Kindergarten students will start the 2017-18 school year by attending class for half a day on either August 24 or August 25. Students will be randomly divided into two groups. Depending on which group the student is assigned, they will attend school from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on either Thursday or Friday. Their first full day of school will be on Monday, August 28. Kindergarten parents will be notified via mail.
The practice was started three years ago in Ottumwa and is not unique in Iowa, according to Sarah McGlothlen, the district’s new Elementary Education Director and former Douma Elementary principal. “The mini schedule allows students to transition into kindergarten,” she said. “There are various introductory activities throughout the day. It really gives the teachers an opportunity to see how students will react with other students.” It also gives students an opportunity to practice new procedures in smaller groups. Activities such as eating lunch and going to the restroom can be intimidating to a new student, according to McGlothlen.
There is still time to register for the upcoming year. Contact your neighborhood school for registration information or call the district office at 641-684-6597.