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Laying building blocks of learning
kindergarten screening speech.jpg
Pictured is Abigail Forbes taking the speech test at the kindergarten screenings with assistance from Lindsey Eldridge. Abigail read aloud to test her speech capabilities.

Pre-K and kindergarten screenings for all children who will enter pre-K and kindergarten in the 2021-22 school year are being held in the gym at Bobby Ray Memorial Elemen-tary. Screenings continue through Thursday.

This is the first year the school system has done both pre-K and kindergarten screenings simultaneously during one week. Screening coordinator Melany Crothers said they’ve spaced out the screening stations as much as possible for everyone’s safety. 

The screening process for kindergarten takes approximately one hour. One parent or guardian should stay with their child throughout registration. 

Crothers said she expects an influx of kindergarteners for the next school year since the pandemic caused some parents to start their children in school a year later. At Monday’s screening, 63 children screened for pre-K, and 127 screened for kindergarten.

The screening is not an intelligence or achievement test. It is simply a way to pick up problems such as hearing, speech, or vision impairments, or underdeveloped physical or learning skills. The Warren County Lions Club is administering the visual test where children’s eyes are photographed to be evaluated.

Crothers said each school screens an academic test for letters, shapes, colors, etc. She stressed it isn’t a pass/ fail test. It’s just a tactic to see where each individual child stands. Tennessee Department of Education policies require all children to be screened before entering kindergarten.

Upcoming kindergartener Ariana Basham said she’s excited to start school. She said her favorite part of the screening was “watching a movie.” She wasn’t talking about a movie screening, but she may be referring to the visual test. Basham will be starting at Morrison Elementary in the fall.

“Last year, we didn’t even fill the pre-K classes,” Crothers said. “This year we expect to fill every pre-K class.” 

Irving College pre-K teacher Desiree Hobbs said 18 children are scheduled for a screening this week which is an increase from the current school year where they only had 10 students.

Hickory Creek has 60 newcomers scheduled, and that isn’t including the parents who didn’t make an appointment. Appointments are preferred to prevent overcrowding, but walk-ins are accepted. For screening appointments, please call any elementary school.



Children who will be 5 years old by Aug. 15, 2021 are eligible to attend kindergarten in the 2021-22 school year. 

All children must complete one year of state-approved kindergarten before they enter first grade in Tennessee.

Please bring the following records to kindergarten registration:

• Social Security number (requested but not required)                        

• Birth certificate       

• Health insurance card             

• Proof of address

• Immunization record/ record of medical examination by a physician



Children who will be 4 years old by Aug. 15, 2021 may apply for the Warren County Schools voluntary pre-K program. This program is based on income eligibility criteria. 

To apply for pre-K, please bring: proof of income and proof of address, and the child’s birth certificate.