Round-ups meant to help parents, kids, schools prepare for next academic year

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Families who live within the district but possibly haven't received their invitation to their local school's event are encouraged to call the school and let them know if they'll be attending. For many kindergartners, school is a completely new and sometimes scary experience. To better acquaint local 5-year-olds with their new educational communities, Oregon Trail elementary schools are preparing to host Kindergarten Round-Ups.

The events are meant to prepare children and their parents for school by providing pre-school assessments, tips for parents to make sure their children are ready for kindergarten and fun activities to allow them to meet possible future classmates and their schools.

Naas Elementary School Principal Kimberly Brooks noted that the benefits of the round-ups are universal, extending to the parents, students and the schools.

"For the parents, you can get the registration taken care of … and (parents) gain quite a bit of info," Brooks said. "(The assessments) help them have a handle on what they should work on, and each parent leaves with an activity packet."

For the students, the benefits are a bit more social.

"(Children) get to meet some other families ... peers at their same age level, (and) the teachers," Brooks noted. "They get a little taste of what it's like to be a kindergartner. … The social piece gives everyone a small snapshot of how these kids will cope or manage in those everyday interactions."

Overall, the opportunities offered to the students and parents benefit the schools themselves in more ways than one.

"It allows the school to be better prepared for how many students we'll have," Brooks said. "By having those registrations in advance, we can be mindful of sizes of classrooms, numbers of classrooms … We do this in April so we can be playful and make sure we have the staff we need and be prepared."

Families who live within the district but haven't received their invitation to their local school's event are encouraged to call the school to RSVP. Parents who intend to register their children should bring their child's birth certificate and proof of residence, such as a bill with an address on it.

All children who will be 5 years old by Aug. 31 and their families are welcome to attend.

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