Dumping DK

I love the school my children are in.  I love that I walk into the building and staff know who I am and which children belong to me.  I love that I can send out emails at night and the teachers respond with unbelievable speed!  I love that they are concerned about my entire child and not just his or her academics.  I love that the parking lot is so full during holidays, open houses, and conferences that I have to park across the street.  I love that each time I walk into the school I see other parents volunteering in the rooms.  So basically I love their school!

Something I don't love at all is the fact that they are dumping developmental kindergarten aka DK aka young 5's aka  pre-K.  I understand why they are doing it.  The State of Michigan is changing their funding and if the schools don't offer full day all day kindergarten they will lose a lot of money.  I understand that the thought is that with having all day every day kindergarten children will get the extra time they need to be prepared for first grade.  It makes sense that they wouldn't have space or funding to provide more classes for DK.

This all makes perfect sense on paper, but when you look at the children that logic doesn't ring true.  We'll use my children as examples!

Lola is currently in DK.  She is reading and doing a fantastic job!  She will be going into kindergarten next year.  I can't imagine her going into kindergarten last fall without having the skills she has now-  she was not ready!  She will be 6 in October and I think she is ready for every day all day.

Tyce is in preschool right now.  He is not reading.  I would say he is where a 4 year old should be in his knowledge base and attention span.  Our plan would have been to send him to DK next year so he could have the skills that the other children will have when entering kindergarten.  He will be 5 in October and although he doesn't nap any longer, I think he will have a hard time especially at the beginning of the year making it all day every day in school like his sister.

I can not imagine them being in the same class!  Their skills and maturity levels are clearly at least a year apart from one another!  Does this mean if we were to continue Tyce in our district that he would do kindergarten the first time as a tag-along who can't keep up and causes problems because he is too young to do what the other kids are doing?  Then the second year in kindergarten he would actually learn?  Would his self esteem and school experience already be tainted by that time?  How will the school accommodate these differences? 

Of course we won't let that happen to our son so we will have to look for a program for him elsewhere.  It will be a bit of a pain, but we will make it work.  It is just too bad that the schools have to look first and foremost at the dollar sign before they look at the children.  (I blame the state for this more then the school - just to be clear)


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