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Kindergarten, pre-K students get registered
K - Jaymes Owen Jr..jpg
Jaymes Owen Jr. shows his big personality Wednesday during kindergarten registration at Milner Recreation Center.

Jaymes Owen Jr. showed Wednesday he’s ready for kindergarten. 

Jaymes sang the alphabet song, easily counted to 11, and was proud to say he could have kept counting all the way to 20.

When showed an umbrella and asked what it’s used for, Jaymes replied, “It’s so you don’t get rained on.”

He was one of the hundreds of students who visited Milner Recreation Center last week to register for kindergarten and pre-K. Some children were so eager to start school, they showed up with a backpack.

Warren County Schools used a new evaluation system this year to make sure all the little ones are ready to start school. Kindergarten screening coordinator Melany Crothers explained it’s a standardized test that’s used nationally and it’s received very positive feedback.

Bobby Ray teacher Sarah Walters was so excited about kindergarten registration, she was hopping up and down. Her hopping actually had more to do with the physical portion of the screening to see if the children could hop and skip.

Freya Roe showed she could hop right along with Ms. Walters on one leg.

“She’s been so excited about starting school,” said Freya’s mother, Laura Hale. “She’s asked me about coming here every day.”

Emma Jones was successful at object identification. She was especially happy when she saw a dozen eggs and said, “That’s for breakfast.”

At the Irving College table, longtime teacher Sherri Smith said kindergarten has become more advanced over the years. 

“It’s what they used to learn in first grade,” said Smith. “Those who go through pre-K are generally a little more advanced. They understand letters and sounds better. Plus it gets them used to the school environment.”

Pre-K enrollment does remain income based at this time.

Smith said there are 29 students scheduled to start kindergarten at Irving College next year. She says the key is to get over 26 students because that’s the point where students can be broken into two classes. She said two smaller groups are much more manageable than one large class of 25.

In addition to counting and object identification, students were also given screenings for hearing and vision.

Crothers said she’s expecting in the neighborhood of 450 to 500 students to start kindergarten in Warren County next school year. Students must complete a year of kindergarten before starting first grade.