By: Jane Ma
Kindergarteners of the Waverly Community School District will be taking a baseline assessment test before the start of school for the first time as part of the enrollment process for next year.
“In order to better organize the classes so that a range of ability levels are included in each classroom, all enrolled kindergarteners will take a baseline assessment on Aug. 13 and Aug. 14,” said Shawn Talifarro, Colt Early Childhood Education Center principal.
There are seven kindergarten teachers employed at Colt Early Childhood Education Center and a maximum enrollment of 25 students allowed per kindergarten class.
“In previous years, kindergarteners took the assessment during the first week of school,” said Danni Gimm, Colt Early Childhood Education Center. “As you can imagine, this would completely disrupt their transition into school by creating anxiety. Now our kindergarteners will be better able to enjoy their first week of school, a time that should be filled with excitement and fun.”
The test is administered through aimsweb, a product of the Pearson learning company. It consists of four math and two literacy sections.
“The assessment is administered by teachers and takes about 10 minutes,” said Hannah Germain, a Colt Early Childhood Education kindergarten teacher. Depending on their scores, we determine what tier or level they fall under to help us make decisions on how to best organize classes and what areas the children need more work in.”
Colt Early Childhood Education Center once was called Colt Elementary and enrolled kindergarten through fourth graders. Now it is the only school in the Waverly Community School District that enrolls pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first graders.
After the closing of Windemere View Elementary in 2011, six schools remain in the Waverly Community School District: Colt Early Childhood Education Center for pre-kindergarten through first grade, Elmwood Elementary and Winans Elementary for second through fourth grade, Waverly East Intermediate for fifth and sixth grade, Waverly Middle School for seventh and eighth grade and Waverly High School for ninth through twelfth grade.
“Most of the teachers who worked at Windemere View Elementary were transferred to the other elementary schools in the district and only four teachers were laid off,” said Conrad.
All kindergarteners in the district will attend Colt Early Childhood Education Center because of the 2011 reconfiguration of the district.
“Before the reconfiguration, there were only two kindergarten teachers at Colt including myself,” said Gimm. “Now all of the kindergarten teachers in the district are together in one building and a lot of good collaboration can happen as a result.”
Parents enrolling children into kindergarten for the 2013 to 2014 school year should call Shelia Conrad, Waverly Community School District enrollment secretary, at 517-319-3021. They need to provide their address, child’s name and date of birth to receive an enrollment packet.
Children must be at least five years old on or before Nov. 1, 2013 and aresident of the school district to enroll. Packets will be mailed the first week of April and must be returned to the Waverly Community School District Administrative Center on 515 Snow Road between April 15 and April 19.
Parents outside of the school district and who are interested in enrolling their child at Waverly Community Schools should contact Conrad to be put on the Waverly Community Schools School of Choice Program waiting list to receive a tuition application in May.
“We hope to enroll 200 new students for next year; at least that’s what we’re aiming for,” said Conrad.