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September 6, 1999
Concerning "Postponing Kindergarten Spurs Debate," Aug. 30: The debate has been raging since I began teaching kindergarten in 1972 and before that. There is no one answer, as each child is unique and comes to kindergarten with different experiences and degrees of readiness, regardless of age. At some point age does become a critical factor, as one looks beyond the kindergarten years. Feeling out of step with one's peers in the teen years can be very uncomfortable. Changing the cutoff date to September can certainly not hurt and may help many children whose parents consider kindergarten a baby-sitting function rather than the critical building block that it is intended to be. The key, however, is for the incoming school to involve parents in the decision by helping them make the crucial educational plan for their child, whether very young or older.
January 29, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
Children who are overweight in kindergarten have four times the risk of becoming obese by eighth grade, researchers reported Wednesday - in just one of the ways they said that the risk of becoming overweight or obese could start even before birth. Put another way: “Half of childhood obesity occurred among children who had become overweight during the preschool years,” the scientists wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. And as kids got older, their chances of becoming obese fell.
October 13, 1999
Re your Oct. 9 article on the first five days of kindergarten: I have also been teaching kindergarten for 30 years, and yes, it is drastically different than it used to be. With all the emphasis on academics and the state-adopted content standards for math and language (reading), rarely is kindergarten a place for children who have not turned 5. Politicians and educators have been "discussing" (forever) changing the starting date for entry into kindergarten. Children who are not 5 by Sept.
January 26, 2014 | Eric Sondheimer
Mentioned in a profile on the Chatsworth Sierra Canyon basketball team this month was a note that the star freshman player, 6-foot-8 Cody Riley, is 16 years old. That provoked outrage from several readers. "I find it laughable and unfortunately acceptable that we praise kids as freshmen when they are 16-, 17-year-old kids who have been held back," one reader wrote. Another reader said his son is a "true" freshman, having turned 14 in September, and that "it is high time that CIF imposed a role requiring that no seniors can be over 18 on Sept.
February 22, 1985
I would like to respond to the article (Feb. 11) regarding the failure of more than 32,000 children to pass kindergarten in Los Angeles in a two-year period and to board member Rita Walters who was appalled by this. My dear Ms. Walters, your obvious lack of expertise in the educational process is showing. Educators have been aware forever that: 1--Children arrive at school with varying amounts of background experiences to bring to the learning process. 2--Not all children mature at the at the same rate, just as they do not learn to walk, talk, etc. at the same time.
August 11, 2004
As one who taught kindergarten for over 20 years, I read with interest the article "A Question of Age, Ability" (Aug. 7). I believe the real problem is that we have lost sight of the purpose of kindergarten and have instead, in our zeal for high test scores, pushed many children into reading and writing before they are ready. Kindergarten should enhance social skills and reading readiness skills through activities that recognize the individual differences in children. Children who have had preschool and other enriching activities may be ready for an academic kindergarten, but a growing number of children lack these advantages.
As a veteran of the kindergarten trenches, teacher Liz Lozano knows how tough it can be to regiment a classroom of antsy kids, particularly very young boys. So when it came time to put her own two sons in a Los Angeles school, she didn't hesitate--to hold them back a year, that is. "We wanted [them] to develop creativity and thinking skills before starting because kindergarten is so academic now," she said.
March 22, 1996 | JOANNA M. MILLER
Children entering kindergarten in the Conejo Valley this fall can register for school through March 29. Parents should register at the schools their children will attend, taking with them immunization records and proof of residence. California requires that children be immunized for polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella. Children whose immunizations are not up to date by the time that school starts in September will not be allowed to attend class.
November 4, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
With nearly half of California's children age 8 and under living in low-income households, the chances for their achievement later in life are significantly diminished without policy changes, a new study says. The report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the advocacy organization Children Now looks at children 8 and under around the country and lays out recommendations for investments in those children and their parents to give them a better shot at a productive adulthood. The challenges are daunting, statistics in the report show.
June 2, 2013 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
LIANGHE, China - When kindergarten was dismissed on that April afternoon, 6-year-old Ren Xinyi and her younger cousin hurried home. They were eager to check out a plastic bag they had spotted on the way to school that morning with their grandmother, who had taken it home without thinking twice. Xinyi looked inside and grabbed a blue pencil and notebook; 5-year-old Ren Zhaoning took out a children's yogurt drink and sipped half of the creamy white liquid before handing it to her cousin.
May 31, 2013 | By Devin Kelly
A fight that broke out after a kindergarten graduation in Cleveland on Friday -- reportedly over spilled punch -- escalated into a brawl that led to eight arrests, authorities said.      Families had gathered at Michael R. White Elementary School, a K-8 school, to celebrate the kindergarteners' promotion to first grade. About 11 a.m., a call came in reporting a large fight with shots fired, said Cmdr. Wayne Drummond of the Cleveland Police Department. Officers arrived to find people fighting in front of the school.
March 13, 2013
Increasing access to preschool could be the most important federal investment to make in education right now - or not. Unfortunately, despite what President Obama would have the public believe, the evidence is complicated and somewhat mixed. In several recent speeches, the president has sketched out a plan to provide supplemental funding to states that offer a free year of pre-kindergarten for low- and moderate-income families. In doing so, though, he has echoed some of the most repeated but misleading claims made about preschool.
April 15, 2012 | By Julie Flapan
Four years ago, while expecting a third child, my biggest concern about having a summer baby was the likely discomfort of being pregnant in the July heat. Little did I know then that having a son with a summer birthday would mean the difficult decision I am facing now that he is 4: whether to enroll him in kindergarten on schedule or hold him back for an extra year of preschool. "Holding back," also known as "redshirting," began as something parents did to maximize their children's athletic potential.
February 8, 2012 | By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times
The children painted Valentines, formed hearts with Play-Doh and made their own books in a colorful classroom at Long Beach's George Washington Carver Elementary School. It may have looked like playtime, but the cognitive and academic skills of the 4- and 5-year-olds in her transitional kindergarten class are growing by leaps, said teacher Nancy Jarzomb. "They're learning the routines of school and building confidence," Jarzomb said as she worked with a small group using a play oven and food made of wood.
December 22, 2011 | By Megan O'Neil, Los Angeles Times
Glendale Unified officials this week did an about-face, announcing they would enroll a complete class of German-language kindergarten students at Franklin Elementary School in fall 2012 rather than initiating a drawdown of the program as previously planned. Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd of parents at the school Tuesday night, Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan said the district would also create a task force that includes "a selective group of parents ... to show that the German program is a viable option.
December 17, 2011 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
White House officials announced Friday that California will be among nine states to share a $500-million grant for early childhood development programs, the latest chapter in the Obama administration's "Race to the Top" program in which states apply and compete for federal dollars. This is the first time federal officials have used the program for pre-kindergarten education. President Obama said in a statement that "we're acting to strengthen early childhood education to better prepare our youngest children for success in school and in life.
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