Pre-School Lottery???

[deleted account] ( 16 moms have responded )

So my son will be old enough and eligible to start pre-school in the fall. I called today and found out some interesting information about the school in this tiny little village I now call home. Apparently, there are 64 slots available. 33 are on site (at the elementary) and the rest are off site. I don't mind that part. The part I mind is that they actually do a lottery drawing to determine who gets these spots. For two nights in May, parents can come to open house and register their children for pre-school. Over the summer, they do a lottery drawing and 64 lucky students get to go to pre-school. The rest are either put on a waiting list or are basically screwed out of pre-school. Anyone ever heard of this? I think it's ridiculous. If pre-school is a free program offered by the elementary, and if my son is elegible, and if my husband works and pays his taxes (some of which goes to the school), then I feel like my son (and anyone else's child) should be able to attend school. I was told that some kids whose names don't get drawn for a spot in pre-school, skip it and go straight to kindergarten.

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[deleted account]

I'm a very unstructured type of person and really don't think I'd make the best teacher. Plus, to be honest, I know this is gonna sound bad or whatever, but I'm kinda (a little more than kinda) looking forward to him going somewhere. Without me. Being around other kids (he's my only one). He NEEDS the socialization. It's always just he and I. No friends with kids, just us. He really needs to go. And on top of it....I really need him to go too. Not trying to rush time or anything, and I'm sure once he starts school I'll miss him like crazy. But I don't exist anymore. And I won't, so long as my world and every waking moment of it revolves around him.



Thanks for the comments and suggestions girls :) Hopefully he'll get "drawn" in the lottery and it won't be an issue. If not, then I guess it's me and my shadow for another year until kindergarten.



All of this doesn't really matter anyhow unless I have him 100% potty trained, which he isn't. In fact, he's not even 10% potty trained. So I've got 7 months. No pressure, right? LOL

[deleted account]

lol I'm sorry but hey look at it this way. You can always teach him at home. It really isn't that hard to teach preschool and it can be lots of fun to do with your kids. Lots of glue, scissors, arts, crafts, colors, and so on.

[deleted account]

I should add i'm in Aus and my daughter is 5 this yr and our pre-school is a starter program for school.

Jenn - posted on 01/31/2011

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We don't have publicly funded preschool here. If you want your kid to got to preschool, then you pay for it and the waiting lists can be long (or so I've heard, I didn't send my son). BUT, we do have Junior Kindergarten here and kids start school when they are 3 or 4 (as long as you are 4 by Dec. 31).

[deleted account]

I spoke with one of my neighbors earlier, who is a 2nd grade teacher at the school here. She said the lottery thing is a crock (her words...my first thought also lol). She said the chances of him not getting picked are slim, because I guess a lot of parents around here choose not to send their kids to preschool. She said that it's income based (in which case, we more than likely qualify), but also to be careful. She said that even though it's income based, for some reason, the teacher's kids ALWAYS get in first, ahead of the other kids. She said if for some reason Jacob doesn't get "pulled" in the lottery, to make a stink about it and insist he be given a spot. She said that since they started the lottery, it's more of a hassle. She's been a teacher for over 30 years and says there were no problems before. A case of "if it's not broken, don't fix it"....but someone did so I just have to know the ins and outs and make sure my son doesn't get screwed.

Thanks for the input girls :)

ME - posted on 01/31/2011

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There's only one preschool in my community too...if you don't get in, then you have to pay for a private preschool, or homeschool...I'm looking into the private ones anyway...even if my whole paycheck has to go to the school, I want my kids to have a GREAT start, not just a mediocre one...

[deleted account]

That sounds like BS. I rang early last year for my daughter to attend this year, her 1st day is today :'(. I rang so early because i live in a small town and our pre-school spots are limited. So i understand why some would miss out here but it's a first in best dressed kinda thing.
To do a lottery for kids like that is wrong.

Stifler's - posted on 01/31/2011

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Never heard of it. Everyone goes to preschool here. That sounds frustrating!

[deleted account]

Space is limited around here too, but poor/underprivileged kids get first dibs, then if there are spaces remaining (usually there are not), it is a first come, first serve process. We do have several private preschools to choose from though, and they are much better than the public option here.
The public school--5k-12--is great, but I would not use the preschool. I have heard teachers say that most of the kids they get who took part in the public preschool have more severe behavior issues and are less prepared than those from the private preschools or who skipped preschool altogether.

My son skipped preschool and went straight to kindergarten. He is now at the top of his class, reading on an advanced 3rd grade level, doing 2nd grade math. Besides, they say by 3rd grade any advancement or delay between the kids pretty much evens out, so I think if you are willing to put forth the effort to make sure they are socialized, exposed to groups and structure, and teach them the basic academics, that preschool is unnecessary.

[deleted account]

@ Shauna ~ Yes, the preschool here is through the public school. There are other options through daycare but we can't afford any of them. The cheapest I could find was $80 a week and all that gets him is 3 days a week (2 and a half hours each day)...for a total of 7 and a half hours a week. I could understand there being a need for a lottery if we lived in an extremely populated area, but where we live....it's tiny. About 6,000 people. One elementary, one middle and one high school. There may be a private Catholic school but I'm not sure. Either way, it just irks me that he might not get a spot, but they're still gonna keep taking the taxes out of my husband's pay for it. Thanks for listening girls....I think I mostly just needed to vent because I've never in my life heard of such a thing. Every place in Florida I ever lived, even in what I considered "small" towns, there were several elementary schools that offered preschool programs. If you didn't get into one, you could try at another, and so on, even if they weren't in your area. I guess it just doesn't make sense for them to impliment something like that in such a small town.

Bonnie - posted on 01/31/2011

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I have never heard of this before. It's is obviously because there aren't enough spaces available, but if this is the case, why don't they just say it's first come first serve to register? And then if parents come too late to register, then at that point they will be turned away.

Shauna - posted on 01/31/2011

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So the preschool is ran by the elementary school? Is that what im understanding? LIke a public preschool? We dont have anything like that around here. If you want preschool you have to pay for it and take them to a center that offers it. There are usualy always spots. Or if your low income you go to head start.

Mary - posted on 01/31/2011

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In my county, there are only a select number of schools that offer any type of preschool or prekindergarten programs. Those that do only have 20 slots per school. They are only available to children who are identified as having special needs (like the Chinese family in my neighborhood - the parents, who speak some English are out working from 10a until after midnight, and the grandparents, who speak NO English, are the primary caregivers) AND they must below a certain income level.

Unless you meet those criteria, your only option is to pay for a private preschool program. There are many in my area, with a wide variety of costs.

Katherine - posted on 01/31/2011

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I have never heard of a lottery for preschool. My daughters school for kindergaten had a lottery because sooo many parents are trying to get into that school. I guess they can't accomodate everyone. I'm not sure how many kids attend the school but parents start signing them up from birth practically to ensure a spot.
Again never for preschool have I heard of that.
They must be getting an overwhelming number of applications.

Lindsay - posted on 01/31/2011

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I have never heard of the lottery, around here most all pre-schools are first come, first serve basis. Some even have waiting lists going back years. (People go on the list even as early as pregnancy) The public schools around here each have a pre-school program and if you go that route, you would sign up with the school that your child would go to kindy and beyond based on where you live. Most of the schools have 40 max available spots. The kids that go in first are children with special needs. My son got in based on the fact that he was receiving speech therapy and now he goes through the school. After a need, kids are allowed in based on low income. If there are any remaining spots, kids can go and pay a tuition (to the public school). We also have an abundance of private preschools here. They range in price anywhere from $100 per week to $10,000 per semester. Even some daycare implement preschool programs for the older age groups. So if you aren't able to get in that school, check around. There may be other options in your area.

Carolyn - posted on 01/31/2011

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allthough i dont necessarily agree with the random drawing of names, I can understand how with limited funding, they may not be able to accomodate all of the children in the area. If they only have a budget to allow for enough staff and food etc to allow care for X many students, there isnt much anyone can really do.

Here there are many programs, but all have limited spots. Usually its a first come first serve sign up, and anyone after the spots are full go on a waiting list until something opens up. There usually are regulations that you need 1 staff member for X number of children.

shitty but its usually the way it is. The lottery is pretty crap, but it also seems sort of fair, this way everyone has the same fair chance of getting the service :/

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