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Who Knew Kindergarten Could Be So Confusing–For Parents!

Parents of kindergartners have lots of choices and that means doing some homework. Utica Community Schools will host kindergarten open houses on March 23 with valuable information.

Everyone dreams of their child growing up to be President of the United States or a neurosurgeon, astronaut or even a famous athlete.

As parents, we see our little ones crawling around on the floor and we know just by those first words and first steps that they are simply gifted and outshine all other children. Yep, we know our kid deserves the best because they are going to be something someday. And with today's choices in schools and programs, parents are even better equipped to provide those opportunities to their Einsteins.

Parents have lots of choices in this area. And with so many good choices, it can be  hard for a new parent to know if they are making the right decision. The ability to make choices, though, is key here.

Figuring out if their Einsteins need a Montessori program, a Mandarin Chinese program or your typical kindergarten class is what Utica Community School's parents will be busy doing March 23. It's hard work, but if you do your homework and research all your options the choices will be easier to make.

Do you send your four-year-old Einstein to the closest elementary school, signing him up for the typical kindergarten class without even talking to the principal or the teacher? Well, you don't. Not in today's world, not when you have so many choices and can consider so many options. Notice I said the word–can. That's the big thing here, parents. Take advantage of being able to have all these choices and take the time now to pick the right option.

Not every kid is an Einstein, either, and it's your job as parent to provide the best schooling options for your kindergartner-to-be. You know your child better than anyone. You know how well they will adjust to being at school for a half day versus a full day. You know if they are already excelling and could use extra challenges. If you're not sure if they are ready, then it's even more important to get informed of your options now and help your child to achieve.

Registering for the 2011-12 school year in Utica Community Schools (UCS) begins now. Each of the 25 elementary schools will host their own kindergarten open house on Wednesday, March 23 at 7 p.m. These are important to go to. They give you insight into the program, the teachers, the building and the staff. Here's your chance to meet the people who could be influencing and teaching your child.

UCS Kindergarten Facts

Students are eligible for kindergarten if they turn five years old on or before December 1, 2011.

All UCS elementary schools offer traditional half-day kindergarten programs that are open tuition-free to all residents within the school district.

UCS offers a limited Schools of Choice program to all Macomb County residents and homeowners in the areas of bordering counties serviced by the Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD).

Montessori preschool and kindergarten programs are available at two elementary schools.

Full-day kindergarten, KinderPlus, is offered at 13 of the 25 UCS elementary schools tuition-free. This program has an extended day, which includes additional learning activities and experiences in art, music, computers and physical education. 

A partial-immersion Mandarin language program is offered at Oakbrook Elementary. This full-day program offers grade-level instruction in all subject areas. Students are taught in English half the day and in Mandarin Chinese the other half. It is part of the district’s sequential kindergarten through grade 12, language study program conducted under the federal Critical Language Initiative in Mandarin Education grant.

Kinder Day Care is a fee-based program designed to meet the child care needs of UCS kindergarten students in an enriching and secure environment. Qualified staff provide age-appropriate activities that enhance the kindergarten experiences. The program is offered in the afternoon following the A.M. kindergarten session at schools where space is available.

Who would have ever imagined all the choices parents have today? I mean really, Mandarin at five years old? So what about outside the public schools? Here in our immediate area we have several private or religious schools to choose from. Most have already had their general school open house, but here are some more options for local residents.

l offers traditional half-day kindergarten for the morning only and currently has about 13 spots left. Their full-day program is full and has a waiting list. All classes are tuition-based for members and the community. And each student must be Gesell tested. Interested parents can contact the school office to make an appointment for a personal tour and to receive a kindergarten packet. Trinity's cutoff for the 5-year-old birthday is September 1, 2011.

offers half-day and full-day kindergarten with latchkey available before and after school. Currently they are hosting Terrific Tuesdays and Fantastic Fridays during which interested parents can visit during school hours (9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.) take a tour of the campus and meet teachers and staff. Bus service is available through UCS. All classes are tuition-based. Peace Lutheran is offering a $1000 discount for new families wanting full-day kindergarten or $500 for half-day.

l offers traditional half-day kindergarten both mornings and afternoons and offers two full-day classes, all tuition-based. For a personal tour contact the school office.

Vita March 21, 2011 at 02:08 PM
So many choices-it's crazy

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