If you have an up and coming kindergartener in the fall, hopefully you’ve been busy scoping out your school options and visiting open houses. Check out my earlier post for a listing of open houses. I found this can be an extremely overwhelming process and even just writing this post is causing some anxiety!! Maybe it’s not so much the process itself but the fact that my baby will be starting kindergarten next fall! As I attended some of these open houses, I found myself with an array of emotions … mostly those of nostalgia of my own days in elementary school, but also excitement for the learning and adventures to come.
So now that you’ve hit all the open houses and toured various schools, what’s next? I was pleasantly surprised to find that CMS had updated their site with a TON of new information since I went out there in September. I’m going to try and summarize the key points here. The most valuable link I found is the Parent Toolkit. This contains information on:
— What’s pre-K and is it right for my child?
— What’s kindergarten and does my child need it?
— How do I prepare my child to succeed in kindergarten?
— How do I know what school my child will attend?
— What immunizations does my child need?
— How do I find our bus stop?
— Can I visit my child’s school before the school year starts?
— My child’s kindergarten doesn’t start Aug. 25 – will the bus driver know to pick my child up when school does start?
— What are the deadlines for registration and transfers?
— How is CMS organized?
— Our Lingo
— The 2008-2009 school calendar
— Forms for free or reduced-price lunch program
— Kindergarten handbook
— Bell schedules
— Lunch menus
All incoming students need to enroll with CMS – click here for the enrollment process and form. CMS enrollment began on October 6. New students must enroll by December 23, 2008 to be eligible for the First Magnet Lottery that runs January 9 – February 9, 2009. Students who enroll after January 5, 2009 will be eligible for the Second Magnet Lottery that runs March 16 – May 22, 2009. Families that enroll after May 15, 2009 can submit a paper application for magnet programs at the Family Application Center at the time of enrollment.
There will be a Magnet Fair on January 10, 2009 at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology.
Some things that are new for the 2009-2010 school year include:
Age requirements for incoming Kindergarten & Pre-Kindergarten Students
In compliance with North Carolina law, starting in the 2009-2010 school year students must be 5 years of age on or before August 31st to be considered for Kindergarten. Students applying for the Montessori schools Pre-K program must be 4 years of age on or before August 31st in order to be considered.
Procedures for Proof of Residency
Before any student is assigned to attend Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), the student’s parent or legal guardian must provide proof of legal residence in Mecklenburg County.
Effective October 6, 2008, all applicants must submit three proofs of residency.
Safe Schools Enrollment Declaration
North Carolina General Statute 115C-366 (a4) requires that all students who transfer into Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools provide a statement as to whether the student is, at the time of application for enrollment, under suspension or expulsion from attendance at a private or public school in this or any other state or has been convicted of a felony in this or any other state. This does not apply to a student who has never been enrolled in or attended a private or public school in this or any other state.
And finally some smarty tips from parents who have been through the process before:
— things change every year, so even if you have an older sibling already attending CMS, re-familiarize yourself with the process because chances are it’s different!
— be sure to read all the paperwork that CMS sends your way and fill it out
— go to any parent meetings you can
— keep an eye on the boundary lines to make sure your school isn’t changing
— call the school you plan to go to and see if there is a parent volunteer on the newcomer committee. I did this for our home school and she was super helpful in answering a lot of my questions!
Let us know if you have any other Smarty tips and good luck to everyone!
P.S. Don’t forget to register for our fabulous giveaways this week:
-Register to win a Heather Moore disc from Nesting that includes one small sterling silver disc rimmed with 14 karat gold, retail value $325 (chain not included). The engraving can be 3-5 characters on the front only (think first initial or monogram). You must visit Nesting to pick up your prize and you can add to it or customize it at that time. Click here to enter the giveaway. This giveaway ends on Monday, 11/24.
-Also, register for the Asana Activewear giveaway at CSP’s Asana Giveaway. The winner will receive one outfit, top and bottom of your choice from all 35 of their favorite brands! This giveaway ends on Sunday, 11/23.