give a damn. Is there anything I can do to fight this? (doing another year at daycare is not an option for us).Jan 13, 2023
– Aug 17, 2022(10 replies)
My bright, precocious kid will turn 5 years old 17 days after the September 1 kindergarten cut off. He's currently in his 2nd year at a great preschool, in the oldest class at the school - which means all of his friends/classmates will be heading to kindergarten at this time next year. Is there any option for him to go with them!? Has anyone seen BUSD make an exception to the September 1 cut off for kids who are ready and have birthdays close to the cut off? It seems so arbitrary that all the kids who have July and August birthdays (there are so many!!) would go to kindergarten, and my son would spend another year in TK/preschool.
Thanks!Aug 17, 2022
– Dec 1, 2021(2 replies)
My daughter has a June birthday. For some very complicated family reasons, we want to wait until she is 6 to enroll her in Kindergarten. I was told BUSD is very strict and they will simply put her directly into first grade once she's 6, even if she has not yet been to kindergarten. But another parent posted on BPN "as there’s no written district policy and the state only outlines minimum but not maximum ages for each grade, the district is on shaky terms with their attempts at regulating this."
Are there any families out there who have been successful at delaying kindergarten for their child and enrolling in kindergarten once their child is 6? For non-medical reasons?
OR Have any families out there opted for an extra year of preschool in lieu of kindergarten, and then enrolled their kids in BUSD at age 6?Dec 1, 2021
– Nov 1, 2021(4 replies)
I'm the parent of a 4-year old who will be entering Berkeley public schools next year as a kindergartner. I'm having a hard time finding out if anything is planned to give parents of incoming kindergartners the opportunity to learn more about the schools we have the option to request in January. I'm guessing that whatever it is will be over zoom as friends I have with kids in school say current parents are not even allowed in the school, so I anticipate it being limited in scope, but still, would be nice to have some sense of these schools. If anyone has any leads, let me know!Nov 1, 2021
– Oct 28, 2020(2 replies)
Hello parents and caregivers,
We have a child who will be old enough to start Kindergarten in the fall, and we aren't sure how the process is going to work right now amid COVID and schools still operating remotely right now. Does anything have experience with the process (pre-COVID) that they can share some advice? Do you typically reach out to the school individually within your district to express interest and ask for a tour (which we assume will be virtual for now)? We have the applications and were hoping that it would be possible to meet potential teachers that our son could have, as we care less about the overall school/location itself, and more so that he will have a supportive teacher and environment to help him thrive as SIP and distance learning has been such a challenge for the past 7 months. He had just started preschool for a few weeks before SIP happened, and has had a hard time with transitioning to new people, which he never did before. We hope that whichever school he places at can be a steady one to make things more consistent. Any advice would be great! So hard to keep planning for things during this uncertain time!
ThaoOct 28, 2020
– Oct 5, 2020(2 replies)
I tried searching for a similar situation and couldn't find any threads (but happy to be pointed to any!).
Our child is at a Montessori preschool, which includes a "Kindergarten" year. She turns 5 a little over a month after the Sept 1 cutoff, so she will be almost 6 to start Kindergarten (BUSD enrolls based on age: age 5 by Sept 1 for K, age 6 by Sept 1 for 1st, etc.). Assuming that she is academically/emotionally/socially ready, our preference is to have her as one of the younger children vs. older children in her classroom, as she learns by observing her peers, and tends to regress to baby-like actions/emotions when around younger children.
Have any of you with Montessori-educated fall babies repeated Kindergarten? Or, been able to skip to 1st grade? Any options available other than private elementary? It sounds like BUSD enrolls strictly by age, so even if she were to transition at a later grade, they would still enroll her based on the Sept 1 age cutoff for that grade.
Thanks in advance!Oct 5, 2020
– May 13, 2020(4 replies)
My child will be heading to Emerson in the Fall, and there is so much uncertainty going on right now, and I am planning for the many eventualities. One of the most trying would be to do several months of remote Kinder. And, my heart goes out to those of you that just had to do that, have a job while helping your child extensively with the new distance learning. My question is, how was distance learning for Kinder at Emerson? How many hours a day of work did you and your child have? My friends in other districts report 3 to 5 hours a day spent in Kinder education, including navigating the computer. That seems like a lot. Also, answers from other schools in BUSD for Kindergarten would be helpful too, to get an idea of how many hours to expect.May 13, 2020
– Jan 11, 2018(3 replies)
Hi bpn! Can anyone tell me about technology use in Berkeley Public elementary schools? (Specifically, Kindergartens in the Central zone.)
i.e., Do teachers use screens in the classrooms? For what? Do kids take tests on computers? (My niece in another state does, and I've realized I don't have any idea what happens here.) Anything else noteworthy?
Thanks!Jan 11, 2018
– Dec 26, 2017(4 replies)
Has anyone had experience pulling their child out of a Berkeley school partway through the school year? Specifically if the child is five-years-old? As I understand it, CA doesn't make school compulsory until age six. Trying to figure out our options if we don't have a great experience in the Berkeley school system next year. If we're really not happy, I'll try to home school until we can move/come up with a Plan C. I'm hoping it might be easier since my daughter will be under six. Thanks in advance for any advice you're able to offer.Dec 26, 2017
We pulled our daughter out after a disastrous Kindergarten year, and wish we'd never sent her there. Her teacher was the least charismatic Kindergarten teacher I've ever encountered - and apparently she's still there. Our daughter's creativity tanked - it was all about reading and math all the time, worksheets and homework. A little boy said to me at the end of the year that he felt stupid because he was having a hard time with reading. Meanwhile our daughter soared to a ridiculous 2nd grade level in reading - all the result of focusing so hard on getting 5-yr-olds to read. I attended a meeting with the new superintendent at the start of that school year in which it was clear that gifted children are not well served by this school system. It's been our experience that all of the energy goes toward the problem kids, of which there are many. If you like your private school, stay.
I don't have experience with Cragmont but, I can say that if things do not go well it is difficult to make a change. Our daughter had a rough year in Kindergarten at another BUSD public school. I could tell from the first few days that the teacher was not a good fit. We were told by our principal that they never switch kids to another teacher within a school. You have to switch to completely different school in the district. We were offered a spot at Cragmont, but it was not a viable option for us because we have 3 kids to drop off at 3 different schools, the 9am start time, and the fact that it is across town and out of zone and we wouldn't get any bus service. We tried all year to get a spot someplace else in the district but couldn't. We ended up sticking it out and taking our daughter to a child psychologist to help her cope. I know the private school we got into would have been a better fit for my daughter but we just couldn't afford to do it.
That being said, most people seem to love BUSD public schools.