Comments requested on Kindergarten Transition and Split Kindergarten/Grade 1 Classes

At a recent school district committee meeting partner groups were asked to bring back comments regarding the one week transition period for kindergarten, and split kindergarten/grade 1 classes.

  • Is the one week orientation period too short, too long, too disruptive – should it be done differently? What do you think?
  • Is your child in a full day kindergarten and grade 1 split? How has that worked for you and your child?

If you are the parent of a child in School District 57, we would like to hear from you – please comment on this post, and we will take these comments back to the district. If you do not wish to comment publicly, please email and your comments will be passed along.

This is not a poll, or a formal survey – it is a request for comments.


  • My children were both in a split K/1 class when they were in grade 1 – but as that was half day kindergarten, it worked out really well for them (the Ks went home at lunch and then they had their teacher all to themselves). I think one of my daughters would have benefited from being in a K/1 when she was kindergarten, but my other daughter wouldn’t have. The full day part does worry me, though.

  • I think it would depend on how many Ks were in the K/1 split.
    A class made up of at least 45% Ks would concern me as a Grade 1 parent. How ready is my child going to be for Grade 2 coming from a K/1 split that is almost half made up of Ks? And, as a K parent, I would be concerned if my child was getting enough of the play based learning.
    Socially, kindergartners are still learning what is and isn’t socially acceptable, ie hands to yourself, no hitting, etc. for kids who were not sent to daycare, this is the first social interaction many of them have with twenty other children at a time, is it fair that their first interaction be with children who already know the basic rules at school. In my opinion, the Ks could easily be outcast by their older and more mature playmates. I see this happening in my son’s class, where there are only three Ks in his class.
    As a parent I would much rather see K go back to half day with two classes if necessary then any kind of K split. It is not fair to our children

  • My son is currently in a K class, but there is a K/1 split at his school.  I don’t think it is a good idea to split them up in kindergarten.  I understand the class size issues, but they are still new to the rules of the “big” school and when some are put in classes where some kids already know all the ins and outs could be very intimidating for a little kid.  I also don’t believe in having them go all day for 5 days in a row. It is too much for children their age.  Two classes with half days would be much better.  My son has been exhausted so far this year.  The week orientation was a little confusing for him.  He didn’t understand why his older brother could go to school and he couldn’t.  They had two days where half the class went on each day.  Other than that it seemed to go alright.  Once again – I think the all day everyday for K’s is too much.

  • My daughter is in a straight Kindergarten class with 17 other students.  To summarize the transition so far, I would have to say it was simply “OK”.  The alternating days at the beginning of September were good for her as it gave her some “home” time inbetween the school days.  Now that she is in school “all-day / every-day”  things are a bit trickier.  She is exhausted by days end on Wednesday.  Being a bussed student, she is out the door by 7:30 am and not home until just before 3:00 pm.  These are long days and for a child who does not particularily enjoy an environment with many children, my daughter is not enjoying her school time so far. I was not an advocate of the all-day kindergarten when it was proposed a few years ago.  Now that my daughtter is having to participate in it, only stregnthens my dislike of it.  I know there are some children who can tolerate and are very “ready” for the 5 day weeks, but what about the kids who are not and who stuggle through the days?  In the past our school offerred kindergarten on Mon/Wed. and alternating Fridays.  This was a great way to have children adjust to attending school full days, with down time inbetween.  I would go back to that schedule in a heart beat!  As for K/1 splits, I believe it depends on the ration of K’s and 1’s.  My son was in a K/1 split with him being 1 of 4 k’s.  This did not work out well for him socially.  He was influenced by some of the grade 1 “turkeys” and spent most of his time trying to hang out with them.  Who would have thought this would happen in Kindergarten?!?  I know that can happen in any grade, however when the ratio of children is unbalanced in the early primary grades then these are issues that have to be addressed. 

  • My son has had a rough transition to kindergarden. The quick start to full days is exhausting and results in more sickness being spread around.  I am not in favor of kindergarden/grade 1 splits. There is a hugh social and emotional difference between a 6 year old grade 1 student and a 4 year old in kindergarden. I think is a myth the the big kids help out the little ones.  I have found that the big kids tend to bully the younger ones for their inability to do tasks.  Kidnerden is a huge change even for kids who have done preschool.  There is also long lasting social implications for the children who have limited numbers of their peers in their class.  I have already decided that I will pull my daughter from the public school system if she is put in a kindergarden/grade one split.

  • My daughter has just started grade 1. Today she was told ,five of her grade one classmates and herself would be part of the kindergarten grade 1 split. So now the six grade ones students that were hand picked, because they listened and did better at math and reading get to spend another year in a class they excelled at. Talking to the teacher there is no seperate teaching between the two classes. Some days will be geared more towards a grade one level and some towards the kindergarteners. I was also told that there is very little difference between the two grades so it is not a big deal. If this is the case why are they two different grades? To say I was a little hot is an understatement. Why would you take the top students and hold them back just because they listened better and worked better by themselves. Maybe take the students that could have used a little more kindergarten skills and give it to them. Why punish the ones that did well. My child is not there to teach kindergarteners how to behave. She is there to learn. What a joke!

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