Schools say kindergarten plans still undecided

By David J. Coehrs - [email protected]

It’s still up in the air what form area kindergarten classes will take next school year, and three Fulton County school superintendents say they can’t hazard a guess.

Wauseon Primary School has taken registration online with the “New Kindergarten Registration Link” on the school’s web page. Parents must have these documents for their children ready to upload: birth certificate, proof of residency, i.e. a current utility bill or lease agreement; immunization records; and custody papers, if applicable.

Following registration, families will receive a link via the email provided during registration, which leads parents to a website offering information and forms that require completion. Parents can provide medical forms at the start of the school year.

Parents with questions can contact the primary school office at 335-4000 or at [email protected] from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Troy Armstrong, Wauseon schools superintendent, said ever-changing rules enforced during the pandemic keep the details of the 2020-21 school year hypothetical. He said should the school district retain online schooling there will be kindergarten component included.

“It is actually too early to do much more speculation,” Armstrong said.

The school has been notified by 108 parents of kindergarten students scheduled to attend next school year, with registration for 75 completed. Armstrong said no parents have expressed concern over their children attending, and at this time he is comfortable with the prospect of actual classes.

“As always, the district will develop a plan with a focus on the health and safety of all students and staff,” he said.

Armstrong emphasized that no final decisions have been made regarding next school year’s kindergarten classes. He said the school district will formulate multiple plans to prepare for various options.

Swanton Local Schools have postponed kindergarten screening. Only 65 students have signed up so far.

Superintendent Chris Lake said he’d like to see traditional kindergarten classes held next school year but “there are too many unknowns to make any concrete decisions.” He said the district remains in the planning stages of how the 2020-21 school year will transpire.

“If we are forced to go online again next year we will continue to be creative in trying to provide an education to all students K-12,” Lake said.

Should a traditional school year be approved, parents uncomfortable with sending their children to a classroom will have the option of an online curriculum through the NOVA program. Students would be provided grade-level appropriate learning and a teacher to monitor their progress.

Parents register their children in Final Forms, then scan necessary documentation to [email protected], after which the children are enrolled.

”I sincerely hope that we can bring kids back into our buildings where they belong,” Lake said. “Obviously, to do so we will have to make sure it is done in a safe manner and in conjunction with health department guidelines.”

Although about 33 children are already registered, Pettisville Local Schools will push kindergarten registration back to fall, Superintendent Steve Switzer said. He said there are currently too many variables to determine what form the next school year will take.

And though no parents have shared concern over sending their children to kindergarten, Switzer hasn’t formed an opinion about the safety factor. He said a lot of decisions must be made regarding the regulatory/state level and the local level.

“With what do we feel comfortable doing? A lot remains to be determined before I could comment on any comfort level regarding school in the fall,” he said.

By David J. Coehrs

[email protected]

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.