Information on Pre-K/K in Florida

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by kimrandy1, May 26, 2005.

  1. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    May 26, 2005

    I teach PreK in Annapolis Md in a public school. One of my families is unexpectedly moving to Florida. They'll be in St. Lucy county. This little boy is highly able and very mature. The thing is that, with changing states, he'll miss the birthday cutoff to enter K in Florida next Fall. His parents are really pushing for him to go forward and are looking at lots of options. I think, in his case, they're right (he misses the cutoff by 1 day).

    I told them I'd help them figure out what to do. Anyone know anything about schools in Florida? Like, do they offer public Pre-K, and if one is not offered at the local school, can they go to another school to get Pre-K? It would be a HUGE disservice to this child for him to go a year without ANY schooling, and the private schools the parents have investigated have long, long waiting lists.

    Other questions...is full day K the norm there, and also, is year round school the norm?
    Kim
     
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  3. psrebel

    psrebel New Member

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    May 26, 2005

    Florida Pre K Info.

    I am presently teaching Pre K in a private school in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, which is approximately 20 miles south of St. Lucie County. As of today there is no "formal" public school pre k program. As I understand it, Florida is still in the process of developing a preschool program for public schools. It is supposed to be in tact by this school year, which starts 10 August 2005.

    There are several excellent private schools in both St. Lucie and Palm Beach Counties that have preschool programs. I would be more than willing to help the family that is moving down here to find an excellent school for their son. Please give them my email address.

    Sam
     
  4. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    May 29, 2005

    schools are not required to have prek but many are opening up that option. I dont think there is a formal list yet. I will try and find out what the supplement is called that the school receives from the government which is the factor for opening up prek in the fla. schools. Once i get the name, i can do a search and see if there is a list of schools that ARE offering the prek...
     
  5. Seich30

    Seich30 Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2005

    THey would really like him to go to Kindergarten??? Private schools are an option--many will take younger kids for K. Although, I personally don't think it hurts anyone to wait a year. In my area, which is middle of the state, Kindergarten is a full day program.
     
  6. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jul 15, 2005

    Yes, they want him to go to K. He's already been through three years of preschool, with the last one being a highly structured, academic, 5 day a week program. He did exceptionally well (I think he was probably the 2nd highest in my class, both academically and maturity wise, out of all 40 students). However, they'd settle for some sort of PreK or preschool if they could get him in one. Trouble is, they've been told by all the ones that they contacted that they've already filled classes for the Fall and have no expected openings. They just want him to go to some sort of structured, academic program so that he doesn't lose any ground. And I agree with them...he is very ready for K.
    Kim
     
  7. greenfiremajick

    greenfiremajick Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2005

    That's got to be so frustrating for the parents. From what you describe it certainly does seem as if he should be allowed to continue without a year long interruption!
     
  8. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Jul 17, 2005

    If the southern counties are like our northern ones, they need to look into puting him in private kindergarten AND first grade. I know in the counties I've worked for that if a child is in private kindergarten and trys to come to public for 1st they are still looked at for the age cut off and can be placed in kindergarten again. Most counties won't look at anything but age when getting a child into school.
     
  9. roselover772

    roselover772 Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2005

    HI
    There are many schools that are participating in the Voluntary Pre K program. However, they are filling up. Some public schools also offer a formal pre K class. I am in Indian River County and we have 2 elementary schools that have offered pre k for several years. I am sure St Lucie also offers this. There are an extensive amount of preschools to choose from in St.Lucie as it is becoming HEAVILY populated. Kindercare, La Petite, Head Start ( I am partial to HS since I work for them)...these are a few that come to mind ....have your parent do a search and contact the school board via the internet....St.Lucie Public Schools...there should also be a community agency that will provide information such as ALPHI or a Community referral source. The cut off is Sept 1 NO MATTER WHAT for admission to kindergarten. Tell your parent to NOT stress out about it....her son will be fine and he may even benefit from another year in pre k.
     
  10. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Jul 27, 2005

    There is a good reason why they choose to stick by cut off dates. If this parent were to get their way, then someone with a birthday one day after that will hear about it and so on... It would become an endless cycle. Before you know it you'd have 3 year olds in K (not literally, but you get my point). Even though their son is bright and ready, there is no sense in pushing the kid if he does not make the cut off. Kids all "catch up" to one another sooner or later anyways even if he is ahead of other children now. Just because he's ahead of the game now, doesn't mean he'll stay ahead of the game. No offense to him, just speaking from experience. If they are that set on him having the structure yet, can they check into local childcares or private preschools? Tell them not to be discouraged into looking at childcares as well. Some people think they are only for "babysitting", when in reality, they aren't any different from "preschools" when it comes to structure and curriculum (most, anyways). They just have to look into it.
     
  11. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jul 27, 2005

    Jen Pooh: Did you read this from one of my posts:

    they'd settle for some sort of PreK or preschool if they could get him in one. Trouble is, they've been told by all the ones that they contacted that they've already filled classes for the Fall and have no expected openings. They just want him to go to some sort of structured, academic program so that he doesn't lose any ground.

    He's on at least 5 waiting lists right now for PK programs. Or, at least he was in June, when school let out. Two of those are daycare/preschool settings that I know of. They'd expected and hoped he'd go into K, but would just like him to be able to go to school this upcoming year. I talked to mom last week and she said that as of now, they're all going to Florida, and she's coming back with the kids to stay with her parents for the school year, and he'll be in K at my school. They'll deal with the next year as it comes, but at that point, he'll be old enough for K there, so he'll be able to attend something.
    Kim
     
  12. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Jul 27, 2005

    I see. You kind of made it seem like they were only thinking of public pre-k. Is this a relativley small town or something? It seems kind of wierd that so many places would be filled up unless it's a small community. From my experience with waiting lists...tell them not to give their hopes up. After the school year starts, there will be people changing plans which will leave spots open...it always happens.
     
  13. roselover772

    roselover772 Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2005

    The State of FL has, this year, put together a Voluntary Pre-K program which is providing free child care for 4 year olds. The idea is to prepare them for kindgarten and raise the bar for the other "day cares" that are of poor quality. There are many as you know, of poor quality. St. Lucie County is an extremely fast growing county. It is not a BIG city type of area. Of course people do move around, however for some reason and I am not sure of this, ( I will find out) Sept.3 is the cut off for enrolling and getting expenses paid. This program is not based on income, etc. If they choose to go with a private Pre K they may also find that due to the massive response of the public to the Pre-K program, that they will have to wait for an opening. It is an unusual situation right now.
     
  14. gailk

    gailk New Member

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    Dec 8, 2005

    Kim, have the parents call the school that he 'would be' attending if he would have been born one day earlier :)
    they should tell the school his abilities and ask if he can be tested for their Kindergarten class. All the schools I've been involved with will gladly test him, of course....many of the office personnel may think that the parents are just thinking their son is so smart...
    it's great when they really do get a student who is ready for their school. I too think he is ready from reading your comments. Best of everything and thank you for caring so much for this student and his family.
     
  15. gailk

    gailk New Member

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    Dec 8, 2005

    There's always the option to homeschool. Using a great
    curriculum such as ABEKA will keep him challenged and headed in the right direction. If the mother or father can't homeschool him, see if there is someone who is willing to do it for them. Because he may not be 'of age' and he's not yet 6 years old, someone other than his parents can teach him Kindergarten, but, next year when he is 'of age' and suppose to go to Kindergarten in the schools, he'll be too smart for the class and need to receive advanced kindergarten work. Best of everything!
     

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