Tips to Get Ready for Kindergarten
Do you have a child entering kindergarten in Fall 2020? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the process, or aren’t even sure how to begin to register your student for school? Take a deep breath and keep reading!
We’ve assembled the following tips, hints, and timeline to help alleviate some of the mystery surrounding kindergarten registration to make sure you and your child are kindergarten ready come August!
Not sure what school your child will attend? Use this map to search by your address and look for your "Approved Elementary School District."
Please note that the Town of Lexington's Kindergarten Information Night has been canceled for now.
- The first step in registering your child for kindergarten is to visit the Registration Gateway on the Lexington Public Schools website. It may also be helpful to review the Student Registration Requirements checklist.
- After completing the online registration gateway, you will be prompted to schedule an in-person appointment at Central Registration. Your child does not need to attend this appointment.
- At Central Registration, you will need to bring in all of the documents and questionnaires listed here. It may be helpful to review the list of required documents prior to scheduling your registration appointment in case you need to order copies of any of your child’s records (i.e., birth certificate or immunization records).
- Following your registration appointment, you will want to contact the administrative assistant at your child’s elementary school to obtain your child’s student ID number. You will need this ID number later in order to register for the bus, to create an account for MySchoolBucks (school lunch program), and an account for eSchool (school payment system for things like field trips).
- Register for LexFUN! Kindergarten Connection! Registration for our small group playdates opens on March 15. These small group playdates (held in May and June) are a great way for your child to meet other students who will also be starting kindergarten at their elementary school. As the situation surrounding Covid-19 continues to evolve, it may become necessary to shift these play dates later into the summer.
- If you are interested in registering your child for Lextended Day, the after school program that operates at each of the six elementary schools, registration begins at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 6, 2020. There are a number of after school programs and classes in Lexington. For the current 2019-2020 school year, the after school programs at J.W. Hayden Recreation Centre and Empow Studios offer transportation from the elementary schools to their facilities.
- If you are planning to have your child take the bus to school, bus registration will begin in early April. The fees to ride the bus increase the longer you wait to register, so remember to register early!
- Attend the LexFUN! Kindergarten Connection Forum: What Every Parent Wants to Know! A new online format is being devised due to COVID-19 social distance guidelines. During this parent-only event, you will be able to learn about the world of kindergarten by chatting with parents from your school. Parents of current kindergarten students will be available to share their experiences and answer any questions you have about life in elementary school.
- During the month of May, each of the elementary schools will host kindergarten screenings. The days and times of these screenings will be made available at the Kindergarten Information Night in March. You will need to register your child online for a screening appointment. During the screening, your child will meet 1:1 with a teacher or specialist at the elementary school, and information gathered from the screening will be used by the school to help build balanced classes for the fall. You will not receive a report from the screening, and it is not something that your child either “passes or fails”; it is a state mandated tool to assess all children for any potential special learning needs, before they enter school. [Massachusetts General Law Chapter 766 that requires public schools to make available to all eligible children with disabilities a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment appropriate to their individual needs.] While your child is in their screening, you will have the chance to ask questions, meet with the school counselor, and collect additional information about your new elementary school.
- Students with disabilities and/or specific learning needs are protected by law in public schools. All children with disabilities are protected under the civil rights law, Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 504 ensures that the child with a disability has Free Appropriate Public Education FAPE. Depending on the needs of the child, they may receive accommodations and modifications under a 504 plan, to enable equal access to the curriculum. Students who are eligible for special education services, where they are evaluated by the school district to meet the criteria, are protected under IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Find out more on the Lexington Special Education Parent Advisory Council (LexSEPAC) website.
- Classroom assignments are typically released in early to mid-August and are sent via email. Usually this email is sent to families by the school principal, and also contains other key information and documents that you will need to complete, such as drop off and pick up options. This email will only contain information about your child’s teacher for the upcoming year; it will not include a class list.
- Attend the All-School Playdate at your elementary school on Sunday, August 30! This event, coordinated by LexFUN! Kindergarten Connection, is a great way for your child to begin to make friends in their class prior to the first day of school. Using color-coded name tags, your child will be able to identify their new classmates, and you will be able to connect with other parents in our child’s class.
- The first day of school for Fall 2020 is Tuesday, September 1. Kindergarten students will attend school that week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and will have a half day each of those three days. There is no school on Friday, September 4.
- As a reminder, elementary school is starting later next year. Students will attend from 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on full days and 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on half days. There are a lot of holidays and days off in the fall, so it’s helpful to review the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar well in advance on the start of school.