WESTFIELD — More than 100 families attended Westfield’s Countdown to Kindergarten event on Feb. 6 to kick off kindergarten registration and give parents and children an opportunity to learn about their schools and community organizations, such as the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club.

The event was a collaboration of the school department with Westfield’s Coordinated Family and Community Engagement grant and coordinator Paula Hebert-Pike.

Families met school principals and staff, learned about literacy and STEM curriculum, school transportation, school lunches and more. All attendees received a kindergarten goody backpack and tips about getting their children ready to start school.

Christine Shea, director of assessment and accountability for the district, said registration for the 2024-25 school year is open now and remains open throughout the school year. She encouraged families who may have missed the Countdown to Kindergarten event to register their kindergarten-aged child before May.

“All children who register this spring will be on our mailing list. If they’re on the list, they will be notified about events leading up to kindergarten. These include getting a chance to visit their new school at the end of May to meet the principal and teachers and take part in a short screening. There are also organized playdates and special events over the summer before school starts to which they’ll be invited,” Shea said.

“It also helps to register in the spring, so we can plan for the number of kindergarteners coming our way, and be ready to meet their needs,” she added.

Children who will turn 5 by Sept. 1, 2024, are eligible to attend kindergarten this fall. Families may register their kindergartner at www.schoolsofwestfield.org/page/registration. Completed registration documents can be scanned and emailed to s.kotarski@schoolsofwestfield.org, or brought to the Westfield Public Schools Welcome Center at 94 N. Elm St., Suite 101, Westfield. Families who need documents translated can contact Laura Surprise at l.surprise@schoolsofwestfield.org.

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