With kindergarten registration scheduled for April 14 at Dearing Elementary School and April 15 at Maxwell and Thomson Elementary Schools, McDuffie County educators are busy preparing for the new students.
McDuffie County assistant principals are going the extra mile -- literally -- to evaluate children who will enter kindergarten next fall.
With parental permission, they are going out into the community to visit the children, giving assessment tests in preparation for the start of school, said Kathryn Collins, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
The assessments are helpful to teachers who can prepare for incoming students and be ready to address their needs.
"This is an opportunity for us to service a lot of children," Dr. Collins said.
The educators will be visiting future kindergartners in a variety of programs, such as the Pre-K program offered through private vendors and day cares, but parents must still register for next year.
"It's important that parents register children so school officials will know how many students to expect," said Beth Newton, assistant principal at Thomson Elementary School.
Most assessments will be completed by the time parents register, but a few may occur the day of registration. Information from the assessments will help teachers plan lessons and understand the strengths and the areas of need for each child.
"This ensures that our kids are successful," Dr. Collins said.
"The more information we have, the better," Mrs. Newton added.
Once registered, parents can help prepare the incoming kindergartner for the start of school.
One of the most important skills parents can help with is reading.
"Read to your child every day, and expose them to books," Mrs. Newton said. Develop the awareness skills that letters make words and words make sentences.
"Follow along with them in the book when you read," Mrs. Newton suggested.
It is helpful if the children know their first and last name, and help them learn to write their name. Knowing colors, counting and shapes is also helpful.