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Kindergarten registration begins for Marysville schools
MARYSVILLE — The Totem Middle School cafeteria was packed with families as the Marysville School District kicked off its kindergarten registration for the coming school year with its annual information fair on Saturday, Jan. 25.
Dr. Kyle Kinoshita and Cinco Delgado, both of whom serve as executive directors of teaching and learning for the school district, reported an abundance of attendees who were able to meet with staff members from their children’s schools and to register their children for the 2014-15 kindergarten class.
“There were a considerable number of families whose first language was other than English,” Kinoshita said. “District bilingual staff, as well as bilingual Marysville high school students, guided those parents through the entire registration process.”
Kinoshita added that cheerleaders from the Marysville-Pilchuck and Marysville Getchell high school campuses were on hand to greet parents and to pass out informational materials.
Marysville dad Quang Phung was among the parents at the info fair who were old hands at this process. Although his daughter Megan will be starting kindergarten this fall, he’s already shepherded her two older siblings through the process.
“They both went to Allen Creek Elementary,” Phung said. “One is at Cedarcrest Middle School now, while the other is at Marysville Getchell.”
While this was not his first info fair and kindergarten registration at Marysville, Phung noted that this year’s event met his needs better than previous years had done.
“They hand you the packages you need right at the doors,” Phung said, gesturing to the cheerleaders flanking the cafeteria’s entrance. “They’re much more aggressive in directing you where you need to go, and I like this year’s layout a lot better. It flows more organically.”
Although Niki Booth will be a first-time kindergarten mom to her son Aden this year, she remembers her own years as a student in the Marysville schools.
“Everyone’s just been very helpful as I’ve walked around and asked questions,” Booth said. “The Shoultes Elementary booth in particular did a great job of disseminating information.”
While Booth and Phung filled out paperwork, first-time kindergarten moms such as Becky Larson and Rachel Rui gave some of the features of their kids’ upcoming classes a test-drive.
Becky Larson read from a selection of oversized picture-books with her son Graham, who will be treated to that experience with his kindergarten teacher later this year.
“It’s great that they have the teachers and activities here so that we can both see what it’ll be like for him,” Larson said. “I’ve been able to meet with math coaches, and he’s gotten excited about playing with blocks. I wouldn’t change anything about this info fair.”
Rachel Rui and her son Simon tried their hands at those building blocks with one of the math coaches, Sarah Poyner-Wallis.
“I’ve been able to pick the faculty’s brains,” Rui said. “They’ve given me advice on the sorts of skills he needs to be building over the summer, even down to how to develop his hand-eye techniques through practical applications like Play-Doh.”
“What we emphasize is learning through interacting with everyday things,” Poyner-Wallis said. “This can range from identifying shapes of objects to counting steps and even telling which things are heavier or lighter.”
Jodi Runyon, executive assistant to the superintendent of the Marysville School District, reported that nearly 90 new kindergarten students were registered that Saturday, a number she deemed a measure of the event’s success. Kindergarten registration resumed on Monday, Jan. 27, and will continue at your neighborhood schools for the 2014-15 school year.
“What we typically see are a few students registering at each of the elementary schools between now and summer break, followed by a surge of registrations before the schools’ offices close in June, with another surge when they reopen in mid-August,” Runyon said. “If your child will be 5 years old by Aug. 31, we strongly encourage you to register them for kindergarten as soon as possible. Early registration helps schools balance their numbers and do all-day kindergarten placements, when applicable, in addition to providing enrollment information so that the schools and the district can communicate early with our new families.”
Resources for school attendance areas, transportation and registration are posted on the district’s website at www.msvl.k12.wa.us, under the “Parent” tab. Some schools will again offer all-day kindergarten programs — either by tuition or state-funded — and for more information on those, you can click on the “Enrollment/Registration” tab, under “Quick Links” on the district website.
“It was fun and exciting to see all the new faces this year,” Delgado said. “We’re excited to have them become a part of our school community.”