Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kindergarten Round-up

Welcome to Kindergarten Round up.  You probably have that at your school too - a time when new kindergarten parents can come to the school, get a tour of the building and begin the registration process.  About two weeks ago we had such a night at Chets Creek.  Many parents came with their kindergartners, met the Principal and toured the building with one of our kindergarten teachers before they took the registration information home.

However, we have noticed over the years that our families from our neediest community do not come to Kindergarten Round-up.  Instead they wait until school starts and come with their students on the first day or first week of school.  We generally have 25-35 new kindergartners from this community each year and instead of having time to prepare for the new year they just walk in totally unprepared.  This year we decided to address the problem by having a second Kindergarten Round-up in their community.  Instead of them coming to the school, we went to the community, to the MARC.  Since many of the families are second language, the Principal made sure to have  an interpreter on hand to translate.  The Principal started by introducing herself, just like she does at the traditional Round-up.  She even brought her 8-month old daughter with her so the parents could see that she was a mom too.  She explained the registration information and then gave the families a visual tour of the school through a PowerPoint of slides.

The night was quite successful with about 16 new kindergartners represented.  The Principal gave the families other dates, one each for the next three months, that she would be at the Community Center to accept registration packets and answer questions.  This is just one of the many attempts that the school has made to build a bridge that will make it easier for all of our children to be successful.  Now we will be prepared for each of these new kindergartners.  They will walk into school on the first day with their names on the class list outside the door, with their names on their cubbies and school supplies on their desk ready to go.  They will know that they are expected and that they belong.  What a great way to start!