Whitehall Elementary School has started getting its next class of kindergarteners set up for the fall semester.
Principal Judy Gould spoke about how the process has changed because of COVID-19 and first-time parents won’t have so much stress put on their shoulders getting their child enrolled.
“Kindergarten registration is one of my favorite times of the school year,” she said. “It’s going to be different of course because of COVID and this is a little different for families.”
Kindergarten registration and a program in the Whitehall Elementary School called Kindergarten Round Up normally happens during the school year. Kindergarten Round Up is a form of screening children go through before they are placed in a specific classroom. The children are given the opportunity to display their fine motor skills during the screening and then are able to be placed in a classroom that is at the right speed for them. However, there is still some time to go before parents can take their children in for the screening.
“Because of the limited access to campus, our school and several schools in the area will do it once all of the regular students have been released for summer,” Gould said.
The screening consists of game-styled activities to observe the level of the child’s motor skills. They are brought in for 30 to 45 minutes for the screening and this gives kids the opportunity to see what classrooms are like and what it’s like to be in one. It’s also beneficial to the teachers because they will be there for the screening and helping kids with their activities if needed.
“It’s so much fun,” Gould said.
“It’s like their first school adventure,” Gould said. “You know we really try to spruce the place up and we put our best foot forward and we want to make them feel welcomed. It’s not a scary kind of thing, it’s not at all like going to the dentist. It’s really very much like ‘hey, come on in I’ve got some cool blocks, can you stack them like this?’ It’s those kinds of things where they’re very engaged and because we run it in three different centers, they get the chance to meet the kindergarten team of teachers.”
As of now, kindergarten registration is planning for June 28 through June 30. Parents can call the Whitehall Elementary School and schedule an appointment for their child to be screened. Gould mentioned there is proper documentation the school will need to register the student.
“That includes the original copy of their birth certificate, we make a copy here, their immunization records, and their proof of residency,” she said.
As for parents looking for the paperwork to fill out before the registration appointment, they can either call the office and speak to the receptionist and obtain a copy via postal mail or email. The parents will need to fill out the paperwork prior to the screening appointment for the school to know how many people will be attending, creating a faster turnaround as well as keeping a limited number of people in the building.