Public school high/low split

12/05/16 - posted by Amy - amygoldfine<at>gmail.com

In the podcast episode about St. Cecilia Catholic Parish, Frank Dunnigan mentioned that he and many of his classmates went to kindergarten at public school, and that some even stayed school for "low first." This caught my attention, because I have always been curious about the high/low system.

My mom went to public schools in San Francisco in the 50s and early 60s. She was born in June so she started kindergarten in January. I think the idea was to group kids who were closer in age, but it seems unnecessarily complicated. When my mom got to college, she had to choose between taking a semester off or starting mid-year!

Does anyone know anything about the high/low system? I am curious as to when/why it started, if it was popular outside San Francisco, and when it was transitioned out.

The Western Neighborhoods Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.