Figuring out the maze of school of choice and ParentVue and kindergarten fairs that pop up at the beginning of the year when trying to enroll for kindergarten in Long Beach is enough to drive Sherlock Holmes batty.
There’s a lot to figure out. We’ve tried to help out by getting the most pertinent details down to one handy-dandy infographic, which you can download below.
I see you. You’re the one nodding along as someone with a kid older than yours is going on about TK and ETK and immersion programs and inside you’re like, “I have no idea what language this person is speaking, but I’ll continue to smile and nod.”
Here’s the gist of it: if you grew up in California, you may remember the cutoff for kindergarten was in December. Well, back in 2010 they changed this cutoff to September, and it left those kids with Fall birthdays in a weird transition space (see what I did there).
So, they developed transitional kindergarten specifically for those kids with September-December birthdays as a way to work them up to kindergarten. They’ve recently added Early (or “Extended” depending who you ask) kindergarten, ETK, to the mix, which adds kids who don’t have fall birthdays.
You can see the breakdown for the 2020-2021 school year below. Note that ETK is only available at certain campuses.
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There are a couple frustrating things about kindergarten in our district. First, kindergarten is only three hours. It can go up to four hours if they go at a time that includes lunch.
Second, there’s an early schedule and a late schedule, you can choose a preference, but you won’t know for sure which schedule you get until closer to the first day of school.
It’s all pretty frustrating for any working parent. But there are several before and after school care options, however every school is different with what they offer and only about 10% keep their websites up to date, so, yeah, enjoy that ride. (One day, we’ll have all that info here on LB Littles for you to search through, but today is not that day.)
You’ve probably heard about school of choice, but before we go down that path, the very first thing you need to do is to find your home school, or your school of residence. You can do that on the LB Schools website by entering your address.
Once registration is open in early February, you can visit your school of residence anytime with your required documents (birth certificate, proof of residence, vaccinations) and get an enrollment packet. In that packet you’ll get access to something called ParentVue. ParentVue is the online portal for parents of LBUSD students, it’s where you’ll register for school, check grades, get news and more.
School of choice is a whole ball of wax. So, from February 11 until late March (March 20th in 2020, to be exact), you have the opportunity to register for school of choice. Meaning you can pick any school in LBUSD and say, “Hey, I want my kid to go there.”
It’s not so easy though. Well, the registration part is. You’ll log into ParentVue and choose up to 10 schools of choice outside of your home school. Then comes the hard part, LBUSD only accepts a small percentage of student to school of choice every year.
In April, you’ll find out if you made it to your school of choice, or if you’re on the waitlist. And you could be on that waitlist, waiting in agony until August 31st. That’s right, until the day before school begins. Fun times.
One more wrinkle to this: say you’re not interested in school of choice and you’re perfectly happy with your assigned school in your neighborhood, well LBUSD will try their damndest to make sure you go to that school, but they make no promises if your school is overcrowded.
Registering early doesn’t make a difference for school of choice, but to ensure you get into your assigned school, registering early isn’t a bad idea.
Throughout the spring, you’ll see lots of kindergarten festivals and early learning opportunities popping up throughout the city. We’ll keep you up to date with all of them here. on LB Littles.