Parents with children ready to enter kindergarten in the Pickerington Local School District can register for next school year beginning March 14.

Each year, a new crop of kindergarten students embark on their academic journeys.

In Ohio, those new students must be registered to enroll so districts have information such as proof of residency, birth certificates, immunization and custody records.

Parents and guardians of those who will enter kindergarten for the 2018-19 school year can register students beginning March 14.

"The first step in the process is to register online through Infinite Campus," said David Ball, Pickerington's public relations director.

"Once parents begin that process, an in-person appointment is arranged with our Welcome Center."

Details and a link for parents to start the process are available at pickerington.k12.oh.us/enroll/. There is no fee for registration.

Children must be at least 5 years old by Aug. 1, 2018, to be registered for kindergarten this coming fall.

In Pickerington, the district offers half-day kindergarten in both morning and afternoon sessions. Parents can request a morning or afternoon preference.

Depending on the number of preferences, a lottery might be held to determine placement.

"Attendance (to a specific school) is based on where you live," Ball said. "Students are assigned to the kindergarten at the elementary school they would go to, based on those boundaries.

"It is possible to apply for open enrollment to a building other than the one your child would normally attend, but there must be sufficient space available at the requested school," he said.

"Students who live in the assigned area get first preference over those requesting a transfer."

Ball said to balance class sizes across the district it might become necessary to register a child to attend a different elementary school than the regular attendance area.

"That is rare, but when it happens we provide transportation," he said.

After filling out the basic registration information, parents will receive an email with details about contacting the district's Welcome Center at 614-920-6180 to arrange an appointment to sign paperwork.

Another important task that can be accomplished with a call to the Welcome Center is setting an appointment for a student readiness assessment.

Those assessments will be held April 30, May 1 and May 3 at Violet Baptist Church, 8345 Blacklick-Eastern Road (state Route 204).

The screenings -- called Bracken assessments -- are performed by district educators.

According to the district, the Bracken tests assess children on skills such as identifying common colors by name, identifying upper case and lower case letters, identifying single and double-digit numbers, counting objects, demonstrating a basic knowledge of words used to depict size, identifying shapes and matching or differentiating objects based on specific characteristics.

"Readiness assessments help us determine how prepared the children are so that our teachers can best be prepared to offer them the education they need when they come to school in the fall," Ball said.

"Registration also helps us predict the number of students who will be enrolled in the fall, which helps us determine staffing, class enrollments, transportation and so forth."

For those who can't complete kindergarten registration when it opens, it can be completed throughout the year, but must be done before a student is enrolled.

Additional information about registration and assessments is available on the district's website at pickerington.k12.oh.us.

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