Countywide kindergarten registration for fall is Friday

Mar. 03, 2014 @ 12:13 AM

Children who have turned 5 before Aug. 15 of this year are eligible to attend kindergarten this fall.

Sevier County Schools will have registration for these students this Friday, March 7. Packets for registration are available at Sevier County schools.

“(Parents) are going to take their (completed) kindergarten packet on March 7, to the school the child is going to be attending,” Debra Cline, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction said Friday. “And when you get there you’re going to talk to the teacher and the teacher is then going to set up your appointment for a screening.”

That screening will help administrators determine a child’s needs and where they are as they enter into public school.

“Each child comes to us with unique strengths and areas of challenge,” Cline said. “We know that each child has had a little different background in terms of some have been to preschool and some have been to pre-kindergarten in a formal way. Others have been in daycare and some have home the entire time.”

Is my child ready?

One question that looms for many parents is whether or not their child is prepared for the making the jump into kindergarten.

“One of the things we do with the screenings is to look at exactly where a child is in terms of some very basic areas,” Cline said. “The screening that we do cognitively actually gives us a pretty good idea of maybe where the child is at a certain stage of development. But we don’t put total emphasis on that, because a child coming to school with strangers and taking a test may not perform at the level that he or she could, given a little bit more comfort and security in their environment.”

Questions on the screening are largely related to the basics — a child knowing their first name, being able to recite their ABCs and count to 10, for example. Color identification, recitation of address, phone number and printing their own name are other possible tasks that a child may face in the screening.

According to Cline, there really is no pass/fail in the screening.

“One of the things that we like to do, is to say, ‘Let the child spend some time growing and developing. Let the child become acclimated to the school environment,” she said. “Our teachers are wonderful — kindergarten teachers, just as a group, are in that particular grade level because that’s a special love for them and helping the little ones make those steps into formal schooling.

“In many cases we have children who are coming to school that know their ABCs, their numbers and their colors. But then we have children who do not. It may just be they need a little extra time to learn. Our classes are designed to provide individual and small-group settings to allow that to happen.”

In addition to being available at the county schools at which kindergarten is taught, the Sevier County kindergarten registration packet is available online at www.sevier.org/PDF/Kindergarten%20Do%20You%20Have.pdf.