Delaware parents sending their first child -- or their fifth -- to kindergarten will have all their questions about the process answered during a kindergarten kickoff event this week.
Each year, all Delaware City School District elementary schools hold their kindergarten kickoffs simultaneously for families who plan to send a child to kindergarten in the fall.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, families are invited to attend their neighborhood elementary school to hear about changes in scheduling and curriculum, tour the school, meet teachers and ask questions.
Parents will find out how registration works, what students will do all day, what is expected of students, what special activities their child will participate in (such as art and music), when and if they will eat, and more.
Next school year will mark the beginning of a blended schedule for kindergarten students. This year, district leaders are working on an alternating schedule of two full days a week for students, with every other week having three full days.
"We received feedback from our parents that they wanted their kids to get into the routine of a more-regular schedule, so we've adapted our schedule to accommodate those requests," said Jennifer Ruhe, district director of communications.
Kindergarten students will attend two full days a week, either Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday, and all students will attend a half-day on Wednesday every week.
Families also will be informed about the May screening process for students and the general expectations of children who are entering school.
For example, children will be asked to rhyme words with dog, identify letters, write their name, demonstrate they are able to share and follow directions.
New this year, families will be able to pick up a kit that includes activities for children to work on over the summer to prepare them for kindergarten.
Families can pick up kits during the screening process in order to enhance areas in which children need to improve, based on the results of the screening.
Ruhe said the district anticipates around 250 families will attend their neighborhood schools for the kickoff event.
"It's a chance for families to receive comfort and peace of mind about what to expect when they start their child's journey into public school," she said.
Ruhe said children will be anxious to find out where they can hang their coat, if they're going to have a desk and where things are in the building.
Families who are not sure which of the five elementary schools they should attend may call the district office at 740-833-1100.