In 2013, almost 10 percent of Durham Public Schools' rising kindergarten class missed the first days of their academic career.
Those early missed opportunities, says Elaine Erteschik, communications manager for Durham's Partnership for Children, can set children back from the start.
"These early absences have far-reaching and long-term consequences, especially for those students living in poverty, who often need school the most and are sometimes getting the least," Erteschik wrote me in an email. "The missed days in a student’s earliest years are a significant precursor to reduced levels of school achievement and increased risk of dropping out of school."
The Partnership for Children and Durham Public Schools are teaming up to host Kindergarten Registration Week this Monday through Friday. The goal is to have every eligible rising kindergartner in Durham registered for school as early as possible. Early enrollment means kids can start their academic career off on the right foot. It also allows schools and teachers to plan for the students who will be walking through those doors.
The Partnership for Children and school system will be reaching out to local groups and businesses to let parents know about kindergarten registration. Durham schools' website has information about how to register and what parents will need.
Durham elementary schools also are offering special events for rising kindergartens in the next month or so. Kids and parents can learn more about the schools and their programs.
Don't live in Durham County, but still need to sign up your child for kindergarten? The links below have details for some other public school systems in the region.
Cumberland County schools will hold a Beginners' Day on Friday for rising kindergartens.