The time has come! This is your little one’s last year of preschool before heading off to kindergarten! While this is an exciting time, we understand that it can also be a time of questions and concern. We at Peace of Mind would like to support you and your child as you prepare for kindergarten, while enjoying our last year together!
One of the big questions we hear from families is, “How will I know that my child is ready for kindergarten?” We know that the answer you would like to hear includes an easy checklist and a definite answer of yes or no, but children are never so easily measured! At Peace of Mind, kindergarten readiness means looking at and developing the whole child, as an individual. Our curriculum is aligned with Minnesota’s Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs), so we know that your child is “ready.” As you read through the information we have gathered for you here, we hope that you’ll gain an appropriate definition for “kindergarten readiness” that makes the most sense for you and your child.
In Minnesota, children are eligible to attend kindergarten when they are five-years-old on or before September 1 of the calendar year that schools starts. In addition to the age requirement, each child entering kindergarten must:
- Provide documentation of required immunizations.
- Participate in a school district’s Early Childhood Screening program. A child may also meet this requirement by participating in a comparable health and developmental screening program provided by Head Start, Child and Teen Checkups or through a health care provider.
Screening is a brief, simple procedure used to identify potential health or developmental problems young children. It includes observing your child’s reading and writing literacy, number sense, self regulation skills, and emotional/social development. Screening also checks your child’s vision, speech, hearing, height, weight, and health history. Local school districts provide Early Childhood Screening throughout the year. When your child turns three, you may contact your school district for more information and to schedule a screening for your child.
At Peace of Mind, our children are typically served by 3 school districts:
- 622 – North St. Paul, Maplewood, and Oakdale Schools (https://www.isd622.org/)
- 833 – South Washington County (http://www.sowashco.org/)
- 834 – Stillwater Area Schools (https://stillwaterschools.org/).
- Charter schools in the area that offer kindergarten classes include Woodbury Leadership Academy (http://www.wlamn.org/) and St Croix Prep (http://stcroixprep.org/).
Districts 622 and 833 have a Kindergarten Enrollment Night on February 20, 2018.
District 834 has a Kindergarten Enrollment Night on March 2, 2018.
During these evening sessions, parents learn more about the kindergarten program at the school and submit required forms. Parents and children can also tour the building, meet teachers and the principal, and see the kindergarten classrooms.
As a continuing service, Peace of Mind offers before and after school care, as well as transportation to and from most local schools. Our school age program, Trailblazers, was designed to meet the needs of school-aged children. We focus on working in partnership with parents and their child to achieve the greatest success in completion of their homework, participation in leisure time, and achieving social success with their peers. After school opportunities include time for outdoor activities, enjoying a healthy snack, or spending time with a teacher to complete homework. Students can expect comfortable, familiar surroundings, choices within structured limits, opportunities for socialization as well as quiet time and space to do their own work and enrichment activities. Parents can expect friendly, qualified, dedicated, and well educated staff to enhance their child’s school day. Our staff to child ratio for school-agers is 1:15, and the Trailblazer program is open from 6-9:30am, and 2:30-6pm during the average school day, and 6am to 6pm on most school release days.
We encourage you to have many conversations with your child’s teachers, and to ask any and all questions of us in the next coming months. Working as partners, we know that your child will absolutely be ready for kindergarten (even if YOU are not)!!