Registration begins Monday in the Chandler Unified School District for wannabe kindergartners who miss the birthday cut-off by a couple of months.
The district’s Kindersteps program is for children who turn 5 after Sept. 1 and before Dec. 31. It will be offered at Bologna, Erie, and Goodman elementaries as well as Pathways Learning Center.
The program started about five years ago. If follows the kindergarten curriculum and is considered a kindergarten program, so it is paid for with public funds and free to parents. Class time is 2 3 /4 hours, the same as a kindergarten class, students get report cards and there are parent/ teacher
If students do well in the program, they are advanced to first grade.
"It isn’t as if they failed, which is important for their self-esteem," said Carol Carlson, who helped start the program.
Alise Puckett, a teacher at Pathways, said even if students don’t move on to first grade, they learn to be social.
"Some of the students have no previous school experience such as day care or preschool," Puckett said. "This gives them a leg up in their class the next year."
She said about 75 percent to 80 percent of the students move on to first grade.
Each school has a different way they are conducting registration, so parents should call to find out what they need to do at their school of choice.
Children do not have to test into the class.
"It is up to the parents to decide if their child is ready," Carlson said.
Registration begins Monday at:
Bologna Elementary, 1625 E. Frye Road, (480) 883-4000
Erie Elementary, 1150 W. Erie St., (480) 812-6300
Goodman Elementary, 2600 W. Knox Road, (480) 812-6900
Pathways Learning Center, 191 W. Oakland St., (480) 812-7971