Time for kindergarten registration in Athol-Royalston

  • A Kindergarten class at the A-R School District. COURTESY AMY LANGDON

For Athol Daily News
Published: 3/4/2020 9:46:23 PM
Modified: 3/4/2020 9:46:14 PM

Planning for the 2020-2021 school year is underway in the Athol-Royalston Regional School District (ARRSD). As budgetary, staffing, and programming discussions are occurring, the district is reaching out to parents to register their children for kindergarten.

Children who turn 5 years old before Sept. 1 are eligible for kindergarten. Other requirements are that children are residents of Athol or Royalston and that they have current medical records on file.

Registration paperwork can be picked up at the Athol Community Elementary School (ACES), the Royalston Community School (RCS), or printed from the district website at www.arrsd.org. kindergarten screening dates will be in May and parents will schedule an appointment for screening when they submit registration materials.

Currently, there are 127 students in kindergarten in the Athol-Royalston district. There are five classrooms at ACES and one classroom at RCS. Because the district is a regional district, students can be placed at either RCS or ACES.

Each kindergarten classroom is staffed with a certified teacher and a paraprofessional. Special Education services, including speech and language, occupational therapy and physical therapy, are available for students with disabilities who qualify for those services. Other classroom interventions are also available for students who require behavioral, social, emotional, and academic support. Through a partnership with Heywood Hospital, ACES is also home to a Health Center.

A typical day in kindergarten begins with arrival on the bus or by parent drop-off. Students come into the classroom and hang up coats and backpacks in their cubby and join their classmates for breakfast in the classroom. After breakfast, students participate in circle time where they discuss the weather, days of the week, months of the year, the letter they are learning that week, and the theme of the units they will be engaging in.

Whole group lessons in English/language arts (reading and writing), mathematics, science, and social studies are taught to students in a variety of ways. Students practice what they learn in the whole group during small group time and centers activities. Students are taught how to interact with their peers in the classroom and how to work together to reach a common academic goal.

Midway through the day, kindergarten students enjoy lunch in the cafeteria and recess outside. Once a week, students participate in specials classes: Music, art, physical education, media/library, and guidance. Social skills are taught throughout all areas of the school day and positive behavior is supported with our Zones of Regulation curriculum and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports school-wide initiative.

During the year, students celebrate the 100th Day of School, learn songs and poems for performances, and enjoy other special activities. kindergarten students report that the best things about kindergarten are “The 100th day of School,” “The popsicle party,” “That kindergarten makes us smart,” and “The funnest thing is math!”

kindergarten is a wonderful time of growing and learning and is often a child’s first exposure to a school setting. Children come to kindergarten with a wide range of academic and social skills and gain a tremendous amount of knowledge over the course of the year.

kindergarten teachers Mrs. Webb, Mrs. Goldthwaite, Mrs. Marcoux, Mrs. Maillet, Ms. Berube, and Mrs. Willhite were asked what parents could do to support their child’s preparation for kindergarten. Their responses included academic skills such as practicing letter naming, rhyming, recognizing and writing their first name, recognizing numbers 0 - 5. Other positive supports for children include reading to them, limiting screen time and video games, playing board games, and talking to your child to enrich their vocabulary. The teachers would also like parents to know that in kindergarten they can expect teacher and parent communication, a nurturing and safe environment for their child where mistakes can happen, learning takes place, and where students will feel like they are a part of our school community

If you would like more information about kindergarten or if you are ready to register your kindergarten-age child, please contact ACES at 1064 Pleasant Street, Athol, 978-249-2406, or RCS at 96 Winchendon Road, Royalston, 978-249-2900.

Amy Langdon is the Early Childhood director for the Athol-Royalston Regional School District.

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