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edenjames

Australia to US schools

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I'm looking for advice on transitioning my girls from the Australian school system to the US from anyone who's already done it. My girls have just finished 7th grade and 5th grade in oz and I am planning on putting them into 8th grade and 5th grade when we arrive in the US sometime in next 2 months (hopefully). Having looked at the US equivalent of NAPLAN testing I am concerned that in Maths they are way behind the US system. For anyone who has already moved their children do you have any advice on how to help them adjust and catch up? The differences in the school year beginnings makes this especially difficult.


Met online - July 19, 2011

First Visit to California - November 24, 2011

Second Visit to California with my children - March 22, 2012

Third visit Chris came to Australia - June 9, 2012

Got engaged - June 9, 2012

Sent I-129F - July 13, 2012

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I got a tutor for my son, he sees her for 30 min before school. He has catched up pretty good


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Thanks!! We've thought about tutors and also me working with the girls before we leave to try and catch up.

How did you handle the difference in school years? Did he go into the same year level he'd been in in australia or jump ahead?


Met online - July 19, 2011

First Visit to California - November 24, 2011

Second Visit to California with my children - March 22, 2012

Third visit Chris came to Australia - June 9, 2012

Got engaged - June 9, 2012

Sent I-129F - July 13, 2012

Received at Dallas Lockbox - July 17, 2012

NOA1 - July 17, 2012

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Thanks!! We've thought about tutors and also me working with the girls before we leave to try and catch up.

How did you handle the difference in school years? Did he go into the same year level he'd been in in australia or jump ahead?

I don't have kids but I wouldn't worry too much about your kids being "behind". What you'll need to do for your kids depends on where you're moving to because the schooling systems vary. I've found the US school system is behind the Australian system by far (their college being our Year 11 and 12 for example). The World Education rankings (from 2010): http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/dec/07/world-education-rankings-maths-science-reading on reading, maths and science have Australia at 6th, 9th and 7th respectively. The US however is 14th, 25th and 17th respectively. Of course this really depends son where they're going to school. Private vs. public etc etc.

From friends who have kids though I have heard that adapting to the different spelling wasn't as hard as you'd think (being younger this will be easier). The accents make them popular.

Personally I would suggest speaking to the teachers before they get started, maybe get a look at the books they'll be using, or the curriculum and get a tutor to get them thinking in US terms. (the inches and feet stuff really messes me up :S).

They'll do great :)

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If you're entering the country around March or April, your kids will only have about a month or two of school and then Summer Break for two months.... As far as the appropriate grades to place your children all depends on the school them self, I'd advice you ask your fiance and have him call the schools and find out exactly what is needed to get them in the school... such as school transcripts and see exactly where they fall.... Sometimes they do it by age and date of when they are born so make sure he has thier DOB when he calls.


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04/12/2012: NOA1 hardcopy.

09/06/2012: Service request placed- They advised I should hear something by 9/21

09/17/2012: Received letter from USCIS just to be told i'm within' normal processing time bleh.

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Thanks everyone. We've already spoken to the school in california and they are happy with my eldest daughter jumping into 8th grade. I also have looked into STAR testing in California and have had the girls do that testing which is what had raised my concerns. They did the testing for the year levels they recently finished here and with math there were sections they'd never seen. I'm going to try and become a teacher over the next few weeks lol and help them catch up as much as possible. I'd really hoped to have them starting in the US in January but the embassy in Sydney seem to be dragging their feet with packet 4, it's been over 3 weeks and still no word on an interview date. But I'm assuming that we'll get a date in February, still have a vague hope for January, but that's probably wishful thinking lol


Met online - July 19, 2011

First Visit to California - November 24, 2011

Second Visit to California with my children - March 22, 2012

Third visit Chris came to Australia - June 9, 2012

Got engaged - June 9, 2012

Sent I-129F - July 13, 2012

Received at Dallas Lockbox - July 17, 2012

NOA1 - July 17, 2012

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Thanks everyone. We've already spoken to the school in california and they are happy with my eldest daughter jumping into 8th grade. I also have looked into STAR testing in California and have had the girls do that testing which is what had raised my concerns. They did the testing for the year levels they recently finished here and with math there were sections they'd never seen. I'm going to try and become a teacher over the next few weeks lol and help them catch up as much as possible. I'd really hoped to have them starting in the US in January but the embassy in Sydney seem to be dragging their feet with packet 4, it's been over 3 weeks and still no word on an interview date. But I'm assuming that we'll get a date in February, still have a vague hope for January, but that's probably wishful thinking lol

January not happening, My fiance got his interview date on December 26th (27th australia) I had sent in packet 3 on the 30th of November, and they had emailed us telling us we would most likely get an interview date in January since December was booked. Unfortunetley we didn't get an Interview date til February 5th and they apologized and were hoping to get him in for January but the 5th of February was the earliest they could book him.


USCIS

03/31/2012: I-129F sent to Dallas Lockbox

04/03/2012: I-129F recieved and sent to VSC

04/06/2012: NOA1 text/email.

04/09/2012: Touched.

04/12/2012: NOA1 hardcopy.

09/06/2012: Service request placed- They advised I should hear something by 9/21

09/17/2012: Received letter from USCIS just to be told i'm within' normal processing time bleh.

10/03/2012: NOA2 text received - Best part is it's our 2nd year anniversary!! Great Gift! :)

Sydney Consulate

10/21/2012: Packet 3 Received

11/30/2012: Sent packet 3

12/27/2012: Received packet 4 Interview date :)

01/22/2013: Medical completed

02/05/2013: Interview date status: APPROVED 306 Days!!

02/22/2013: Visa in Hand

02/24/2013: POE- Dallas, TX- then connecting flight home!

Total Time it took to complete our K1 process- 10 months and 3 weeks!!! INSANE! (325 days)

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January not happening, My fiance got his interview date on December 26th (27th australia) I had sent in packet 3 on the 30th of November, and they had emailed us telling us we would most likely get an interview date in January since December was booked. Unfortunetley we didn't get an Interview date til February 5th and they apologized and were hoping to get him in for January but the 5th of February was the earliest they could book him.

I did see your timeline yesterday and was a bit depressed by it lol. I'm wondering if they have a short list for cancellations lol. It has been very frustrating getting to this point and still not knowing when things are going to happen.

I will be so glad when this part if the process is over. Waiting for AOS will at least be with our loved ones!!!


Met online - July 19, 2011

First Visit to California - November 24, 2011

Second Visit to California with my children - March 22, 2012

Third visit Chris came to Australia - June 9, 2012

Got engaged - June 9, 2012

Sent I-129F - July 13, 2012

Received at Dallas Lockbox - July 17, 2012

NOA1 - July 17, 2012

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I did see your timeline yesterday and was a bit depressed by it lol. I'm wondering if they have a short list for cancellations lol. It has been very frustrating getting to this point and still not knowing when things are going to happen.

I will be so glad when this part if the process is over. Waiting for AOS will at least be with our loved ones!!!

Yes so true!!! I hate the fact that our lives are in the hands of others. I'm so ready for this part of the process to be over!! Goodluck!! I'll be adding you if you don't mind :)


USCIS

03/31/2012: I-129F sent to Dallas Lockbox

04/03/2012: I-129F recieved and sent to VSC

04/06/2012: NOA1 text/email.

04/09/2012: Touched.

04/12/2012: NOA1 hardcopy.

09/06/2012: Service request placed- They advised I should hear something by 9/21

09/17/2012: Received letter from USCIS just to be told i'm within' normal processing time bleh.

10/03/2012: NOA2 text received - Best part is it's our 2nd year anniversary!! Great Gift! :)

Sydney Consulate

10/21/2012: Packet 3 Received

11/30/2012: Sent packet 3

12/27/2012: Received packet 4 Interview date :)

01/22/2013: Medical completed

02/05/2013: Interview date status: APPROVED 306 Days!!

02/22/2013: Visa in Hand

02/24/2013: POE- Dallas, TX- then connecting flight home!

Total Time it took to complete our K1 process- 10 months and 3 weeks!!! INSANE! (325 days)

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Yes so true!!! I hate the fact that our lives are in the hands of others. I'm so ready for this part of the process to be over!! Goodluck!! I'll be adding you if you don't mind :)

Add away lol. I have never been a patient person and all this waiting some days drives me completely nuts!!! All of us seem to be on edge. Wish your fiancé good luck with the interview. Who knows maybe we'll see him there!!!


Met online - July 19, 2011

First Visit to California - November 24, 2011

Second Visit to California with my children - March 22, 2012

Third visit Chris came to Australia - June 9, 2012

Got engaged - June 9, 2012

Sent I-129F - July 13, 2012

Received at Dallas Lockbox - July 17, 2012

NOA1 - July 17, 2012

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I arrived in mid-March, with my daughter. She had just finished yr10 in Aus. She started year 11 at end of March and completed it in June with all the other Juniors and she is now a senior. The standard here is a little less demanding than in Aus. If you put the child into the year prior to the one they will start in Sept, then they will get to know the kids better before the long summer break. So if your daughter is due to start 8th grade in Sept 2013, then start her in 7th when you arrive. It won't matter if she is repeating any content as it is nice to have transition time into the new system. Or she could do what my daughter did and complete a year in 3 months and start year 9 in Sept. That was hard work for my daughter but it does means she is finished with school 6 months earlier rather than 6 months later. At her age, that was a big bonus!

Good luck


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I arrived in mid-March, with my daughter. She had just finished yr10 in Aus. She started year 11 at end of March and completed it in June with all the other Juniors and she is now a senior. The standard here is a little less demanding than in Aus. If you put the child into the year prior to the one they will start in Sept, then they will get to know the kids better before the long summer break. So if your daughter is due to start 8th grade in Sept 2013, then start her in 7th when you arrive. It won't matter if she is repeating any content as it is nice to have transition time into the new system. Or she could do what my daughter did and complete a year in 3 months and start year 9 in Sept. That was hard work for my daughter but it does means she is finished with school 6 months earlier rather than 6 months later. At her age, that was a big bonus!

Good luck

Thanks for sharing your experience. My eldest daughter is going to do the same as yours did and fit 8th grade into about 3 months. She's very bright and although she'll have to work her butt off I think she'll be fine. My younger daughter is going to redo 3 months of 5th grade which will be better for her. I hope your daughter is enjoying her senior year :)


Met online - July 19, 2011

First Visit to California - November 24, 2011

Second Visit to California with my children - March 22, 2012

Third visit Chris came to Australia - June 9, 2012

Got engaged - June 9, 2012

Sent I-129F - July 13, 2012

Received at Dallas Lockbox - July 17, 2012

NOA1 - July 17, 2012

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maths is relatively easy to catch up - she's always go the entire summer break to go over material etc. and especially if the school is happy for her to move ahead. Just personal experience, I did an exchange year to France mid-year 10 to mid-year 11 (returned in July) ... I did year 11 in Sydney in 7 weeks because year 12 starts in term 4 ... and I only had 2-3 weeks after the final exam before starting year 12. At her age, she'll be fine. Just make sure that she understands that she'll probably have to catch up a little over the summer (which is longer than here anyway). all the best.

Thanks for sharing your experience. My eldest daughter is going to do the same as yours did and fit 8th grade into about 3 months. She's very bright and although she'll have to work her butt off I think she'll be fine. My younger daughter is going to redo 3 months of 5th grade which will be better for her. I hope your daughter is enjoying her senior year :)

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I waited until July to move. One of the reasons was school for my daughter. She was in 5th grade in Aus and started 5th grade here. The maths was very different but a tutor helps and will be easy to catch up on. Spanish was new to her but she caught up very quickly. The school here contacted us over the Summer before she started and set us up with other parents so she would be well versed in the school system before she started.

I don't believe our kids are behind, just the cirriculum is a bit different but once they're used to it ... it's a breeze. The accent made my daughter hugely popular from day one so we've never lacked from a social aspect. Best of luck.


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