Red Tape

Lily starts kindergarten in about a week. This has been a long time coming, especially since we decided to “redshirt” her and wait to send her to kindergarten until she was almost 6 years old. Her birthday is 25 days before the cut-off in our school district, but at least 35 days AFTER the cut-off in every surrounding school district. It was a tough decision, but I’m fairly confident it was the right one. I guess I won’t know until… well, possibly never. Any problem we have with school this year we could have easily had last year.

I’ve been filling out kindergarten forms like crazy. The forms range from logical to upsetting. The most upsetting form was one where I had to guaranty someone would be here at the house if they let school out early because of an emergency. If there was an emergency, they wouldn’t have time to call and warn the parents. If I can’t guaranty I’ll be home during that emergency, I’m supposed to send my child to another friend or relative who can confirm that they will be home.

Who the hell can guaranty they will be home during the 15 hours a week their child is in kindergarten? It’s ludicrous! I signed that paperwork, but seriously, how the hell can I guaranty I won’t be running an errand if this rare emergency send-home happens? Am I supposed to sit home 15 hours a week while two out of three of my children basically have childcare JUST IN CASE they randomly send one of them home? No. That’s not going to happen.

So here’s hoping in the rare event that they send my child home during an emergency, I’m actually here. Because I’m psychic and will totally know that they’re doing it, apparently. I’ll give Lily further instruction on what to do if that doesn’t work out (neighbors), but yeesh.

Then there were the medical forms. Since Lily has a food allergy (We think? She’s being retested TOMORROW!!!!), we had double the insane amount of medical forms because doctors need to sign off on both Benadryl and Epi-Pens.

When I printed out the medical paperwork this morning, I was admittedly late. I’ll bet 99% of the other kindergarten parents also printed out said paperwork this very week. All hail the mighty busy pediatricians this week. They deserve a break! But I was shocked looking at the paperwork that it said it was “to be completed at your child’s physical”.

Was I to take that literally? Because I have no physical lined up. We only get one well-child visit per year and it has to be more than one year after the previous well-child visit. We aren’t due for another physical until late September (more paperwork!).

I panicked. Then I called the administration building, where I was informed that “obviously” the doctor will fill out the paperwork based on my child’s LAST physical.

Oh. Obviously. That’s why it said “to be completed AT your child’s physical”. Obviously. Get an editor, school system.

And then I discovered that we had to have paperwork filled out by her dentist. Because teeth are SO important to her learning, I guess.

I mean, seriously, why? WHY? I understand the medical forms. The school needs to know our kid’s health history in case something goes wrong. They also need to make sure kids are vaccinated, which I think is important. But dental forms? How many teeth emergencies are kids going to have at school? I mean, sure, a kid could knock a tooth out and then it would be a tooth emergency (been there), but otherwise, WHAT? Why does the dentist need to pre-authorize my child to come to school?!

I guess it’s probably to make sure we’ve all taken our kids to dentists by now, but still. I find the dental form ridiculous and just another excuse to make parents run ALL over the place before school starts.

Dental forms? REALLY?



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4 Responses to Red Tape

  1. Wow, that’s crazy with the amount of paperwork and the 15 hours a week :(

    Emily won’t be starting kindy until next year – the cutoff here is August 31st and her birthday is October 17, so she’ll be nearly 6 too when she starts.

    • I think it’s better to wait when they have fall birthdays anyway! Being older certainly gave my sister (September birthday) a leg up in how she did socially. We both did well academically with me starting at just barely 5 and her starting at 6, but friend/happiness-wise she always did better. This is what REALLY fed into my decision to wait.

  2. I have a friend whose son just turned 5 last week and he *could* be in kindergarten now but she chose to keep him out of school one more year. She is homeschooling him a bit now so when he gets to kindergarten he’ll already be ahead of the curve.

    • We had a really stellar preschool and Lily LOVES to learn, so she’s been way ahead of the curve for a year already. I am a little concerned about her being bored, but she honestly would have been bored last year too. She really likes knowing everything already though. She loves answering questions she’s known the answer to FOR YEARS and is enthusiastic no matter what. So I think it will be ok. Plus I think it’s important for a kid to learn how to deal with being bored at school and STILL try their hardest anyway. I know it’s a hard task for some kids, but it’s an important life skill overall. I mean, board meetings aren’t exactly thrilling, right?

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