Daisy Garcia Montoya
Scuola Vita Nuova Charter School (SVN) welcomed future kindergartners into the school on June 18 for a Kindergarten Connection event.
The Kindergarten Connection invited incoming kindergarten students and their families to Scuola Vita Nuova to get a preview before school starts in the fall and allowed students to connect with their future instructors.
The event took place from 1 to 6 p.m. with visits being approximately an hour long.
Upon arrival, parents and families were subject to COVID-19 guidelines. To follow local health department guidelines, families arrived in time slots to ensure crowds were kept small.
Colorful circles spaced six feet apart on the floor served as placeholders to encourage social distance while families signed in. Everyone who entered the building received a mask if they did not already have one, their temperatures were taken and they had to answer a series of questions about having COVID-19 symptoms.
Once inside, parents finished enrollment paperwork while the children participated in a one-on-one screening to assess the education levels of each child. The assessments will help teachers and administrators see what students’ needs are to prepare the school curriculum accordingly.
“Just seeing where they are and, again, what their needs will be so then when we are planning for August, we’ll be able to figure out what to focus on,” said Allyson Thurston, kindergarten through 4th grade principal. “Every group is different and every group has unique needs. We want to make sure we’re meeting those specific needs of those kids so it helps.”
With uncertainties about how school will look like in the fall due to COVID-19, kindergarten teacher Rebecca Sommerhauser wanted to assure parents that children will continue to learn.
“No matter what happens, your child will get a quality education,” Sommerhauser said.
To get a closer look into the world of a kindergartener, parents went on a “Life of a Kindergartener” tour with a staff member to visit the classrooms.
Parents said that the event helped them feel more comfortable about sending their children off to school, especially during the pandemic.
“It gives you a peace of mind, you get to see what goes on in the classroom,” said Sergio, parent of twins Delilah and Alia.
Sergio said that although it is scary, he knows that it’s all part of adapting to the new normal, adding that the twins can’t stop talking about school.
“I’m excited,” Delilah and Alia both said when asked about starting school.
Rising kindergarteners received a Kindergarten Welcome Bag that included a uniform shirt and arts and craft materials that can be used to practice how to count.
Thurston reminded parents that students’ health is the number one priority.
“We love your child as much as you do and we are going to do everything we can to keep them safe and healthy and we can give them the skills that they need to be successful,” she said to her incoming students. “We can’t wait to meet and teach you and grow with you. You’re going to have so much fun.”