Born shortly after the school cutoff date, a tale in eighteen parts

My youngest was born seven days after the arbitrary cutoff date for kindergarten. In Nashville, this means that she would be the oldest in her classes, the largest, and the most bored likely as she’s a really bright kid. Seriously, she’s doing kindy stuff now and doing it well.

To change anything / get an exception, we have to have proof that she’s ready in the form of a Brigance screening test administered at her assigned school. We were told this last year, and I made an appointment with the person in charge of testing.

I took Aerin down, explained again in person what I had explained on the phone. I have a 4yo, she’s 7 days younger than the cutoff because she was born about 9 days late. She’s fine, she’s top of her current preschool class, I want to get her into kindergarten at her sister’s school, and I just need some papers to prove it.

Aerin takes the test, it’s on the last day before the break, I’m told she’s great and we leave. After I leave we discover the name’s incorrect, there’s no indication of whether this was passing or failing kindergarten, and we’ve got, I call and drop an email and am informed a few days later that the tester, in spite of me telling her the object was Kindergarten, gave her the pre-K test…

So we go back again, get the new test, she passes fine (you have to have a 60, she had an 87 and should have been over 90 but she was being a goof,) and it’s off to registration, two tests under our belt.

Registration I get to and explain the entire thing – she’s a week too young, we’ve got the test, yadda yadda. I am told to come back next year because they’re not enrolling for the next year at this point. I will also have to enroll when they have a piece of paper and take that to the school board because the computer system will not recognize her date as being eligible for kindergarten, because, 7 days.

I’m told to come back in early January to pick up the forms.

I came back in January to pick up the forms. I explain to three people what my path has thus been and am told I will have to get her tested. I tell them I have already had her tested at her assigned school. They say “so she’s got a student ID?” and no – she doesn’t. A long set of misunderstandings ensues and is finally hopefully rectified. I fill out a paper, get a student ID, they’re pretty sure I’m going to have to get a Brigance test, I show them the two I have with me.

They wonder how I got a test without a student ID, and why the tester originally didn’t understand, and yeah.

I now get to wait until registration opens for schools. This will be on the 27th. I’ve now spent about 5 days over the last six months in an attempt to get a child who’s seven days past an arbitrary cutoff date into the school system.

Now, my first attempts at getting the right aged kid in were met with a school that lost paperwork 4 times, a three month long escapade in which the principal of the school straight up lied to me, and a year that is best forgotten of nightmarish incompetence (I mean really, third complete set of paperwork lost, my kid on a timeout being put in a room with a kid with a switchblade) – so this has been relatively better than the last experience.

But seriously… 7 days… 

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.