Kindergarten Prep Meeting from January 21, 2021-Resources included
It is time to register for kindergarten! Included in our meeting from January 21st are tips and important information to help you through the process. This issue will cover what you need to know to register, public, private, or charter school, the testing and interview process, and the difference between preschool vs kindergarten.
What do I need to do to get my child registered for kindergarten? Currently, public and charter schools require your child to be 5 by September 1st, no exceptions. Some private school requirements are specific to that school. Visit their website or call for more information on that school’s requirements. You can visit your district website to register. You need proof of age, proof of residency, and immunization records. If your child has an IEP or any special information that you want the school to know tell them when you register. If you have an IEP someone will contact you, and they will do a re-evaluation.
Public, private, or charter, what is the difference? If you are registering for public school the elementary school is selected by your home address. The class size tends to be about 24 children. Public schools have many resources and can accommodate different learning styles and needs. School Lane is a local charter school in Bensalem. If you choose to go with them, they hold a lottery for their registration. Once you register you are put on a waitlist to determine openings. School Lane requires students to wear uniforms and they do not give any homework. School Lane does not offer gifted services currently. Private schools usually require an application process and they also charge tuition. One private school mentioned was Calvary Christian Academy, located on Bustleton Avenue. They do require an application process, and they do not wear uniforms.
At your child’s testing/interview for public or charter school they will be asked to answer some questions and engage in conversation with the teacher administering the test. Some topics covered are number and letter recognition, basic math concepts and writing their name. They will also assess problem solving and comprehension skills by giving puzzles and asking what is happening in a picture. They use this information as a baseline to assess abilities and be able to properly group children. It may also be used to screen for any possible needs. Although your child will go through a screening process your child will not be denied entrance into kindergarten.
There are some academic skills that are preferred by kindergarten teachers. These include, children writing their name; even if it is not neat or is in all capital letters, basic letter recognition, counting and recognizing numbers to 10. A basic reading understanding, and comprehension is also helpful. Although these skills are preferred by teachers it is not a requirement. Some children enter kindergarten never having attended school and do not have the preferred skills. Self- help skills that are in demand are being able to eat with utensils, open their own food and drink, and use the restroom without assistance. Knowing their phone number and address, especially if they ride the bus, asking for help when needed, and being able to make it through the day without a nap is important as well. Bathroom independence is necessary, so consider the type of clothing that your children will wear. Children should be able to snap, button etc. The self- help skills in general are important to a positive experience for both your child and teacher.
The changes in setting will be an adjustment as well. In Kindergarten there is less free choice time, children will be required to work in small groups and be part of a larger team. Working independently and being part of a large group both in the classroom, but also on the playground and in the lunchroom may be a new experience. Your child will now be part of a much larger group as they enter common areas such as the lunchroom and playground.
At CLA our PreK 4 teachers work toward the academic and self-help skills necessary for kindergarten. Our program provides multiple opportunities for growth in all areas. In class children are expected to sit for an extended period of time in circle time and participate in discussions, answer questions, take turns, and raise their hand. They work in small groups with the teacher and work in pairs to complete tasks. Children practice fine motor skills such as holding and using a pencil, coloring in the lines, tracing, and using scissors. Our program focuses on recognizing first and last names and writing them. Most children can write them by the end of the program. Children are expected to hang their own coat and bag, get their pencil box and journal when needed. They are encouraged to express their feelings by using their words, and also work independently as the year progresses.
Our Kindergarten Prep program formally known as Prek5 focuses on all of the skills that Prek4 does, but with a higher expectation. There is more independent work, and their lessons or circle times will be somewhat longer that the PreK4 classes. They have daily
writing opportunities and do worksheets independently. Raising their hand and asking for help is also a big focus.
Some possible reasons you might decide to have your child stay an extra year in preschool would be: their social emotional development may need more time, they are not showing interest in academic skills, you as the parent are not quite ready for the elementary school schedule, your child has specific needs or could use the advantage of being older than peers, your child is extremely shy and needs more time to build their confidence, or they are still having some potty issues. Sometimes parents are concerned about academic ability. Kindergarten will cover all letters, letter sounds, numbers, and number recognition, and letter formation. Although many preschool children already have these skills, some do not, and they will be able to get them in kindergarten. The most important part of the decision on which type of school or whether to stay behind another year is that you make the decision that is right for your specific child and family.
The information contained in this article was presented on Zoom by CLA staff on January 21, 2021.
Bensalem School district
Monday, February 8th by appointment only
Please call 215-750-2800, ext. 4047 or 4050 to schedule your appointment!
Neshaminy School District
Please be aware that March 1st is the deadline to guarantee placement in your home school.
Needs to be done online
Bristol Township School District /
Registration takes place at the prospective school. Go to the website and click on the elementary school for your area and click on the email link for that contact person.
School Lane Charter School
January 23, 2021 at 9:00 am
Register online to put child’s name on a waitlist then there is a lottery
Register you will need to contact them
All kindergarten students will have a benchmark screening in June
Acceptance of a child will depend on our ability to meet his, her individual needs as well as availability of space in the desired program.
Calvary Christian Academy
As a private school, they require all of their students to go through an application process before entering the school. The purpose of this application process is to be sure that we will be able to meet the child’s needs.