Alright mamas, hold onto your heartstrings … especially if you have a preschooler!
To register them…
(And the sobs were heard round the bay.)
Don’t worry; Hillsborough County Public Schools makes getting ready for kindergarten easy for you and fun for them! Schools across the district will hold Kindergarten Ready Open Houses beginning at the end of February. To enroll and attend one of these Open Houses, your child must turn 5 on or before Sept. 1, 2024.
Okay, now we are ready to begin the enrollment process.
First step: Find your assigned school, or research magnet schools. You can use the district’s easy school locator tool to find your child’s attendance area school or find out more about our magnet schools at HillsboroughSchools.org/magnet.
Second step: Contact your school and ask for a good time to stop by. To register your child for kindergarten, you will need the child’s legal parent or guardian and specific documentation.
Third step: Gather and fill out all the documentation. I won’t sugarcoat it for you. It takes a lot of paperwork to register a child for kindergarten. You can view a list of documents you will need at https://www.hillsboroughschools.org/enrollment. Remember, your kindergartener’s registration is not complete until all the documentation is in. This can be a lengthy process, which is why it’s important to get started early.
Fourth step: Attend Open House! These events are so helpful for parents and students. You will learn a lot of information about the school, sometimes take a tour and become familiar with the school’s principal. You may also have specific questions you’d like answered about the school and about kindergarten. Make a list and come prepared with these questions.
Now the freak-out typically begins. Is your child ready for kindergarten?
The answer, I assure you, is most likely yes. On their website, https://www.elchc.org/families/omwtk/, the Early Learning Coalition of Tampa Bay provides great resources for children and parents on their way to kindergarten, including articles about:
- 9 practical tips to help your child transition to kindergarten.
- How to have a smooth transition to kindergarten.
- How to select Children’s books about kindergarten.
- What your child needs to know to be ready for kindergarten.
Enrolling your child in kindergarten is a big deal, and typically pretty emotional. But with these resources, your family will be way ahead of the curve. Now you just have to mentally prepare yourself for the Boo Hoo Breakfast!
Originally published in February 2024 of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine