SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Only 670 kindergartners are registered for the upcoming academic year in the district, but school officials are currently estimating that more than 800 will show up for class in September.
This year 870 students are registered and the district is expecting similar numbers for next year based on polling and a recent census. They are already beginning to work on staffing and classroom assignments, but without having an accurate count of the number to expect, the district will encounter some serious complications.
Having already faced a tough budget year, funds are tight and resources are thin, so being extra prepared is nearly a necessity. With parents neglecting to register their children, the district could face a whole new host of issues. A swing of 20 children means an unexpected need for an additional classroom and a teacher to run that classroom. An additional 200 students could mean a difference in which specific bus routes are needed.
The district has come to expect a sudden influx of last-minute registration or even lack thereof, with some children showing up days into school starting. To avoid dealing with that same issue, they are reminding parents to fill out the necessary paperwork and get all needed immunizations in advance.
Children must be five-years-old before December and registration is as easy as going to the McClellan Campus of Ellis Hospital, located at 600 McClellan Street. After children receive their immunizations and parents fill out the necessary school forms, they will be immediately told which school their child will be attending.
The registration process will change later this summer, though, so the district is urging parents to take advantage of that opportunity now. Location changes that come in July will mean having to make two stops —first to the district to register, then to the doctor's office for vaccinations.
That won't be the only added inconvenience of waiting until later months. When the schools in the pre-determined attendance zones fill up, students are assigned to early learning centers rather than neighborhood elementary schools. In those cases, parents might not immediately find out where their child is going to school and might not have the option of busing.
All the information needed for parents to register their children can be found here: www.schenectady.k12.ny.us/CentralRegistration.htm.