By Johnny Jackson
New Hope Elementary School has seen several budding kindergartners this week.
Eager children, according to school officials, have been undergoing screenings at New Hope, and at other sites throughout Henry County, as part of the Henry County school system's "Kindergarten Round-Up" effort. It is an effort to have students register early for kindergarten. Today is the final day for early kindergarten registration in Henry.
Early registration provides a guide to what prospective students know, and what they have to learn, said Deidra Gregg, the kindergarten chairperson at Dutchtown Elementary.
Registration includes screenings which test basic knowledge of the alphabet, sounds, numbers up to 10, along with colors, shapes, and other basic skills. Gregg said parents can use the results of the screenings to help pupils progress, academically, over the summer months.
Discovery Point Child Development Center's Pre-K and Georgia Pre-K students already are prepared to enter the public school system, according to the center's co-owner, Shirley Young.
"We've collected all of the necessary paperwork over the years, so that they can be ready to go to school," added Young. She said students at the center also prepare, socially, to handle the larger, public school environment.
"That's the whole purpose of Georgia Lottery Pre-K, and our private pre-k," Young said. "The pre-k program is run exactly like public school. And parents are made aware of it by our pre-k teachers. They participate a lot with the classroom, and they talk to the teachers on a regular basis. So, it's just a natural progression when they go to public school."
Henry's regular kindergarten registration is open to youngsters who are, or will be, 5 years old by Sept. 1.
School officials advise that, when registering after today, parents should contact the elementary school in their attendance zone to have their child screened for kindergarten.
To register, parents must provide proof of Henry County residency, birth certificates, immunization records, a Social Security number, and the school system's eye, ear, and dental form. For more information, visit the school system's web site at www.henry.k12.ga.us.