Here’s why you need to go to the Kindergarten Expo in Needham.

Navigating Needham Kindergarten

When my family moved to Needham almost 5 years ago, we had an incoming kindergartener and 2 younger kids. I knew nothing about the school district, and I was surprised to learn that kindergarten was only a half day! I quickly starting stopping moms at the Y or Roche Brothers to ask for advice about what programs were available for the second half of the school day.  I managed to figure out a solution that would work for us and to pull it together in time for the school year. How I would have LOVED to have 5 experienced parents at my disposal in one place to hear about the different options and how they handled the second half of the kindergarten day! Well, if you are new to the Needham public school system or you have a child who will be starting kindergarten in the Needham public schools in September, 2014 or September, 2015, you are in luck! 

On Wednesday, November 20th from 7pm to 9pm at the Pollard Middle School lecture hall, the first Navigating Needham Kindergarten panel will take place. This brand-new event, co-sponsored by Parenting Expedited and Parent Talk, will feature 5 Needham parents who have all sent their children through the kindergarten program in Needham public schools or chose a private kindergarten or have used different programs to “cover” the second half of the school day (and after-school care). The panel members have sent their kids to the KASE program, NEDP, Tobin, and Chestnut, to name a few, and they will happily answer YOUR questions about logistics of the school day, why they chose one program over another, or any other questions you might have about kindergarten such as “Can kindergarteners buy lunch?”, “How does bussing work for after-school programs?” or even “What does KASE or NEDP even mean?” One thing to keep in mind is that the panelists will NOT discuss the kindergarten curriculum or specific teachers or schools- the school district will hold an orientation meeting in January that introduces new families to the kindergarten curriculum. 
Following the panel discussion, programs that offer full day, half day and after school programs will have staff available at information tables to answer specific questions about THEIR programs so that you can get the official word on what each program has to offer. In order to keep yourself organized, Parenting Expedited will also be handing out information booklets about the kindergarten alternative/after school programs so you can review everything you learned.  This is a great way to jumpstart your planning for the 2014 school year. Kindergarten and KASE registration begins in March, 2014, and many of the after-school programs already have waitlists for next school year- find out which ones and how you can make that work in your situation!
Don’t hesitate to sign up- it’s $10 for Parenting Expedited/ParentTalk members and $15 for non-members. You can register at www.parentingexpedited.com.
About the Author
Shanna McClennen is a mother of 3 girls, ages 9, 7, and 5. She is looking forward to FINALLY having all 3 children in the same school next year when her youngest starts kindergarten.


photo credit: Robert S. Donovan via photopin cc

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