The letter I'd write if I hadn't grown tact
This letter is to inform you that our daughter Madeleine will not be attending your school either in the recommended two-year Young Fives program or regular kindergarten. The reasons are as follows, in no particular order:
1. Madeleine's father and I disagree with your district's practice of using an outdated and subjective "assessment" to place a child for the duration of her academic career. If there was the potential to reassess in later grades and place her with her chronological peers, we might be more willing to consider this option.
2. We disagree with a "solution" that has questionable and possibly negative consequences. Research has not borne out that two-year kindergarten programs result in greater success for those students, even in the early elementary grades, and may result in higher dropout rates when students reach high school.
3. We question the recommendation that a child turning five in September and assessed at four and three quarters in early May be too young for kindergarten. Exactly how old does a child need to assess?
4. The consistent misspelling of her name on all paperwork indicates an indifference to the individual child at best or gross incompetence on the part of your staff at worst. Even after I mentioned it at the parents' orientation on Tuesday, April 25 it remained incorrect. That is inexcusable, in my opinion.
5. Any school that continues to photocopy and use a form that goes home to parents with a misspelling on it deserves to have its merits questioned. The Gesell evaluation form has two spellings of "spatial"--one of them correct.
We recognize school resources are limited and we did not begin this process to waste time or effort, and we sincerely regret any inconvenience to you. Please dispose of all applicable paperwork appropriately; to reiterate, Madeleine will not be attending your school in the fall of 2006.
Yeah. That's what I'd say. So now what do we do?