Kindergarten is an exciting time for kids and parents alike — but it can also be a stressful time.
Is your child actually ready, are you actually ready and what do you need to do to get them enrolled in your district, or the district of your choice, for the upcoming school year?
It’s a lot to manage, so we spoke with Roberta Farina, the Supervisor of Pupil Accounting and the Lead Pupil Membership Auditor with the Macomb County Intermediate School District (MISD), to find out what parents need to do in order to enroll their Macomb County student for the 2021-22 school year.
Is my child ready for kindergarten?
Officially, kids have to be at least 5 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2021, to enter kindergarten, but that’s not the only requirement.
Many districts in Macomb County and beyond also require kids have certain skills before they can begin. These skills include the ability to talk in sentences, knowing some letters and numbers, recognizing their name, the ability to use crayons or pencils and how to play well with others.
You can find a full list of what’s needed to start kindergarten in the MISD’s kindergarten skills checklist.
Most kindergartens will evaluate students before admitting them. Parents of children who have the required skills but are under the age 5 by Sept. 1 but who will be 5 by Dec. 1, 2021, may also opt their child in early by reaching out to the school of their choice, according to Farina.
How do I enroll my child?
If your child meets the requirements, the next step is starting the enrollment process. Since Michigan offers School of Choice, you may choose to send your child to a school in the district that you live in or you can opt for one in another community. Either way, the best first step is checking the MISD website.
“One of the best resources of info is to go onto the district website and the easiest way to get that is through the MISD website,” Farina says. “Every school in Macomb County is listed there, so that’s the first place I would start to find information on their local district, contact information and enrollment requirements.”
The actual enrollment process typically varies from district to district, but many offer online enrollment and most will require a copy of the student’s birth certificate and immunization record.
In addition, by law, parents will need to make a physical appearance at the school with proof of their identification — no matter if they are attending in person or online.
The enrollment timeline
Like the enrollment process, each school’s enrollment timeline varies, but it is important that you start sooner than later, even if you aren’t sure that you want to send your child to kindergarten this year.
“Don’t wait to get the ball rolling if you haven’t and even if you’re not sure, you can always change your mind,” Farina explains. “School enrollment can be overwhelming, so getting things in place in a timely fashion helps everyone. It helps the students and parents with the transition and it helps the district ensure that the classrooms are ready.”
You can find more information on kindergarten enrollment in Macomb County, including accommodations for non-English speaking residents and kids with disabilities, through the Macomb County Intermediate School District’s website.