Jordan Elementary School Kindergarteners 2020

New kindergarten students on their first day of school in fall 2020.

As the deadline for kindergarten enrollment approaches, the Jordan Public School District has found creative ways to reach new students and their families.

In a typical year there would be an in-person informational night for parents and caregivers followed by written registration packets. 

District Communications and Marketing Director Kat Pass says in some ways the new reliance on technology has been a positive in this regard. 

"Now we have an online registration system for enrolling in the school district, which has made it so much easier for us to get information to families," Pass said.

So far about 60 students have signed up, a good number compared to normal years where in-person events are easier to organize, Pass said.

According to a Jan. 25 board workshop meeting, about 180 students are projected to register.

Flexibility

Though it's been a challenging year in many ways, Jordan Elementary School Principal Melissa Barnett said she's proud of the way teachers and staff have adapted to prioritize students' learning.

"It just now kind of seems to be the norm," Barnett said. "And I know that sounds crazy in COVID year that anything could be normal, but what is normal is change."

Each school year the elementary staff chooses a word to focus on — this year the word was "flexibility."

"I think part of what has allowed us to be successful is that everything circles back to what's best for our kids," Barnett said. "If we run into a barrier or something that requires us to pivot and make an adjustment, we do it wholeheartedly because we know it's what's best for our kids."

The deadline for students to register for kindergarten is Feb. 15. 

Though they'll be taken after that date, Pass said the deadline helps the district know how to staff each classroom, especially as they plan for the possibility that classrooms may still need to have an element of social-distancing in the fall.

'Normal again'

The district has been in the process of a "rolling start" return to in-person and hybrid learning since mid-January. By Feb. 1 all students will have returned to the buildings in some capacity, bringing with them an overall feeling of joy, Barnett said.

New guidelines say students' desks can be three feet apart rather than the previous six feet, which allows them to have conversations they might have otherwise felt too far apart to have, Barnett said.

"It's a game changer for their social-emotional learning as well as their academic learning," Barnett said.

Throughout all of the pivots of the last year Barnett says the one constant has been the care and commitment of JES staff. For them, students' return to the classroom has brought a sense of comfort, serving as a reminder things won't be this way forever.

"I walked into their classrooms and so many of them were like, 'Oh my gosh, it feels normal again," Barnett said.

Sign up

The deadline to register is Feb. 15.

To find out more details and sign your child up for kindergarten, you can visit the district's Countdown to Kindergarten website, bit.ly/3oi9cik.

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