It will soon be that time of year again when parents tearfully take their first child to kindergarten. It's a time of mixed emotions. You are happy to see the excitement in your child's eyes at the prospect of being a 'big kid' yet you feel a certain amount of sorrow that your exuberant child is no longer a baby or toddler. Those days are now but a memory in the photo album.
On the other hand, parents of their second or third child are dancing a jig celebrating the end or reduction of child care bills. In reality, each child you send to school has a different emotion attached to it. It may simply be the fact that your youngest son or only daughter is embarking on a new chapter in this book we call life. Only in this book we can't turn back the years like we can turn back pages in a book.
At Roosevelt Elementary your child will be in great hands on round-up day. All five of the current kindergarten teachers will be on hand to conduct the event along with the special needs teacher, Vicky Laughlin. These educators are enthusiastic, caring and professional. Kindergarten round-up gives the prospective students the opportunity to become familiar with the school and the routine.
The teachers look forward to the new group of children that come in every year. They have the privilege of seeing children grow and learn from the start of their school career every year. Even the children are so excited that they have been known to tell their preschool teachers " Sorry but I can't go to your preschool anymore because I have to go to kindergarten," said Amy Wood, who was a former ECLC teacher for eight years.
During the round-up there will be three teachers observing your children, who will be set up in groups of around ten. They will be observing your child's ability to follow directions, interactions with peers and teachers, fine motor skills, and academic skills. They will also be identifying some letter recognition skills this year, mainly just to get an idea of where each child is at with that skill.
The children will enjoy a story, an art activity, a snack, recess, games and songs. They even draw pictures of themselves so the teachers can recognize them when they come back in the fall. However, photos are attached to the pictures just in case, "more than one student has a blue shirt," said Jennifer Abbott, kindergarten teacher.
After the round-up parents will take their child home. Parents will get a follow-up letter in the mail to let them know how their child did, give them some insight on what to work on over the summer and whether or not they recommend transitional kindergarten for their child.
At Roosevelt Elementary, transitional kindergarten is available for those students who might not be socially ready for kindergarten; either from lack of group experiences or being a "young 5-year old".
Transitional kindergarten at Roosevelt is called First Steps. It is a great program for those parents who may not quite be ready for their child to go to kindergarten. If parents have doubts about the program or about sending their child to school, the staff at Roosevelt encourages them to look into the program further by visiting with them and/or the classrooms.
"Sometimes parents look at the transitional program as their child being held back, which is not the case at all," said Gail Kremer, kindergarten teacher. You could look at it as a highly advanced preschool. Once again, these children do all the things that regular kindergarten students do, only at a more developmentally appropriate pace.
On the day of round-up children will either tell their parents bye and go on their merry way or get apprehensive and worried. Amy Wood, kindergarten teacher, encourages parents to leave their child at the check in table and leave fairly quickly. This will show the child that you have confidence in their ability to handle the situation and your confidence in the teachers you are leaving them with. The transition will go much quicker and smoother. Many times it is harder on the parent than the child.
School personnel will conduct Kindergarten Round-Up this year on Wednesday, April 20 and Thursday, April 21.
Starting Monday, March 14, 2005 the Cherokee School District will be taking pre-registrations for their annual Kindergarten round-up. The number to call is 225-6760 and the staff asks that you provide the following information when you call.
Parents need to provide the child's full legal name and birth date, parent's or guardian's name, address and phone number, gender of the child, primary language spoken in the home, whether the child is right or left handed, if they have attended preschool, which day you want to attend and whether you want the morning session or the afternoon session.
Informational packets will be mailed out to parents when they call in their registration. On the day of round-up parents need to bring the completed forms that were mailed to them, a copy of the child's birth certificate, current immunization records and social security number.