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Oregon Family Magazine

Kindergarten, Here We Come!

01/31/2016 19:40 ● By Sandy Kauten
Getting ready for kindergarten is a fun and exciting time for families. It can also be a little daunting! Here are some tips and information to help you and your child be confident about starting kindergarten well-prepared.

Full-day kindergarten

In Eugene School District 4J and Springfield Public Schools kindergarten is now the full school day.

Full-day kindergarten gives students a stronger foundation for first grade and for success throughout their education. Children have more learning time to develop early reading, math and social skills, as well as time for developmental play and fun. Teachers have more time to get to know each student and his or her learning needs.

When to enroll

Children who will turn 5 on or before September 1 may enroll in kindergarten. Please register as early as possible, so your school can plan ahead and you can receive important information from your school.

Many Eugene and Springfield schools hold welcome events in the spring to give you a chance to get to know your school. You can also enroll at this time.

Where to enroll

To find your neighborhood school, visit or While most families choose to attend their neighborhood school, you may apply to attend a different school or even a different school district. Find out more at or

How to enroll

When you’re ready to enroll your child, ask your school when to stop by.

Bring proof of age (birth certificate or other accepted document), proof of identity (Oregon driver’s license or other accepted document), proof of address and your child’s immunization records. Learn more at or

Be sure to tell your school who to contact in an emergency and who can pick up your child from school or the bus stop.

Connect with your school

You can attend your school’s welcome events even if you’re not finished with your enrollment forms. These events offer a great opportunity to meet school staff, take care of paperwork and get your questions answered. You can find out about school meals, transportation and child care, and address any concerns about special needs or health issues.

Little steps every day

You are your child’s first teacher. There’s a lot you can do to help your student be ready to learn. Steps toward school success start well before the first day of kindergarten.

You can help your child build academic skills for kindergarten by reading to your child as much as possible; practicing letters and writing, numbers and counting, colors and shapes; and practicing using pencils, crayons, scissors, glue and other items your child will find at school.

You can teach your child social skills such as following simple directions, using common courtesies, having a positive “I can do it!” attitude, knowing basic independence skills like buttoning and zipping clothing, and getting used to being away from you for a period of time. These skills will help your child make a smooth transition to kindergarten.

You can also begin talking to your child about school and building positive expectations. Reading books about characters going to school is one great way to help children see what school will be like. Visiting the playground together when the school is closed is another good introduction.

More ways to prepare

Looking for more information and tips? The Eugene and Springfield school districts have developed guidebooks to help families prepare for kindergarten. The booklets can be picked up at any elementary school or found online at and

This is a wonderful and special time in your child’s life. Enjoy every moment.

Opt in to get tips by text

Ready4K! is a free text message service for preschool parents, designed by Stanford University to help children do better in school.

To sign up, text READY4K to 313131. You’ll receive messages each week suggesting everyday activities to prepare your child for kindergarten.