Kindergarten registration underway

ALPENA — Alpena Public Schools has started recruitment for next year’s kindergarten and junior kindergarten classes.

The district is hosting registration and building tours at each elementary school. Besser Elementary School kicked off the round of registrations Tuesday, and they continue Thursday at Hinks Elementary, Tuesday at Wilson Elementary, April 17 at Sanborn Elementary, April 23 at Lincoln Elementary, and April 25 at Ella White Elementary.

People can stop in between 5 to 6:30 p.m. on those days.

Children are ready for kindergarten if they can name basic shapes, count to 10, say or sing the alphabet, follow simple directions, and use a pencil or crayon, along with other tasks.

“We’re hoping that they are reading by the end of the school year, and we’re expecting that they are progressing in their math skills, and that they have the social and emotional development in order to be ready to learn those things,” Meaghan Gauthier, director of K-12 curriculum for APS, said.

Parents can also sign children up for a junior kindergarten program in the district. Gauthier said that program is a good opportunity for kids who need more time to learn, grow, and develop before the expectations of kindergarten. Gauthier said children can be between 4 and 6 years old in junior kindergarten.

“It’s nice to offer families choices, and junior kindergarten is a positive experience for many kids,” she said. “It’s definitely not a negative thing.”

Gauthier said there are junior kindergarten programs at Besser, Ella White, and Lincoln, and the district hopes to add a program at Sanborn next school year. She said children who live near Hinks or Wilson would be provided transportation to another school.

“We’re trying to make it more convenient for families whose home school doesn’t have a junior kindergarten program,” Gauthier said.

Parents should bring the following to the registration sessions: a legal birth certificate, proof of residency, such as a utility bill or mortage or rent receipt, a custody agreement, if applicable, an immunization record or wavier, a vision screening, if completed, and a kindergarten entrance screening, if the child went to preschool.

For more information about the programs, contact Gauthier at 989-358-5994 or APS Pupil Accountant Angie Kania at 989-358-5025.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.