While Metro Schools request parents to register new students in the spring before the school year, most do not, choosing instead to wait until the first day.
Warner principal Lori Flemming told Nashville's News 2 that can cause a lot of stress and a lot of work for parents and staff.
"Parents have a lot of forms to fill out. There's a lot of people coming in and out, and they really want to get in and get things done as quickly as possible," she said. "However, if we have a great number of families that need to register, sometimes that's not as quick as they'd like it to be."
A partnership between the Martha O'Bryan Center, United Neighborhood Health Services and Metro Nashville Public Schools gave parents an early opportunity to have their children registered for school.
The "Beat the Heat Kindergarten Kickoff," held at Warner Enhanced Option School Tuesday, allowed students to get their physicals, uniforms and paperwork one month before the start of school.
"Kindergarten registration has been a challenge for the parents, and [also] for the schools to get students registered early and to help families get connected to the school," said Robin Veenstra-VanderWeele, director of the Nashville Promise Neighborhood Initiative. "There are some challenges for parents who perhaps weren't successful at school, feeling comfortable and embracing this opportunity for their child."
In addition to the physical exams and registration, parents were able to pick up a free uniform for each child participating in the program.
Sherita Patton brought her 4-year-old daughter Larita who'll be in the pre-k program this fall.
Patton said, "They are helping as far as the uniform part because with four kids, it isn't hard, but it is a little tough at times."
The kickoff is a pilot program in Metro, having been done once before this summer at Kirkpatrick Elementary School. Veenstra-VanderWeele said it was a success.
"There were four students registered for kindergarten and by the end of the day we had an additional 20 registered for kindergarten," she said.
The first day for Metro Schools is August 1.
Organizers of the program hope to hold next year's kindergarten kickoff in March 2013.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:21 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:21:11 GMT
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