When does kindergarten registration for the 2011-2012 school year begin?
Children who will be age 5 by August 31, 2011 are eligible to enroll in the universal, free, full-day kindergarten program available through the Somerville Public Schools. The Parent Information Center (PIC) will accept registration materials beginning on January 22nd. The deadline for the first round of kindergarten school and class assignments is April 7th.
More information is available online at www.somerville.k12.ma.us/register.
How can I get kindergarten registration materials?
If your child will be 5 by August 31, 2011 AND your child was born in Somerville, a kindergarten registration packet will be mailed to your home. All other families may call the Parent Information Center at 617-625-6600 x6962 after January 15th to have a packet mailed to them.
Packets may also be picked up in person at the PIC (42 Prescott Street) or at any community-based kindergarten registration paperwork clinic held between January 22nd and February 1st.
What are kindergarten registration clinics and when will they be held?
The surest way to ensure your kindergarten registration materials are complete is to fill them out with a member of the Parent Information Center (PIC) staff. This may be done during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM and on Fridays from 10:00 AM -4:00 PM. The PIC will host extended hours and travel to community locations to make it more convenient for families to get hands-on help with their kindergarten registration materials. The schedule of events is:
Saturday, January 22nd from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at Parent Information Center (42 Prescott Street) (snow date January 29th)
Monday, January 24th from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM at the Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen Street)
Tuesday, January 25th from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM at the Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen Street)
Wednesday, January 26th from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powder House Blvd.)
Thursday, January 27th from 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)
Tuesday, February 1st from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM at the Parent Information Center (42 Prescott Street)
What is controlled choice?
Controlled choice means parents/guardians have the option of registering their student in any school in the Somerville. When an elementary grade student is registered for school, her/his parent/guardian is able to choose three potential school placements for their young person. Every effort is made for students to be assigned in either their first, second or third choice placement based on several factors, including the current enrollment of the school, class sizes, their need for special education or English Language Education (ELE) services, and whether or not they have a sibling in the school. School assignments and registration are managed by the multilingual staff of the Parent Information Center located at 42 Prescott Street.
For information about enrolling a child with the Somerville Public Schools, please call 617-625-6600 ext 6962 or visit www.somerville.k12.ma.us/register to learn more.
How do I decide to which school to send my child?
This is a very personal decision for families because every student is unique with an individualized mix of strengths, interests and areas needing improvement. The Public Broadcasting Service offers the following list of questions for parents/guardians to ask when visiting a school, talking with other parents/guardians and evaluating written materials like this guide:
- Can you imagine your young person in the school environment? Will they fit in socially?
- Is the size of the school appropriate for your young person? Will s/he do better in a large school or smaller school? Are the library/media center and gymnasium adequate for your child’s needs?
- Does the school feel warm and inviting? Do staff and students seem to enjoy being in the building?
- Does the school have a particularly educational philosophy or approach? What is it, and do you think it will work for your young person’s learning needs?
- What are the average class sizes? Studies show students learn best in class sizes of 17 or smaller.
- What is the learning environment like? Are students working on projects, listening to a teacher lecture, reading, working with instructional technology?
- What kind of exchanges do students have with teachers, administrators and other staff?
- Is there student work displayed? What does it look like?
- How does the school address social-emotional issues, like managing peer pressure, dealing with conflict and explaining and maintaining rules?
- What are the discipline and homework policies?
Visit www.somerville.k12.ma.us/choose to get more ideas and information to help you choose the right school for your child.
How balanced is the curriculum? How much time is given for core academics and for specialist subjects like art, music, physical education and library/media studies?
In Somerville you can explore these questions by
- Talking to other parents/guardians of students in the Somerville Public Schools. More than 85% of parents/guardians of school-aged children in Somerville send their children to the Somerville Public Schools. You can meet parents/guardians through community email lists, gathering places for families (like churches, children’s stores, local parks), or community events (like the Dr. Martin Luther King Junior celebration on MLK Day in January, the city-wide Early Childhood Festival in April or the Community Clean-Up Day in early May).
- Visiting a public school. From January 19-21, 2011 schools and their Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) host open houses for potential parents/guardians to get a school tour, meet the Principal and other staff, and have questions answered. The schedule is on the district’s website, www.somerville.k12.ma.us/events. You can also call a school anytime to arrange a tour if the Open Houses are not at convenient times. Please be aware there may be some limits on school tours in the interest of not disrupting the process of learning and teaching.
- Reading the Guide to the Somerville Public Schools, available in the kindergarten registration packet or by calling 311. The district provides this Guide so families can better understand the activities, philosophies and facilities that support learning each of the Somerville Public Schools.
- Visit the school district website, www.somerville.k12.ma.us to read monthly school newsletters, watch a video introduction of the school by the Principal, and see samples of student work in classroom websites. Visit www.somerville.k12.ma.us/schools for a list of schools in Somerville. Click on any website to explore the school community more in depth. Additional information about the bilingual/bicultural Unidos program that teaches students English and Spanish can be found by on the East Somerville Community School website at www.somerville.k12.ma.us/escs or www.somerville.k12.ma.us/unidos.
- Attending a school or District event. The district’s online calendar, www.somerville.k12.ma.us/events, provides information about the public activities happening regularly in each school – whether it be an open house, a concert, family math night, or student science fair presentations. You are welcome to attend these events if you are seeking to better understand how our schools will meet the needs of your children, or you as a potential member of our team.
When will I know to which school my child has been assigned?
The first round of kindergarten assignment letters will be sent the week of April 18th. After that, school assignments will be processed weekly.
What is the ECIP?
ECIP is an integrated early childhood program housed at the Capuano Early Childhood Program (150 Glen Street) with a mix of “typically developing peers” and special education children ages three and four. Classes meet four days per week for 5.25 hours per day. There is no charge for enrollment. There is one teacher and one paraprofessional in each class for a maximum of 15 children. A lottery may be held for available slots in the ECIP each year, based on interest and registration.
ECIP information sessions for families interested in enrolling for the 2011-2012 school year will be held at the Capuano Center on February 2nd rom 9:00-10:00 AM and on February 3rd from 5:00-6:00 PM.
You can learn more about ECIP online at www.somerville.k12.ma.us/ecip.
How can I enroll my child in the ECIP for the 2011-2012 school year?
Applications for the ECIP will be accepted from February 2nd through March 11th. There is usually a high demand for the “typically developing peers” slots in the ECIP; a lottery will be held on March 16th at 9:00 AM at the Capuano Center for those available slots in the 2011-2012 school year. Application materials will be available at the Capuano Center (150 Glen Street) and the Parent Information Center (42 Prescott Street). They can also be obtained online at www.somerville.k12.ma.us/register or by calling 617-625-6600 x3600 or x6962.
When does pre-kindergarten registration begin?
The Somerville Public Schools offers free, full-day pre-kindergarten programs at the Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen Street) for a limited number of students. The program is called SMILE. Registration for pre-kindergarten begins on Mach 26th. There are Open Houses at the Capuano Center from 9:00-11:30 AM from March 22nd through March 24th.
When will I know if my child has been selected for a pre-kindergarten slot in the 2011-2012 school year?
The first deadline for pre-kindergarten registration is May 6th. Pre-kindergarten assignment letters will be mailed home the week of May 9th.
What are the other Pre-school or Pre-kindergarten options in Somerville?
Living and Thriving in Somerville is a city-wide guide to educational programs and other services for families in Somerville. It includes a chapter on pre-school, day care and pre-kindergarten programs in the City. Visit www.somerville.k12.ma.us/family_guide to browse the guide online. You can also call the Parent Information Center to ask about having a print copy sent to you (while supplies last). The Guide is printed in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Click here to view the entire school calendar.