Kindergarten registration open, kickstart and stagger start programs available for early learning

File photo: Students eat their breakfast in the cafeteria on the first day of school at Shady Hill Elementary in Ocala, Fla. on Wednesday, August 10, 2022. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2022.

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Posted April 19, 2024 | By Caroline Brauchler

Registration is now open for kindergarten students for the 2024-25 school year at every elementary school in Marion County Public Schools.

To be eligible to register for kindergarten, students must be five years old on or before Sept. 1 of 2024. Parents must provide proof of age, proof of residency and immunization records to complete all necessary paperwork for school registration.

The first day of school will be Aug. 12, with the exception of Wyomina Park which will begin on July 22 for the school’s new year-wide calendar.

Over the past three school years, kindergarten enrollment has averaged at 3,232 students across all Marion County schools, according to enrollment data provided by MCPS spokesperson Kevin Christian.

Students who are registered for kindergarten by June 14 will also be eligible to participate in the Kindergarten Kickstart program. First held at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, the program will bring students into the classroom before the school year begins to get acquainted with their teachers, schools and classmates.

This past school year, 264 students participated in the kickstart program.

Students will also get to benefit from the stagger start program, which for the first few days of school from Aug. 12 to 14 will stagger the students’ entry into the classroom, by splitting up the class into thirds for smaller groups and personalized time with teachers.

Last school year, a large percentage of kindergarten students participated in the stagger start program, Christian said.

“On day one, we had 2,393 kindergarten students. On day three we had 2,804. For comparison purposes, by day 20, we had 3,090 kindergarten students district-wide,” Christian said.

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