Students, families prepare for school

Published 9:58 pm Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Registration ends Friday for students who will attend kindergarten next year in Chilton County Schools.

Louise Pitts, principal at Jemison Elementary, said it’s an important process and parents of children who will be kindergarteners next school year will receive valuable information they can use now through the summer to prepare their children to begin their kindergarten education.

“Registration doesn’t take long, but parents do need to fill out several pages of information for us. We need to known things like emergency contacts, where they live, the language the family speaks at home — all their pertinent information,” she said. “Some parents have asked to look at the lunchroom and the classrooms and, of course, we take them to see those. In August, we have an orientation night where parents can come in, meet the teacher, see the classroom where their child will be and get comfortable with the situation.”

Parents may register their children today and Friday from 8 to 2:30 p.m. at Jemison Elementary, and also today from 5 to 7 p.m.

“We are having the Thursday night registration for those parents who may work out of town, hoping to make things a little more convenient for them to get in here and register those children,” Pitts said.

Parents should bring with them their child’s birth certificate, Social Security card, immunization record and any custody papers that may be relevant.

“Some parents hesitate because they may have lost their child’s birth certificate and need to send off for another one, or something like that. But they should come on in and fill out the paperwork, because they can bring that in later in the summer,” she said.

Pitts said kindergarten students will be assessed during the summer. At registration, parents sign up for that assessment and are given a list of things to work on with their child before that assessment takes place.

“If the child knows all their letters and they know how to count to 30 or 40 or even 100 and they can write their names and know their colors and shapes, they would be bored in a class where children would be learning those things,” she said. “We try to know where the children are from a learning standpoint prior to the teacher getting them.”

Pitts said the education of children is “a team effort, and parents need to know from the start there is going to be some homework. We are always so proud — I know I was — when our children can sing the ABC song, but we want the child to know when we hold up a ‘G,’ that’s a ‘G.’ That’s been very helpful for parents to understand. When we hand parents the list of what they need to work on with their children during the summer, you see them have that ‘Ah Ha’ moment.”

Rebecca Threlkeld, principal at Clanton Elementary, said parents can register their prospective kindergarten students from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Friday.

“Parents should bring their child’s birth certificate, Social Security card and original immunization form,” she said. “Our counselors spend time with parents, talking about the program and providing literature, which gives them an orientation to our program.”

Gail Moore, secretary at Verbena High School, where parents will register their kindergarten students who will attend the Verbena Annex, said parents may register their child between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

She said parents should expect the process to take 15 to 20 minutes and they should bring with them their child’s original birth certificate, original Social Security card and original certificate of immunization, often referred to as a “blue slip,” Moore said.

Parents should also bring a copy of an electric, water or phone bill as proof of residence.

Parents of prospective kindergarten students will be given information about orientation and an open house at Verbena Annex, which is planned for Aug. 5 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Orientation for Verbena kindergarten students open house will be held Aug. 5 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“Parents should also make sure to bring their child’s school supplies when they come to the orientation on Aug. 5,” Moore said. She said a list of school supplies will be given to parents when they register their child.