Kindergarten is an exciting milestone for children and parents alike. But it can also be intimidating if it’s your first time – also for children and parents alike. For parents, however, getting kids registered is full of questions and uncertainty. Fortunately, kindergarten registration doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Entering kindergarten is a big step and it all starts Thursday, April 11 when 14 Virginia school divisions will open registration for new students for the 2019-20 school year. If you have a child that is going to be five years old by September 30, 2019 (the cut off date for kindergarten in Virginia), and aren’t sure where to start, Smart Beginnings of Greater Richmond provides everything you need to ensure that your child is ready for the start of the school year.
The first step, of course, is registration. Registration is held at every elementary school in the area. Families can visit www.smartbeginningsrva.org to see times for registration and information for their specific school district. Of course, not everyone can make it on April 11 – and if you’re planning a move to the area, but aren’t sure where you’ll be, you might be concerned. Fortunately, schools allow registration anytime and will even allow you to make an appointment. But, if you can get your child registered now, you’ll not only have the task behind you, but you’ll have plenty of time to make sure your child has the necessary skills to be successful in school.
To get your child registered, you’ll want to talk to staff at the specific school your child will be attending, but in general, here are the things you’ll need:
- Child’s official, certified birth certificate
- Deed/Lease agreement AND one other proof of address
- School Entrance Health Form (bring anytime before the first day of school)
- Photo ID for parent or legal guardian
At registration, schools will identify any missing paperwork, provide information about summer activities and other chances to visit the school. Even if parents don’t have all of the paperwork, they should still come to registration. The school will guide parents to resources to help complete the process.
Once you’re child is officially registered, your next step is making sure they’re prepared for the coming year. Even if you child has been in a preschool environment, kindergarten can present a number of major changes. To make sure your child makes the transition with ease, here are some activities you can focus on the spring and summer to make sure they are ready for the new classroom environment:
- Read and look at books every day
- Stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time
- Practice counting real objects — like cereal or crayons
- Talk about their feelings and what kindergarten will be like
- Meet and play with other children their age
- Show respect and use good manners
- Find and name letters of the alphabet everywhere you go
- Visit and explore libraries, parks, and museums
- Use scissors to practice cutting and crayons to draw
Have more questions? For frequently asked questions about kindergarten registration, go to SmartBeginningsRVA.org or dial “211” to be connected to a trained professional who can provide information and referrals.