Helena Public Schools encourages early registration for kindergarten

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Posted at 5:14 PM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 19:14:47-05

HELENA — Kindergarten registration for Helena Public Schools opens on January 3rd and the school district wants to encourage families to sign up early.

To start kindergarten children must turn five years old by September 10th of 2023. Parents can fill out their form from home and bring it in with the necessary documentation.

Those documents include:

  • the student's birth certificate
  • immunization records
  • proof of current residence (examples: utility bill, tax form)
  • student health form
  • home language survey

Early registration ensures incoming students and parents can participate in programs like Jumpstart in the spring, parent orientation, and kindergarten visits in the summer.

These programs help prepare families for this big step in a child's life.

Understandably, parents may be a little nervous about sending their child off for what may be the very first time. Assistant Superintendent for K-5 for Helena Public Schools, Brian Cummings and MTN went over a few of the more common questions among parents.

Number one, is my child ready for kindergarten? Cummings says the best way to determine that is to reach out to the school's principal.

“Go in and visit with the principal. 100%, like just touch base with them,” says Cummings.

Two, what does my child’s day look like?

“Rich and diverse and supportive and caring. I’m kind of answering that, you know, philosophically. But also, they're going to jump right into PE and music and library and recess and lunch. Lunch is a whole event for a kindergartener,” says Cummings.

Three, how can I prepare them for kindergarten, or do I even need to prepare them for kindergarten?

“I want kids to learn at their own pace. That is the best thing we can do. If we're doing naps, we might want to pause on those as we start getting ready for school. And can they navigate their shoes? Can they do their shoes? Can they do their coat?” says Cummings.

And what will they be learning in kindergarten?

“You know, what are they gonna learn? They're gonna learn what it's like to be in a community in a K-5 elementary school. Of course, we have letter name. And of course, we have letter sound. And of course, we have our numbers,” says Cummings.

Overall, Cummings highlighted the importance of recognizing that every child is in a different place developmentally and that that is okay. And that the school district is here to meet them where they’re at.

For more information visit the Helena Public Schools kindergarten registration web page.