Recently, I came across a 60-year-old kindergarten report card from the 1955-1956 school year. It was riddled with indicators that have come and gone, such as grading students for "keeping things out of their mouths" and "for the proper use of a handkerchief."

Recently, I came across a 60-year-old kindergarten report card from the 1955-1956 school year. It was riddled with indicators that have come and gone, such as grading students for "keeping things out of their mouths" and "for the proper use of a handkerchief."

While many things have changed, it is full of many familiar expectations that exist in our schools today, such as "learning to finish work in a timely manner" or "enjoying stories, books and poetry."

This fall, the South-Western City School District is proud to offer its second year of all-day, every-day kindergarten to our students and our families.

This opportunity for our youngest learners to attend a full day of school allows us to create classrooms that build on the rich traditions of days gone by and create robust learning environments that will help our students leave our schools ready for the careers and colleges of tomorrow.

While students continue to spend their days in school enjoying stories, books and poetry, they are now leaving kindergarten reading print and beginning to write stories on their own.

This past June, our first class of all-day kindergartners left their classrooms for summer break reading and writing at more sophisticated and advanced levels than ever before.

While this growth largely could be attributed to the increase in the amount of time students are engaged in learning, we also can look to the new kindergarten classrooms in which our community has invested. These classrooms provide the latest technology tools to help us to prepare students for the workforce and world in the 21st century.

With the opening of the schools in the final phase of our construction project this fall, all of our elementary students will have access to digital tools to help them read and communicate in new ways and discuss their work with others outside of the school walls.

As we get ready to open our doors to the South-Western City School District's graduating class of 2029, it's exciting to think about the opportunities that lie ahead for them in a world we do not yet know. While these students will graduate 73 years after that report card from 1955-56 was published, we welcome them in the same way families were greeted in 1955: "Many hours are devoted to know your child better during the time s/he spends in our schools and we want you to know that no opportunity is ever lost in the development of your child."

Welcome to the 2016-17 school year and all that is possible for our students!

Brian R. Bowser is executive director of elementary education for the South-Western City School District.