Parents Reminded of New State Law on Kindergarten Registration

April 12, 2013
Dwayne Page
Michelle Burklow

The state has passed a new law, adjusting the birth date cut off by one month for this coming 2013-2014 school year for children entering Kindergarten.

Under the new law, children entering kindergarten shall be five years of age on or before August 31, 2013 for the 2013-2014 school year and on or before August 15 for all school years thereafter. The law has been that a child who is five years of age on or before September 30 could be permitted to enter kindergarten.

Officials say the change allows more time for a child to grow cognitively and develop many skills needed for a successful start in school, the effects of which influence future academic success.

The new law grandfathers children whose birthday is between September 1 and September 30, 2013, who have successfully completed a state pre-K program and are ready to enroll in kindergarten.

Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-K through 6th Grade, addressed this issue with the school board Thursday night. "The state has changed the age that students will be enrolling into kindergarten. The date this year and previous years has been in September. A student must be age five on or before September 30. They have moved that back to August 31. So they have cut off a month. We have a different enrollment. Our students that are enrolled in pre-K this year will be grandfathered in. They will be able to move on into kindergarten instead of having to sit out a full year. So those students will be enrolled. The next year the date for enrollment will be moving up to August 15. I just wanted to make parents aware that we are having a new date for kindergarten enrollment. Again, the age is five on or before August 31," said Burklow

Smithville Elementary and DeKalb West School Kindergarten Pre-Registration will be Friday, May 3 from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Children who plan to attend kindergarten MUST turn five years old on or before August 31, 2013 in order to enroll for the 2013-14 school year. Parents should bring their children who are to be tested that day. Also bring the child's birth certificate, child's social security card, recent kindergarten physical, current immunization certificate (shot record), and proof of residence (gas/electric bill).

Principals Julie Vincent of Smithville Elementary, Dr. Gayle Redmon of Northside Elementary, and Patrick Cripps of DCHS updated the school board on upcoming events at their schools.

"We're getting ready at Smithville Elementary to take the SAT 10 (Stanford Achievement Test) in a couple of weeks," said Vincent. " This is the first time our kindergarten students and first graders have taken an assessment so everybody is preparing and getting ready for that. Next Friday, some of our kindergarten classes are having career day so they will be coming in dressed as their favorite occupation, such as nurses, doctors, police, firefighters, etc. Also May 3 is our kindergarten registration for next school year and that will be from eight o'clock until one p.m." she said.

"At Northside Elementary School we're also gearing up and working hard for TCAP and SAT 10," said Dr. Redmon,. "We recently had a Writers Night at Northside. We had lots of students who displayed their works, stories, and poetry. This was through our after school program. Many of the students read their works. It was a great night. We had lots of parents who came out and participated. I want to thank our after school teachers who worked hard at putting that together and to Mrs. Beth Pafford who organized Writers Night. That was her idea. It went over extremely well. Our next after school project is a Raised Garden and we're excited about that," she said.

"We'll start our end of course testing on May 6-9," said DCHS principal Cripps. "On May 6 we'll
have Algebra I and Algebra II. On May 7 we'll have English I and English II. On May 8 we'll have English III and Biology and May 9 we'll have U.S. History. We wish the parents would get their kids in bed early and make sure they get a good breakfast in the morning. We will be getting breakfast provided thanks to the school board and Mr. Willoughby. We'd just like to thank you for that," he said.

"Talking about TCAP, this is a time for our students to shine," said Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-K through 6th Grade. " They're going to show off all they've learned this year. We're excited about that. I know that the principals have already encouraged parents to get their children in bed early and to make sure they have breakfast. As mentioned, we will be serving breakfast that week but we also want to encourage students and parents to make sure that you do eat a good breakfast every morning that you come to school because we know breakfast is important,' she said.

"We will be providing free breakfasts for pre-k through eighth grade during TCAP and SAT 10 testing and they are on the same day so breakfasts will be free that week," said Stephanie Dyer, Food Nutrition Supervisor. " Pre-k students don't take the tests but we are still going to count them so they can eat a free breakfast also. And then we feed end of course testing on those specific days for only those students taking that specific test that day. We're excited to provide that. Its very important to eat breakfast every day so we just encourage that and its only a dollar each day," she said.

In other business, the school board granted permission for the Junior and Senior Classes of DCHS to have the prom off campus at the Doubletree Heartland Ballroom in Murfreesboro on Friday, April 19. The prom begins at 8:00 p.m. and ends at 11:30 p.m. Anyone leaving the location before 10:30 p.m. will be required to sign out.

The DCHS basketball cheerleaders were also granted permission to attend the UCA Cheerleading Camp at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville July 9-12.

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