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Parents can enroll students and learn about curriculum at 'Kindergarten Counts'

Parents of students who will start kindergarten in 2018 are invited to attend Kindergarten Counts later this month, where school officials will share information about the district's full-day kindergarten program, registration, curriculum and extended care.

"For many parents, this will be their first school experience," said Kerri Lee, a kindergarten teacher at River Grove Elementary School. "It eases their nerves to see the teachers and to hear about what their child will be doing at school and what will be expected of their child. We also give parents ideas on what they could be working with their child on to help them have a successful start to kindergarten."

Registration for the 2018-19 school year will begin at the event, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 at all six Lake Oswego elementary schools. Parents should bring enrollment paperwork, immunization records, a birth certificate or passport, and proof of residency in order to enroll their children.

Families not able to attend can submit their enrollment electronically on the same day.

Students must be 5 years old by Sept. 1 to enroll in kindergarten, although parents of children with a fifth birthday between Sept. 1 and Sept. 15 can request consideration for early admission.

In any case, school officials say it's important to register kindergartners by May 1, because the district will determine at that point whether more students have signed up than individual schools can accomodate. If that happens, a lottery will be held in the spring and some students — including all enrollments received after May 1 — could be assigned to other schools.

The lottery system, which was approved by the School Board last year, does take sibling priority into consideration.

"When classes are full, additional students are then placed at a nearby elementary school that has space," Lee said. "So students who do not register early may be placed at a school that is not their neighborhood school."

Lee emphasized the importance of kindergarten, calling it "the new first grade" because more may be asked of children than in years past, especially those who opt for full-day kindergarten. Kindergarten is a time of transformation, she said — for children and parents alike.

"For many kids, kindergarten is the first time when kids are asked to be responsible for themselves," Lee said. "Kindergarten is all about learning how to get along with others, how to become a successful student, how to resolve conflicts, how to follow rules and how to share space with so many other kids."

For parents of kindergarten students, Lee said, "this year can be very hard. They are letting their babies leave their careful watch. That's difficult for many families, so parents have to learn how to let their child be responsible for their actions and do things on their own."

For more information about Kindergarten Counts, go to www.losdschools.org/Page/153.

Contact Lake Oswego Review reporter Claire Holley at 503-636-1281 ext. 109 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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