Schools prepare to welcome future students


Although the Kindergarten Roundup process may look different this year, Hillsdale County schools are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their next group of future students. This special event, hosted by elementary schools throughout the county, aims to ease the transition from home to formal education for incoming kindergarteners. Let’s take a closer look at how schools are preparing to welcome these young learners.

The Importance of Kindergarten Roundup

Kindergarten Roundup serves as an opportunity for schools to gather valuable information about new enrollees. During this event, schools assess children’s general health, including immunizations, medications, and allergies. Some schools also use this time to screen for school readiness, evaluating basic skills such as identifying colors and shapes, physical abilities like skipping and hopping, and age-appropriate social maturity. Additionally, normative comparisons are made through standardized tests. Overall, the Kindergarten Roundup has become an important tool for early school assessment.

Gier Elementary School’s Approach

Gier Elementary School Principal, Laurie VanOrman, shared their plans for the upcoming Kindergarten Roundup. Instead of a large gathering, they will be scheduling appointments throughout the school day on March 16 and March 17. Face-to-face meetings will take place, allowing parents to ask questions and enabling children to experience a kindergarten classroom. Appointments will be kept concise (less than 15 minutes) and adhere to social distancing guidelines. The focus will be on engaging in discussions with parents rather than extensive assessments.

Developmental Kindergarten Program

Apart from the traditional kindergarten program, Gier Elementary School also offers a Developmental Kindergarten program. This full-time program is designed for children who may benefit from a longer on-ramp to the school experience. Students spend a year in the DK classroom before transitioning to a traditional kindergarten classroom the following year. This program provides smaller class sizes, allowing teachers and educational assistants to provide personalized and small group experiences.

Reynolds Elementary School Registration

At Reynolds Elementary School in Reading, parents were able to register their children by stopping by the school from March 15-17. The open enrollment period for new students and out-of-district students lasted from March 1-17, 2021. Registration required documents such as custody papers (if applicable), a legal birth certificate (students must be at least 5 years old by December 1, 2021), proof of residency, and immunization records, which can be obtained anytime before the first day of school.

Changes in Kindergarten Visitation

Due to the current circumstances, kindergarten visitation at various schools has been modified. Schools have posted welcome and visitation videos on their websites for parents and children to watch before attending the Kindergarten Screening. Screening appointments will be held on April 21 and 22, and parents can make appointments through the Elementary School office. Students will be screened for kindergarten readiness, speech, hearing, and vision. Parents will be required to wait outside or in their cars during the screening process.

Jonesville’s Kindergarten Roundup

In Jonesville, Kindergarten Roundup is scheduled for March 18 and March 19. Due to Covid restrictions, all appointments will be conducted via Zoom. Kindergarten Prep students currently enrolled do not need to register. Parents can call the school at 517-826-7112 to schedule an appointment. The school’s website provides resources for enrollment and offers online registration tutorials for both new and existing families.

Additional Resources

Parents who would like to enroll their child in preschool in Hillsdale County can visit http://www.greatstarthillsdale.com/preschool-sign-up.html. The website provides information on preschool sign-up for children aged 3 and above by December 1.


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