Thursday, January 28, 2010
By Rachel H
The time is near! Kindergarten Registration is just around the corner. Those of us here at Triad Smarty Pants know it can be a stressful time, but we hope to make it an enjoyable time by supplying you with the information you need to know. Below we have posts from representatives with the Guilford County School System, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system, and Randolph County. We truly appreciate them taking the time to share this much-needed information with TSP readers so that your child can have a smooth transition to Kindergarten!
Guilford County Schools - By Haley H Miller, Media Relations Manager, Guilford County Schools
Guilford County Schools (GCS) encourages families of 4 and 5-year-olds to prepare for kindergarten registration early. We want our youngest students to have an easy transition this fall. Understanding the qualifications and gathering the required materials in advance will save families time and stress.
Kindergarten registration begins Monday, March 1. Children must turn 5 years old by Aug. 31 to enroll in kindergarten. In order to register your child, please provide the following items to your child’s assigned school:
1. Certified copy of your child’s birth certificate
2. Fully completed Kindergarten Health Assessment Report
3. Immunization (shots) record from your child’s health care provider
4. Proof of residence showing name and address of parent(s) or court-appointed guardian/custodian
Check out the district’s Web site for more information. Don’t know where your child should attend school? Parents can find out their child’s school assignment by using our GCS School Locator or by contacting the Student Assignment Office at 336-370-8303.
At GCS, we also have a number of magnet school programs, ranging from Spanish Immersion to fine arts to Montessori. To learn more and decide what program might be right for your child, attend the district’s Magnet Fair coming up on Feb. 13 at the Greensboro Coliseum Pavilion. The fair will take place from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. For more info, visit the Magnet Schools Web page.
GCS and community partners will host a “Kickoff to Kindergarten Parent Day” on Monday, Feb. 22 at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. The free event, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., will inform parents about resources available in the school district and greater community. The district also held a similar event in High Point on Jan. 25.
For families with children who turn 5 after Aug. 31, there are a number of free pre-K programs within GCS and the community. Applications for GCS pre-K programs will be accepted through Friday, April 23. In addition, gifted 4 1/2-year-olds who are functioning two to three years beyond their age may be eligible to enroll in kindergarten early. Parents with questions about qualifications for early kindergarten should contact the principal at their child’s assigned school.
If you have any questions, the GCS pre-kindergarten office will be glad to help. Please call 336-370-2362.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools - By Theo Helm, Director of Marketing and Communications
Enrolling your child in kindergarten is an exciting time, , but also one filled with questions and decisions. Remember that our schools are excited to meet your child. Teachers are called to the profession for many reasons, but they share a devotion to children. Beyond that, many are parents themselves and understand your anxiety. If you’re confused, ask questions. All of us want to make the transition to school fun, so that you and your child can’t wait for school to start.
Often parents ask how they should pick a school. This is a decision that’s as unique as your child. The N.C. School Report Cards have a wealth of information, including test scores, teacher qualifications and safety information. Test scores often seem like the easiest way to evaluate a school, but we urge you to look beyond these. We don’t believe children should be judged solely by test scores, and we feel the same way about schools. The best way to determine the right school is to visit. Talk to teachers and parents, and look at the classrooms and students. Is the atmosphere inviting? Do students and teachers look like they’re engaged and in tune with each other? You know your child, and you’ll know if the environment is right. If you would like to learn more about the Magnet School Program, be sure to read our recent post here.
Next, it’s important to know how children are assigned to schools. Your child is eligible for kindergarten next year if he or she will be 5 years old by Aug. 31. Where you live determines your residential school, which is your home base for determining assignments. You can find your residential school by calling 336-748-3302, or by entering your address in the School Locator. This will also tell you the other schools in your zone.
You are always guaranteed a spot in your residential school if that’s where you want to go. What makes WS/FCS unique is our Choice period, a two-week period held every year that allows parents to choose another school in their zone. This year’s Choice period is Feb. 22-March 5. Parents fill out a Choice card and rank the top three choices in their zone. You’re guaranteed one of your choices, and we do everything we can to grant parents’ first choices. Transportation is provided to any of your choices. You’ll receive your assignment in the mail around March 22.
There’s also a time to apply to schools outside of your zone from April 7-16. Only schools with extra space will take out-of-zone students, and you must provide your own transportation. Applications are available on the Student Assignment Web site.
In short, here’s what you need to do:
1. Gather the materials you need to register your child: his or her birth certificate, proof of your residence, (it can be a lease, mortgage statement, electric bill, gas bill or water bill) and immunization records.
2. Figure out your residential school by calling 748-3302 or using the School Locator.
3. Go to your residential school between Feb. 22 and March 5 to register and fill out a Choice card. (Even if your residential school is not the school you are choosing, this is where you will pick up your choice card.)
4. Wait for your assignment letter to arrive in the mail sometime around March 22.
5. If you’d like to apply to a school outside of your zone, apply between April 7 and 16.
Above all, if you have questions, ask a teacher, a principal, or someone in our Student Assignment office. We share your concern for your child, and we’ll do everything we can to make the start of school a smooth one.
Other helpful links:
School addresses and phone numbers: http://wsfcs.k12.nc.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=14830
Maps of Elementary School Districts: http://wsfcs.k12.nc.us/education/components/docmgr/default.php?sectiondetailid=58784&catfilter=19449#showDoc
Determining if your child is eligible to enroll in Kindergarten early (i.e., if he/she won’t turn 5 until after Aug. 31): http://wsfcs.k12.nc.us/education/components/docmgr/download.php?sectiondetailid=58784&fileitem=54268&catfilter=19449
Randolph County Schools
At this time, Randolph County was not able to provide a blog for us, but they invite parents to visit the District Website. If you scroll to the bottom of the home page you will find info for Kindergarten registration. This is the direct link to that page http://www.randolph.k12.nc.us/Departments/K-5/Pages/Kindergarten.aspx.
Still have questions or comments? Feel free to add your thoughts below!