Storytime at Multnomah County Library

Kindergarten

Kindergarten is an exciting and important step for the whole family. This webpage shares information about kindergarten and provides readiness tips to help your child have a confident start to school. Your first step for preparing for school is to register for school!

 

 A great way to learn about your school is by attending Connect to Kindergarten events. At Connect, you will tour the school, meet the principal, teachers, and other parents, learn about the curriculum and register for school.  Most schools hold both a winter and spring event.


My child will attend kindergarten next year. What are the steps to enroll  in school?
It's as as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Confirm your neighborhood school. Most families enroll their children in the neighborhood school. to learn more about your school, go to the school fact page or school-based website.

2. Register for school as soon as possible. Every family should register their incoming kindergarten student by June 1st. If you are requesting a student transfer through the school choice lottery, we encourage you to also register at  your neighborhood school.  To register, go to your school with your child's immunization records, proof of age, and two documents showing proof of home address. 

3. Visit the school. Don't miss your school's Connect to Kindergarten event. Schools have kindergarten orientations in the winter (typically in February) and in the spring.   If you miss the event, contact the school to schedule another time to visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first day of kindergarten?
Kindergarten starts after older children start school. This gives teachers time to meet with families before the big day. For the 2014-15 school year the first day of kindergarten is Friday, September 5th.

What time does school start and end?
Most elementary and K-8 schools begin at 8am or 8:45 and ends at 2:15 or 3.

Is my child old enough for kindergarten?
Your child is eligible for kindergarten if he/she is 5 years old on or before September 1 of the enrolling school year.

How many schools have full-day kindergarten?
In Portland Public Schools, all elementary and K-8 schools offer full-day kindergarten classrooms. Full-day kindergarten allows children more time to learn new concepts through different activities during the day. In addition, children have the time to enjoy lunch, recess, and specials like PE or library. Many full-day kindergarten programs require families to pay for the second half of the day, and that is called fee-for-service kindergarten.

What if my child was born after September 1 but seems ready for kindergarten?
Oregon law allows early entry to kindergarten for eligible children. If you believe your child should start school early and was born on or before October 1 of the enrolling year, contact the Talented and Gifted Office for an application at 503-916-3358.

My child is too young for kindergarten. Where can I learn about pre-kindergarten programs in the district?
Children are eligible for pre-k programs if they turn 4 years old by September 1 of the enrolling year. For more information about programs and eligibility, visit the PPS Pre-kindergarten page. For information about private preschools and licensed childcare contact the Child Care Resource and Referral of Multnomah County, 503-548-4400 or visit www.ccrr-mc.org.

My child has special educational or physical needs. How can I get help?
The PPS Early Childhood Transition Team helps make the move to kindergarten easier for children eligible for special education services. For help, contact the Special Education Office at 503-916-3152.

I work until 5:30 p.m. Are there after-school programs for my child?
Most PPS elementary schools have on-site before- and after-school care, offered by state-licensed providers. For more information, go to the childcare website or call 503-916-3230. In addition, many schools are SUN Community Schools. SUN develops and provides educational, recreational, and social and health services, including after school enrichment classes.

Can my child take the bus to and from school?
Generally, PPS provides bus transportation for kindergartners living more than a mile from their neighborhood school. In most cases, the district does not provide bus service to children attending a non-neighborhood school unless they are enrolled through special education. PPS does not require most students in grades K-12 to be met at the “home” school bus stop. For information, go to Transportation Department's website. Or call 503-916-6901.

Do you have a question that isn't addressed? We want to hear about it! Contact nhauth@pps.net, and we'll add it to our list.