Moving to San Francisco - advice on schools

(3 Posts)
MoshiMoshi Fri 28-Oct-11 19:07:10

DH has been offered a new job and so we are moving to San Francisco to start life there in the New Year. We have 4 DCs: DS (8.5), DD1(6.5), DD2(4 nearly 5) and DD3 (2.5). The eldest two DCs are of school age and DD2 will move from Reception here in the UK to pre-Kindergarten in the US.

We visited some private schools last week and DS and DD1 spent days in some. DS in particular found it quite boring as he had covered the work they were doing some time ago. He currently attends a selective boys' school in London and is probably a good two years ahead of his peers in the UK, and I understand there is also a good year or two's difference between a UK school and a US school (with US schools being behind). The US schools start a year later (the year the child turns 6) and most families try to hold their kids back (unlike here in the UK) so that they have what they perceive to be an age advantage.

Our dilemma is that he is testing above his age level (grade 3) in the US by more than just a year (eg in reading and vocabulary, he was 6 grades above his grade level). Two schools have suggested the possibility of him entering the grade above which would deal with the challenge of stimulating him intellectually but some of his classmates would be almost 2 years older than him (he is a spring baby). This is less of an issue now but I am not sure it is desirable when he is mixing with 14 year old boys at the age of 12.

So I am unsure what to do. Accept an offer to put him into grade 3 (where he would be with boys his own age but who he finds do not gel with him intellectually) or into grade 4 (where the boys operate at his mental level but could be as much as 2 years older than him).

I usually am so much clearer on these things but the added complexity of understanding another culture's education system and where it is taking us is making it all less obvious to me. We are likely to be in the US long-term although I am fairly sure, even now, that I want the kids to finish their education in the UK so would engineer a move back to the UK or consider sending them to boarding school as it is something I feel quite strongly about.

Thanks for any advice or thoughts anyone may have.

OP’s posts: |
mathanxiety Mon 31-Oct-11 01:07:57

Have you looked at this school? Or would you say your DS falls into the gifted category?

You have to narrow down exactly where you will live before you can choose the school in the US as catchment areas are very strictly enforced for public schools. If public school is your choice then you have to choose the school first and then try to find somewhere in the catchment area ('school district'). With a public school you have a chance of getting your DS into a programme that will suit his needs -- public schools are obliged to educate everyone with SENs including G&T, whereas private schools are not. Don't write off public schools. The factors that divide public and private schools in the US are not the same as those separating state and private in the UK.

MoshiMoshi Mon 14-Nov-11 13:48:16

A belated thanks for your post math. Will take a look...

OP’s posts: |

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