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Schools Gear Up For Kindergarten Registration

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By Brittany Cooper

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Schools across the Magic Valley are gearing up for kindergarten registration.

Idaho is one of only a few states that does not mandate kindergarten.
But there are a number of skill sets children need to know before they enter first grade.

Tiffany Gonterman is the parent of two students at Lincoln Elementary School. Her daughter entered school as a bright student and solid reader.

But as Gonterman says, "she wouldn't involve herself in anything and kindergarten has brought her personality out so much. She now reads way above her grade level thanks to kindergarten."

Gonterman didn't know that kindergarten isn't required in the Gem State.

"I was so shocked. I couldn't imagine a child jumping straight into the first grade, explains Gonterman.

Twin Falls School District Superintendent Wiley Dobbs says, "I think at one point early on it was a funding issue, but the state does fund it. I'm not sure if that's something the legislature needs to catch up on her or what."

Statistics reveal children involved in pre–school and kindergarten fare better than those who aren't.

Ali Seamons, a kindergarten teacher at Lincoln Elementary says, "we expect our children to be reading going into first grade. So if they're coming out of pre–school, only a few are reading. They do not have the skills they need going straight into first grade."

That being said, Seamons has two goals in mind.

"My first goal would be to get kindergarten mandated. We need to get these kids in here, we need to get them going as soon as we can, get them used to the school setting and my second would be to move to a full–day because a lot of states are moving towards that and find it to be really successful," Seamons suggests.

For the Twin Falls School District, Kindergarten registration will be held from May 6th through the 10th. Parents must bring the official birth certificate, the child's shot record and power bill or other type of identification showing a residence.

Each school will hold an open house during registration week. Most schools will ask parents whether they prefer morning or afternoon kindergarten. Students must be five years old on or before September 1.


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