by Gail Z.
My oldest son recently turned five years old, which means that we’ll be parents of a kindergarten student next school year. While some parents living in Prince George’s County choose private school for their children, my husband and I have decided that our kids will at least start out in public school. Despite the overall negative reviews Prince George’s County Public Schools tend to receive, we’ve heard good things about our area school. We’re thankful for that because we think it’s a good idea to at least give PGCPS a try.
After all, I taught in those schools as an elementary school teacher for three years and saw many students excel — from students who simply completed their assignments on time and received good grades, to those who were admitted into the Talented and Gifted (TAG) program, to those who went on to magnet programs in middle school. PGCPS does have opportunities for those who work hard and take advantage of them.
As we count down the months until August 2016, my husband and I are in prep mode. We are constantly gathering information–whether from the PGCPS website or friends–so that we are armed with all the information we need to ensure that our son has a strong start in school.
Our first step has been to talk to our son’s preschool teacher and find out what the transition has been like for kids who’ve gone to kindergarten from her program. It’s been helpful to hear the stories of her former students, especially our son’s classmates who most recently moved on to elementary school. They’ve done extremely well thus far, and are being given work that challenges them. But those kids are enrolled at the school on the opposite side of our neighborhood. I’ve wondered if there’s a chance we could potentially enroll our son there.
With that in mind, my next step was to call the Early Education Office about the do’s and don’ts of kindergarten registration. I must say, I didn’t feel completely satisfied following my conversation, because I was convinced that if there was room, we could register our child just about anywhere (and was told by a friend that this was possible because she had done it!). But on that call, I was told just the opposite. They were very nice about answering my questions, but I plan to do more digging into the school system’s policies.
More to come as we continue on this journey…
Read Part 2 of the series here.