Kindergarten enrollment surges in Seymour

The number of students who already have signed up to attend kindergarten at Seymour Community School Corp. in the fall is higher than it was at this time last year by nearly 60 students.

School officials anticipate that means continued growth for the district, which helps generate more money in state support.

To date, Seymour has enrolled 271 students for kindergarten next year, said Lisa Ferguson, director of curriculum and instruction.

That number is up by 58 students from the 213 after roundup registration events were conducted last year.

The corporation has had three kindergarten roundups this month, including special sessions for English Language Learning students and their families. Translators were available at those times to help parents and school officials better understand the enrollment process.

“Volunteers from each building work together to welcome new students and their families to our schools,” Ferguson said. “You can feel and see the excitement in each child’s eyes. We strive for our first meeting with a child and his or her family through graduation to be a positive learning experience.”

By having English Language Learning kindergarten registrations at Margaret R. Brown and Seymour-Jackson elementary schools, the corporation doubled the number of those students who enrolled early, Ferguson said.

“Plus, we have 11 students from out of our district that requested waivers to come to Seymour,” she said.

Seymour-Jackson Elementary has the most kindergartners enrolled so far with 94 students, followed by Seymour-Redding Elementary with 64, Emerson Elementary with 51, Brown with 48 and Cortland with 14.

But those numbers will change before the start of school in August, Ferguson said.

“Traditionally, we have added 100 to 150 or more students from our last kindergarten roundup to the start of each school year,” she said.

Last year, total kindergarten enrollment was 350 students on the first day of school, with 137 students signing up after the roundup events were conducted.

The projection for this year is as many as 390, Ferguson said.

To handle the increase in enrollment, Ferguson said the district closely monitors its demographic data and works with staff in each of its buildings to establish effective learning environments for all students.

“We study our data to make predictions, identify trends and plan accordingly,” she said.

That may include needing to hire additional staff and adding classes to decrease class sizes, she said.

Families who have not registered their children for kindergarten yet may do so online by visiting scsc.k12.in.us. and clicking the “Register here” button under the student enrollment tab.

In August, there will be a districtwide online registration day, where families can get help signing their children up online.

“This will be a time for anyone that would like assistance with the process to join us,” Ferguson said.

Families also may contact the school their child will attend to register.

Ferguson said the reason the corporation continues to see growth is because of the growing community.

“Seymour is a premier community that offers a wide range of opportunities to young families,” she said. “Add to this the skilled and dedicated instructional staff, world-class educational opportunities and exemplary facilities available to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and you can understand why our school system continues to grow.”

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.