Editor's Note: I shared this post last year, but, other than the dates, which I've updated, the recommendation to register your rising kindergartner for school sooner than later, still holds.
If you're sending your little one off to kindergarten at a Wake County public school this fall, this week marks the beginning of kindergarten registration for the school system.
Kindergarten registration in Wake County starts on Thursday. Then, parents can head to their child's base school to sign their child up for the next school year. You'll need to bring with you a variety of documents and information. Wake's website has all of the details.
(Here's more about Durham's kindergarten registration process).
So are you wondering whether you should sign up your rising Wake County kindergartner for school now or wait until later? Here are five reasons why you should go ahead and get it done as soon as you can:
1. Because you want to send your child to a magnet school: The magnet school application period in Wake runs from Jan. 12 to Jan. 31. You can't apply for a kindergarten spot at a magnet school until you have registered your child at his base school. So get that first step out of the way.
2. To get your child excited about kindergarten: With both of my kids, we made registration day a big day! We took pictures, talked it up and made it fun. Once we signed up, we talked about how the school, our base school, was their school. We played on the playground. For my younger daughter, we put things in the folder we brought home from the school. We chatted with the teachers and administrators as we walked in to drop her older sister off. There are lots of things you can do to get your child excited for this big step. This is one of them.
3. To get connected: When you sign up, be sure to ask for contact information for the school's PTA. Find out if any winter or spring festivals or activities are planned that you and your child could attend and learn more about other things, including fundraising efforts and school supply lists for next year.
4. So you don't miss anything: Schools typically host programs for rising kindergartners and their parents in the spring. They provide an opportunity for parents and kids to meet with teachers and staff and learn more about the school. If you wait to register, the school won't have your contact information to send you the invitation. You and your child might miss out.
5. So the school can better serve your child and others: Schools look to registration numbers as they start making plans for the next school year. If more students register early, schools know how many students they'll need to plan for.