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WES program eases in first time students

By Staff
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
The leap from staying home with mom, or with a day care provider to kindergarten can be more than some children can bare.
At the very least, it can be a shock.
Russellville's West Elementary School plans ease the transition of first time kindergarteners by phasing the students in gradually, rather than bringing them in all at once.
"This is the first time we have ever considered doing something like this for our kindergarteners," WES Principal Ramona Robinson said.
During the phase-in process, kindergarten students will come to school in smaller groups until the process is complete.
Robinson said the process of filling the rooms with 100-percent of the city's kindergarteners should only take a few days at the beginning of school.
"We are still in the planning process, and there are still some things that have to be ironed out," Robinson said.
Phasing the students in through smaller groups will allow teachers to get to know each child, and ease the transition of beginning school for both the students and their parents.
"Parents have a hard time feeling comfortable when it comes to their babies starting school, and we hope to make them feel very comfortable with this milestone in their child's life," Robinson said.
During the phasing in period, parents will be able to find out information and to ask questions about their child's class, activities and schedules.
Parents will also be permitted to eat lunch with their kindergartener during this time period.
WES already has 207 students registered for kindergarten this year, and the school will hold a late registration on July 10 in case more students need to register.
There will be 13 kindergarten teachers this year, Robinson said.
"This the biggest kindergarten class we've ever had here, and we are expecting a big kindgarten class next year as well," Robinson said.
In addition to the phasing in process, the school also plans to host a special day with activities for parents and students.
"We are sending out letters to our new students about the information day and the phasing in program this year," Robinson said.

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