The Columbus City Schools district is encouraging parents of children entering kindergarten for the 2012-2013 school year to register early in April or May to take full advantage of opportunities to help ensure their child is ready to learn.

The Columbus City Schools district is encouraging parents of children entering kindergarten for the 2012-2013 school year to register early in April or May to take full advantage of opportunities to help ensure their child is ready to learn.

Completion of an accredited kindergarten program is required in Ohio to begin first grade.

Columbus schools offer full-day kindergarten at all elementary schools. To attend kindergarten this coming school year, a child must be at least 5 years old on Sept. 30, 2012.

"It is important that every student be at his or her full potential to learn on the first day of kindergarten," said Gene Harris, Columbus City Schools superintendent.

"By registering before the end of this school year, families can visit the school and familiarize themselves with the building, programs and faculty ensuring a smooth transition for their child," Harris said.

The distrct offers healthy breakfast and lunch programs, safe and secure buildings equipped with 21st-century technology, and award-winning arts, music and sports programs, district officials said.

To register a student for kindergarten, parents should go to the elementary school assigned to the child's home address for the 2012-2013 school year from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Students are assigned to a school based on their home addresses.

Parents can determine assigned schools on the web site columbus.k12.oh.us, by clicking on the "Come See US" square, then selecting the "Student Assignment Directory.

They can also call the FACTLine at 614-221-3228 for assistance.

Registration also can be completed at designated central registration sites during the summer.

To register, parents or guardians should bring with them:

• The child's birth certificate.

• A passport, if applicable.

• An I-94 Form that denotes the arrival-departure record of particular foreigners used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services use Form I-94 also.

Form I-94 must be completed at the time of entry to the United States by foreign citizens that are being admitted into the United States in a non-immigrant visa status, if applicable.

• Residence or "green" card, if applicable.

• Proof of residency. Bring one of the following: recent utility bill in parent's name, current lease with parent's name and name/telephone number of landlord, verification of address from Department of Human Services, statement from landlord (on letter head), indicating knowledge of parent living with person on lease

• Immunization record, which includes Diphtheria/Tetatus/Pertussis (DPT); Polio (IPV); Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR); Hepatitis B (HBV); and Chicken Pox (Varicella/VAR).

Immunizations can be obtained through the child's health care provider or the Columbus Health Department.

Additional information about immunization requirements can be found on the website www.odh.ohio.gov.

A tuberculosis test (TB) is required of students who were born outside of the United States or who have visited another country for more than three months.

Foreign-born students or U.S. students born of foreign parents must call the ESL Department at 614-365-5281 for an appointment. The enrollment process begins at The Columbus Global Academy, 2001 Hamilton Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43211.

To assure that all potential LEP students are identified and offered ESL services, Columbus City Schools requires a student who meets any one item in a set criteria referred used by the ESL Assessment Center for an English language evaluation to determine whether or not ESL services are needed.

Those items include:

• Born outside of the United States.

• One or more parents born outside of the United States.

• Lives in a home where English is not the primary language spoken.

Children of American-born parents stationed overseas in the military do not need to be enrolled through the ESL assessment center unless they have been schooled in a language other than English.

For more information, call the Columbus City Schools Office of Early Childhood Education at 614-365-5822; or 614-365-5134.