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Kindergarten screenings will be held again in August

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

SIKESTON -- Most area schools held their initial kindergarten screenings in the spring, but for parents who missed out on the opportunity the first time around -- they've been given a second chance.

Beginning Aug. 1, Sikeston Public Schools Kindergarten Center will schedule appointments for the district's late kindergarten enrollment which will be held Aug. 14 with school starting Aug. 20.

"This is the last enrollment before school starts and the children have to be screened before school starts, or they won't be able to attend," said Debbie Sherard of the Sikeston Public Schools Kindergarten Center.

All children must have turned 5 years old by July 31, and they must be present for the enrollment and screening process. Parents will need to bring the child's state issued birth certificate, Social Security card, immunization records and Medicaid card (if applicable).

Children should be enrolled and screened even if the necessary documents are not available at this time, Sherard said, adding that parents are required to attend enrollment with their children.

Currently, 200-plus kindergartners are enrolled in the Sikeston Kindergarten Center for the upcoming school year, but Sherard said she knows there should be a lot more than that.

Sherard said the reason more children haven't been screened is that some families move in right before school starts.

Some decide to wait a while -- for whatever reason, while some just simply miss screening the first time around due to vacations or other obligations, she explained.

"If parents have any questions, they can feel free to call us," Sherard said. "Especially parents who've moved here from another state. Sometimes it's difficult to obtain all of your records and we can tell them how to go about getting them."

Other area schools such as Kelly and Scott County Central's late kindergarten enrollments are the same days as the rest of the district's enrollment.

Kindergarten screening just gives the school the basic information needed about the children, pointed out Lori Scheeter, Scott County Central Elementary principal.

"Screening is a state requirement and it helps teachers learn about weaknesses -- if any -- that the children may have. It also lets teachers see a child's strong areas, too," Scheeter explained.

Screening lasts between one-and-a-half to two hours, Sherard said. The actual screening consists of health, vision and speech exams as well as content based on language, math and social studies.

For example, the concept portion of the screening contain a question asking a child what items they would bring with them if they were going to the park, Scheeter said.

"However, we don't base the results of the screening on anything. It just lets us see where the children stand," Sherard explained, adding that parents shouldn't feel as though their children are being assessed.

To schedule an appointment for the Sikeston Kindergarten Center late enrollment, call 471-0653 after Friday.