Early sign-ups for kindergarten are down in Elyria

Posted in school
by Lisa Roberson

Lisa Roberson, The Chronicle-Telegram

ELYRIA — Kindergarten registration is down in Elyria Schools, leaving school officials wondering how many classes will be needed for the upcoming school year.

School officials said early registration gives parents time to prepare their youngsters for school and the district time to prepare for the students.

Kindergarten is often the first full-day school experience for children, which can be scary if not approached with care, said Rita Tomsic, principal of Kindergarten Village.

“The first day of school is a milestone in a child’s life, and establishing a positive experience is important for continued success,” Tomsic said. “Liking to go to school and liking to learn are very closely tied.

“Children will be anxious and will have a lot of questions. That’s where early registration comes in.”

While it’s hard to gauge how many students will enter the district any given year, kindergarten is especially tricky because there is no past contact to use as an estimate.

In the 2009-10 school year, 575 students were in kindergarten at six schools in the district.

However, so far the district only has about 400 kids registered for the upcoming school year.
“Obviously, we need to shake the bushes and get the rest out there,” Tomsic said. “By registering for school early, parents are showing their kids that school is important.

“They can answer questions and use the summer to work toward a smooth transition into the full-day program.”

Elyria offers full-day kindergarten to every student, a switch that was made nearly two years ago in an effort to duplicate the success of Kindergarten Village across the district. Low teacher-to-student ratios, specialized instruction, age-appropriate computer technology, highly interactive programming and an abundance of student support services have helped to define the program.

Amy Higgins, district spokeswoman, said it is not uncommon for parents to think they have to wait until the building opens just before school starts before they can register.

But summer registration is happening now at the Elyria Schools’ Administration Building at 42101 Griswold Road, she said.

Parents with children who will be 5 by Sept. 30 can enroll them in the kindergarten program.
When registering, parents should bring their child’s birth certificate (original or certified copy), two proofs of residency (utility bill, cell phone bill, rental agreement, etc.), immunization records, proof of custody (if applicable) and Social Security card (optional).

It can be done 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 7 to 11:30 a.m. Fridays.
Parents who need more information should call pupil services at (440) 284-8216.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.

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