Kindergarten kickoff

Kindergarten teacher Tracy Obuchowski greets parents and students at last year’s Kickoff to Kindergarten. The 2020 event will be held 1-6 p.m. Monday, March 23, at the Sylva Comfort Inn.

Jackson County Public Schools will hold the annual Kick-Off to Kindergarten on from 1-6 p.m. Monday, March 23, at the Sylva Comfort Inn. Children who turn 5 years old on or before Aug. 31 are eligible to enroll for the 2020-21 school year.

Kickoff to Kindergarten is a time for parents to get connected and start the registration process, Director of Elementary Education Laura Dills said.

“It’s a great day to come and meet the current kindergarten staff,” said Dills. “It will be the first time you can get kindergarten registration materials, and we also have some community partners who come with family resource opportunities.”

Parents are encouraged to bring any of their children who will be entering kindergarten.

“We try to make it a very child-friendly environment,” Dills said. “We have tables where parents can start working on registration packets while their child goes through a series of stations with developmentally appropriate activities that they will experience in kindergarten.”

The event also gives the district an idea of how many students will be registering for the coming year.

“Funding for our teaching positions comes from the state on a per-pupil basis,” Dills said. “So, it’s very important that we have a good estimate of how many students we will be receiving. The sooner we have that information, the sooner we can make decisions about hiring.”

Parents who attend Kickoff to Kindergarten should bring their child’s birth certificate or a copy of the birth certificate. They should also bring a document such as a power bill or phone bill with an address for proof of residency. The address helps to determine which school the child will attend.

Incoming students also need immunizations, but those are not required at the time of registration. Parents will receive a health assessment form to be completed by a healthcare provider.

Dills strongly encourages parents to take advantage of this opportunity to get a head start on the upcoming school year.

“Kindergarten is a really important time for children,” Dills said. “So, it’s very important that you get them registered and get the information you need.”

Anyone with questions about the event can contact Dills by email at ldills@jcpsmail.org or by phone at 586-2311 ext. 1950.