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West Elementary makes plans for kindergarten registration, Pre-K drawing

It could be argued that the most important day in a student’s academic career is his or her high school graduation. But there’s one very important milestone that marks where it all begins: the first day of kindergarten.

Hundreds of youngsters will be starting kindergarten this fall, but first comes kindergarten registration. For upcoming students at West Elementary School, those registration dates are coming up quick.

West Elementary School will be holding kindergarten registration for the 2016-2017 school year on the following dates:

  • April 20 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-2 p.m. for in-district students whose last names begin with A-L
  • April 21 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-2 p.m. for in-district students whose last names begin with M-Z
  • April 22 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-2 p.m. for out-of-district students who wish to apply

In addition to all the usual paperwork, WES is asking parents to bring one crucial thing with them: their soon-to-be kindergartener.

“We want those children to come with their parents,” said Principal Deanna Hollimon. To aid WES in placing children in classrooms, certified teachers will perform short, one-on-one screenings with each child to assess kindergarten readiness skills: motor, like how they hold and manipulate a pencil; language, like vocabulary and comprehension; and academic, like whether they know the alphabet, or their shapes or colors.

“It is not, at all, to see how smart a kindergartener is,” Hollimon emphasized. “We know our job is to teach kindergarteners what they need to know.”

Screening each child to assess his her or her readiness will enable WES to evenly distribute children at different levels across different classrooms to ensure the best quality education possible.

“Children come from varied backgrounds,” Hollimon said – and thus, naturally, will have varied academic and developmental needs.

Although kindergarten registration formerly was held on one day only, Hollimon said registering children over a three-day period will allow the school to move parents through more quickly, while still leaving more time to chat with new students and do the screening. Registering out-of-district students on a separate day will also help to streamline the process, as these students will have a different set of paperwork to fill out.

Registration will be held at the school in the school’s cafeteria.

The following will need to be presented at the time of registration:

  • a birth certificate (not required) or other documentation of the child’s date of birth and custodial parent(s)
  • updated blue immunization record
  • Social Security card (not required)
  • a copy of custodial papers (if applicable)
  • a deed, lease or rental agreement for a property inside the Russellville City Limits in which the student resides with the parent(s), custodial parent, or legal guardian
  • a current utility bill with a matching address of the deeded or leased property

It will also soon be time to register for Pre-K at West Elementary School.

Registration will be held April 29 from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enrollment is open to all children 4 years of age who are residents of the state of Alabama. Acceptance to the program is through a random selection process.

The registered applicant must meet residency requirements and present the necessary documents set forth by the program and the district at the time of registration. The registered child must be f4 years old on or before Sept. 1.

To align with Russellville City School’s recently approved admission policy, the 18 Pre-K allocations for each OSR classroom will be designated for residents of Russellville. If, during registrations for the OSR program, the number of Russellville students does not reach the required student enrollment, the Russellville Board of Education may authorize the option of enrolling students outside the Russellville city limits.

Additionally, RCS is hopeful to soon open between 18-36 additional Pre-K slots, if the system is approved to offer one or two additional Pre-K classes through First Class Alabama’s Voluntary Pre-K Program.

“We’re eagerly awaiting to hear from them,” Hollimon said. “That would open up more opportunities for children to be selected for that program.”

Children who are not selected from the drawing will be placed on a waiting list for any slots that might open.

Required documents for Pre-K registration include: completed family information form; a birth certificate or court records showing the student’s parents, custodial parent or legal guardian; a deed, lease or rental agreement for a property inside the Russellville city limits in which the student resides with the parent(s), custodial parent, or legal guardian; a current utility bill with a matching address of the deeded or leased property; income verification for 2015; and a Medicaid or insurance card.

A random selection drawing will be held May 6. Families do not have to be present in order to receive placement.

Registration forms are available at the West Elementary School office or online atwww.rcs.k12.al.us/west/.

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