So, your child starts kindergarten next year…
The year prior to kindergarten you should already be laying a foundation for your child’s transition to kindergarten. You can begin the process by:
1) Identifying the school that your child will be assigned to next year, or in some cases, choosing which school your child will attend.
- Call your county school board office information line. This number can usually be located in the government pages of the phone book.
- In some states, parents may enroll their child in the school of their choice or a magnet school. Find out if this is an available option for you.
2. Visiting the school or schools that your child might attend. Bring your child with you on those visits.
3. Obtaining the following information from the school:
- A list of entry requirements (immunizations, documentation, child’s age, physical, etc.)
- An enrollment form
- School calendar and times of operation
- Information about after-school programs (if available)
- Transportation information (pick-up location, hours, telephone number of the county transportation office, rules)
- Dates for kindergarten registration and/or screening
- What meal options are provided, requirements for free and reduced lunches, and the cost of the meals
- A description of the kindergarten program
4. Once your child’s school is finalized:
- Obtain the names of the principal, school secretary, kindergarten teachers, librarian, etc. This will enable you to begin talking about the staff in positive ways with your child.
- Find out how you can be involved in the school. If you can, volunteer to help out in the school.
- Check to see if the school allows you to bring your child to eat in the cafeteria the year prior to kindergarten. If so, take advantage of this opportunity whenever possible.
5. Begin connecting with other families. Find other parents with children who will enter kindergarten at the same school next year. This is a good time for you to get to know the other adults. You can support each other in an emergency situation, take turns waiting at the bus stop, or car-pool.
6. Provide opportunities for your child to become acquainted with other children so that he will see familiar faces on the first day of school.