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It's HERE: Kindergarten Round-ups 2009

Well, our dear mamas and papas, that time of year is upon us.  It's time for round up season.  This year, unlike the past several years, PPS is not holding the PPS Celebrate! event, where all schools host a booth in one centralized location for one day so parents and students can have the opportunity to visit with students, teachers, and administrators from all PPS schools.  So, it's up to us to go forth and seek out the schools, if we are considering exploying the PPS school choice

When are kindergarten round-ups?  Well, consult the complete calendar here (*pdf) or find all the round-ups listed on the urbanMamas calendar.  Note that some of the schools (such as the focus option schools like language immersion programs) have mandatory meetings not listed on the "complete" calendar.  Those schools include: Buckman, Richmond, Winterhaven, Atkinson, Woodstock, Beach, Metropolitan Learning Center, Bridger, Creative Science School, and Hayhurts.  Call individual schools to find out specific round-up meeting dates and times.

Best of luck!

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Is anyone else annoyed that a lot of these are during the work day? I'm a stay at home mom, but this is the kind of thing my husband would like to go to also.

I asked the principle at my neighbor hood school, where my daughter is currently in Pre-K about this and basically got blown off with a "well we can't make every one happy" Wow, what a disappointment! So much for parent involvement!

Don't the majority of families have a least one parent that works during the day? Plus having them during the day means no opportunity to talk to teachers and I assume, no classroom tours as there will be classes in session.

Just my two cents!

At our school they have the Kindergarten Roundup during the day so that the kids can spend time in the classrooms. The parents have the opportunity to ask questions of the teachers and the principal, before the teachers take the future kindergartners back to their classrooms. You are able to see samples of the schoolwork and hear about everything the school has to offer. I work full time but I put in for the morning off so that I can attend. Our youngest will be starting Kindergarten next year and can't wait for the round up next week.

Creative Minds Learning Centers are currently accepting applications for our Private Kindergarten classrooms at our Gateway and Broadway campuses. Our Kindergarten Roundup is on Saturday, 1/24 from 10:00 am- 12:00 at our Gateway campus and is a great opportunity to visit our school, meet our teachers and look over our High Reach curriculum. Check out our website to learn more about our green, artistic schools: http://www.CreativeMindsLearningCenter.com
Mention UrbanMamas and receive a special offer of: $60 reg. fee and $100 off full day tuition! Scholarships are offered!

pdxmomto2--
It's completely reasonable to expect an additional Kindergarten Round-Up to be offered in the evening, but my understanding (I may be wrong) is that there are contract restrictions on how many hours teachers can be required to spend on school events outside of the school day. So the school's principal might not be able to require the kindergarten teachers to attend an evening round-up.

The school's PTA can often work with the principal to produce a more family-friendly environment (including accommodations for working parents!), so that might be an avenue to pursue. I'm sorry that you encountered someone so un-welcoming, though. It gives all of PPS a bad name when that happens.

In an ideal world, schools would have events both during the day (really see what school is like when kids are here!) and in the evening (for parents who can't get off work). But it does make it harder to include staff when the events are in the evenings, and the energy of an empty school building isn't the same.

One other option for evening/weekend events: instead of Celebrate, which was just a one-day thing, the district is putting on a bunch of different events throughout the city to focus on readiness. You can go to these in addition to going to a particular school's Round Up.

So if you have a kid ages 4-5 who will be starting kindergarten next year, check out any of the following:

Mt. Scott Community Center
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31
5530 S.E. 72nd Ave.

Montavilla Community Center
2-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7
8219 N.E. Glisan St.

Multnomah Arts Center
2-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14
7688 S.W. Capitol Highway

Regence Boys & Girls Club
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21
4430 N. Trenton St.

Blazers Boys & Girls Club
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28
5250 N.E. Martin Luther King Blvd.

OMSI Family Science Night
6-8 p.m. Monday, March 2
1945 S.E. Water Ave.

Families who need interpreters should call 503-916-3205 to arrange for one to be at the event they want to attend.

Janice,

The response I received from the principal was at the PTA meeting. I am a member of the PTA and have attended every meeting this year and stayed for the whole meeting (something the principal does not do).

pdxmomto2-
At the schools we are looking at, there are meetings both during the day and in the evening. It looks like it depends on the school, how accommodating they want to be!

Janice is right - there are contract restrictions that make it challenging for a principal to require staff attendance at evening meetings, for example.

Most school tours do want you to see the school when kids are there - you'll get to drop in on a few different classrooms, learn about school resources (library, cafeteria, afterschool programs, etc), and - most importantly - get a good feel for the school's vibe/energy.

I'm also a working single mom who really was annoyed about the lack of evening meetings - but for something like this, I didn't mind seeing what the school would be like for my kid during the day.

Finally - for those parents interested in Buckman Elementary, I know that there's a ton of information up on our website right now about our tours & our school (I should know as I manage the school's website!) Find us at buckmanelementary.org.

Does anyone know if the Oregon Connections charter school holds information sessions this semester? Their website doesn't list any upcoming dates.

Does anyone know of a PPS school that has a strong half-day kindergarten program? All I keep hearing is to pick my child up early if I want, but that just doesn't seem to be the option I'm looking for.

To np - Oregon Connections academy is one web charter, but two others are EdChoices and Oregon Virtual Academy. I've heard those last two are more flexible than ORCA.

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