STOWE PA – The two Pottsgrove School District buildings that house kindergarten classes – West Pottsgrove Elementary on Grosstown Road in Stowe, and Ringing Rocks Elementary on Kauffman Road in Lower Pottsgrove – will open their doors this month and next to help parents of incoming kindergarten students complete online registrations for their children. Building principals say it’s one of several ways they hope to be more responsive to family needs.
Kindergarten sign-ups for children who will reach age 5 before Sept. 1 (2017) officially got under way two weeks ago (Jan. 30), according to West Pottsgrove Principal Terri Koehler and Ringing Rocks Principal Lisa Jones. The online portion of the registration process is a first step in entering students for the 2017-2018 academic year; it can be found on the district website, here.
But Jones and Koehler recognize not every home has a computer or adequate Internet service, so they have scheduled four separate open houses, two at each building, to assist those parents in need. The first will be held this Thursday (Feb. 16) from 4-6 p.m. at West; followed by sessions on Feb. 21 (Tuesday) and Feb. 28 (Tuesday) from 4-6 p.m. at Ringing; and ending with March 22 from 2-6 p.m. at West.
“Our computer labs will be open, and there will be staff members on hand so we can provide online access and help those families who need assistance,” Koehler explained.
There’s even more outreach planned, she added.
The principals want parents to meet teachers and other staffers earlier during the registration process than in past years. So they’ve scheduled what Koehler calls “a first opportunity for face-time with out families” at each school, during which parents will deliver required student documentation such as birth certificates and immunization records.
Personal meetings will be held at Ringing on March 6 (Monday) from 12-3 p.m. and also from 4-8 p.m.; and at West on March 30 (Thursday) at the same times. It’s not just paperwork Jones and Koehler are after: it’s conversation, too.
“We want our parents to come in and ask questions, because we know there are always a lot of them,” Koehler said. The in-person March registration sessions give families a chance to put names with faces, to introduce the school nurse and district pupil services employees, and set up screening appointments if necessary or desired. And, she said, the principals themselves want to say hello to every parent as well.
The district is relying on several methods to get the word out on kindergarten registration, including working more closely with both publicly funded and private early learning centers and Pre-K care providers. The principals have been heartened by their “really positive response,” and both they and the district are interested in finding more ways to collaborate, Koehler said.
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