Warning: This is just a long ill-flowing rant. Feel free to bypass.
I went to the school this morning to talk with the director about Dane being in 2nd grade. She wasn't there but the Kinder teacher who speaks so-so english tried to help me. I questioned why Dane was in 2nd grade when he was only 6. She explained that the school year starts on February 15th and that a 1st grader needed to be 5 years & 9 months by that date (or so I understood). Perfect I said. His birthday is April 1st, so he is over 5 years and 9 months by then. In fact he is 5 years and 10.5 months to be exact. But no. She said they have to be younger than 5 years and 9 months by that date. We went round and round because I thought I misunderstood her. I asked why there were 8 year olds in the 2nd grade with him. I have no idea what she said. Then she told me he could go in Kinder. Apparently he is too old for 1st grade, but he is not too old for Kinder.
And therein lies my frustration.
If they had just put him in Kinder from the beginning there would be no problem. Dane wouldn't have known anything else. But now, the thought of going from 2nd grade (that he doesn't belong in) to Kinder, is a blow to the little guys ego. In fact, he is telling me he won't go. I think a big part of it is that he doesn't want to go to the unknown. He already got the first day of being the new kid over with, and doesn't want to do it again.
The kicker in this whole ordeal? Kinder has a different uniform. Which would mean another hour long bus ride to Nicoya, and even more money on uniforms.
Honestly, I think he would be bored in Kinder. I think they are covering preschool material. But in his current class, there are 2 8-year-old english speaking kids (maybe from France?), and the little girl is nice enough to "help" Dane with all his work. And all his work comes home in her handwriting. I'm afraid he is not getting the spanish interaction that we came for in that class.
Why oh why can't they just place him in 1st grade?
I went back this afternoon with a big box of donations I brought down. Secretly, I was hoping the gift might win me some favor from the principal to get this grade thing fixed. Sadly, she wasn't there and I handed it over to the teachers. Who knows where it will end up and if she'll even know we brought it.
I think I might force him to try Kinder tomorrow. Being that his 2nd grade teacher has a meeting in Nicoya, and none of the 2nd graders have school, it's a perfect day to try the class. Yes, you read that right. The teacher is busy, so school is cancelled for 2nd graders.
Welcome to Costa Rica. In so many ways it is not 3rd world here. But in some ways, it so is.