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Pre-K registration ends Friday at local schools

Parents have two more days to enter their kids in the lottery.

The registration period for the public school lottery-funded pre-K programs at Dearing, Thomson and Maxwell Elementary Schools ends Friday.

According to a press release from the board of education, drawings will be held at each school to determine enrollment. Only children with complete registration packets will be allowed to participate in the drawings.

The drawing for Dearing Elementary will be at 9 a.m., Tuesday, April 11; Maxwell Elementary will be at 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 12; and the Thomson Elementary drawing will be at 2 p.m., Thursday, April 13.

During normal school hours, parents should go to the school assigned to their zone to drop off a complete registration packet which includes the child's social security number; proof of residency, which includes a lease/rental agreement or property tax statement, as well as a utility bill (no cable or phone bills will be accepted); birth certificate and Georgia certificate of immunization.

Packets not received before the March 31 deadline will not be included in the drawings.

Kindergarten registration began March 13 with a Kindergarten Round-Up at each of the elementary schools. The new event was intended to alleviate last-minute changes during the first week of school.

Officials won't know until the first day of school if the round-up was a success. Dr. Barry O'Neill, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said Maxwell Elementary had "a few more" kindergartners register during the round-up than last year, Dearing Elementary had about "the same," and Thomson had "a few less."

"We're doing a little bit better over all as far as registration, but the problem was it wasn't good enough last year, so we just don't know," Dr. O'Neill said.

In 2005, kindergarten enrollment overflowed with 45 more students than expected the first day of school, requiring additional classrooms.

"Last year, we were really surprised, because people didn't bring their kindergartners in until the first day of school. We had to scramble in hiring and buying furniture. It was very less than ideal, because it's hard to tell how many kindergarten students out there," Dr. O'Neill said.

School administrators are encouraging parents to register their kindergartners as soon as possible so they will be prepared when school starts. The information listed above for pre-K registration is also required for kindergarten registration.

For more information, call Thomson Elementary at 706-986-4700, Maxwell Elementary at 706-986-4800, Dearing Elementary at 706-986-4900 or the Board of Education at 706-986-4000.

Web posted on Thursday, March 30, 2006

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