LEWISTOWN - The Mifflin County School District is conducting a pilot fall registration for children who are eligible to attend kindergarten next school year.
Steven Schaaf, MCSD elementary educational services, said the schedule change is meant to engage parents earlier in their child's education. The school district offers a number of pre-kindergarten preparation classes and workshops each spring. Moving kindergarten registration from the traditional spring date to the fall will allow for better family preparedness, he said.
Children who will be 5 years old before Sept. 1, 2014, are eligible to attend kindergarten during the 2014-2015 school year. Fall kindergarten registration will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 9 at Lewistown Elementary School for all students residing in Mifflin County, Schaaf said.
Parents may schedule appointments for registration by Nov. 1 by calling the MCSD administration office at 248-0148, ext. 3. Appointment forms will also be available at local libraries, district schools, preschools and the MCSD office.
Early registration allows parents to learn more about their child's strengths and areas of need, while preparing them for a successful transition to kindergarten. Schaaf said "Getting Ready for Kindergarten" nights are set for March 13, 2014, at Lewistown Elementary School, and April 17, 2014, at Indian Valley Elementary School near Reedsville. This program gives parents an overview of the coming school year. Schaaf said parents learn what to expect when it comes to busing, lunch and more.
Four other student/parent workshops also will be announced at a later date. Schaaf said workshops focus on language arts and math skills and are usually held on one week night and one Saturday in the spring.
At the workshops, parents and children are accompanied to separate areas. Staff talk to parents about preparing their children for kindergarten while others work with students on preparatory activities. During the last half hour of the workshops, parents and children are brought back together so that parents can practice what they learned with their children.
"More schools are moving in this direction" with kindergarten registration and preparation, Schaaf said.
Districts that have implemented early educations services are seeing better results in how students transition to kindergarten, he said. Local kindergarten programs are offered in collaboration with Success by 6.
Spring registration dates will be scheduled for 2014 to accommodate for families who are not available to attend the November registration date. By next year, Schaaf said, the district hopes to make fall Kindergarten registration permanent with one spring session for those who have just moved to the area.
For more information, call the MCSD administration office at 248-0148 ext. 3 or visit the office.