CCPS en­cour­ages fam­i­lies to reg­is­ter for pre-K, kinder­garten

Cecil Whig - - & - OBIT­U­ARY POL­ICY By JES­SICA IAN­NETTA

jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

— Though the cur­rent school year hasn’t ended yet, Ce­cil County Pub­lic Schools is al­ready en­cour­ag­ing pre-K and kinder­garten par­ents to start think­ing ahead.

Reg­is­tra­tion for pre-K and kinder­garten is now open and school of­fi­cials say par­ents should en­roll their kids as early as pos­si­ble.

“The ear­lier the bet­ter,” said Mandy Feeney, CCPS in­struc­tional co­or­di­na­tor for early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion. “I re­ally do en­cour­age fam­i­lies to not wait, and to get out there and get en­rolled.”

En­rolling early will have ex­tra ben­e­fits for county fam­i­lies this year be­cause of changes the school sys­tem has made to the pre-K reg­is­tra­tion process. While ev­ery stu­dent gets into kinder­garten, there are cer­tain qual­i­fi­ca­tions kids must meet to be au­to­mat­i­cally en­rolled in pre-K, Feeney said.

Spots in the half-day pre-K classes, which are of­fered at all 17 of the county’s el­e­men­tary schools, are open first to eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged and home­less stu­dents, and then to spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion stu­dents. Any child who doesn’t qual­ify un­der those two cat­e­gories is placed on a wait list and their en­roll­ment is de­layed un­til af­ter the first

CE­CIL COUNTY

two weeks of school, Feeney said.

This year, CCPS has re­designed the ap­pli­ca­tion process so when par­ents fill out the pa­per­work they’ll know right away what cat­e­gory their child is in. In the past, par­ents had to wait un­til Au­gust to get a call from CCPS telling them whether their child qual­i­fied for ei­ther of the first two cat­e­gories, Feeney said.

“They’ll know al­most im­me­di­ately what the plan is for their child in the fall,” she said. “Our process is to let you know right away so you know what you need to do for your child for the other half of their day.”

Par­ents can reg­is­ter their child for pre-K or kinder­garten by go­ing to their home el­e­men­tary school, where the school sec­re­taries will help them through the process. Kids who will be at­tend­ing the new Per­ryville El­e­men­tary School, which will re­open in Au­gust, can reg­is­ter at ei­ther Bain­bridge or Charlestown el­e­men­tary schools.

For pre-K reg­is­tra­tion, par­ents will need to bring a copy of their child’s birth cer­tifi­cate, proof of Ce­cil County res­i­dency and proof of in­come el­i­gi­bil­ity, if ap­pli­ca­ble. For kinder­garten reg­is­tra­tion, par­ents will need to bring a copy of their child’s birth cer­tifi­cate, proof of Ce­cil County res­i­dency and up-to-date im­mu­niza­tion records.

Any­one with ques­tions can con­tact the Early Child­hood Of­fice at 410-996-5424.

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