RFSD kindergarten provides challenge in a creative environment
In Mary Benson’s kindergarten classroom, students carefully learn the basics of letters, words, reading, writing, adding and subtracting that will form a solid basis for their educational careers. The students still have plenty of time, however, for carefree learning through songs, movement, creative projects and imaginative lessons.In Karen Passchier’s kindergarten classroom, students might learn math basics through music or learn reading and writing skills through thematic lessons with familiar topics such as family, friends, weather, seasons, holidays, markets or things on wheels.When the students aren’t engaged in learning in their classrooms, they spend three or more sessions each week in “specials” – including art, music, physical education, library and technology.
Kindergarten students also go on exploratory field trips, participate in grade-level musicals, publish their own books or learn through interaction with community organizations and volunteers. Some schools offer kindergarten students Spanish as a second language or dual-language learning options.
Now in her 10th year teaching kindergarten, the always-cheerful Benson is just one of the many diverse and experienced teachers and aides who collaboratively guide the learning of approximately 400 “kinders” across the Roaring Fork School District. The staff wants to make sure incoming families have the information necessary to feel comfortable and prepared for kindergarten. Families are invited to upcoming kindergarten information meetings and registration events, with free child care provided during the parent meetings.Glenwood Springs Elementary School will host a kindergarten parent information night at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, at GSES, 915 School St. Sopris Elementary School kindergarten parent information night will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, at SES, 1150 Mount Sopris Drive in south Glenwood Springs.The kindergarten roundup day for actual registration in Glenwood Springs will take place Friday, April 13. Roundup times are 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at GSES and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at SES.
Midvalley, Crystal River Elementary School will host a kindergarten information night at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at CRES, 160 Snowmass Drive in Carbondale. CRES kindergarten registration will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 17.Basalt Elementary School offers kindergarten program tours at 8:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. Thursday, March 22, or other times by appointment. Registration at BES will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 13.Carbondale Community School serves students from the entire district, and the staff welcomes visits by appointment. The deadline for new student applications for the recently updated CCS lottery is Friday, April 20.Colorado has an open enrollment policy that allows students to attend any school that is not closed due to capacity reasons. However, local schools do not provide bus transportation if students live outside of a school’s boundary.
The state provides per-pupil funding for students to attend kindergarten the equivalent of five half days per week. The RFSD offers kindergarten half- or full-day schedules based on family requests, school surveys and classroom availability. Fees for full-time kindergarten are based on family income levels and possible grant funding to the district. The full-day option is offered on a first-come basis on registration day with a $75 nonrefundable deposit.For questions, please call your local RFSD elementary principal.Suzie Romig is RFSD public information officer.
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