Fact Finder: Entering Kindergarten

March 10, 2010 

First day of school

These resources can help you navigate your way to your child's first day of school.

Preparing for kindergarten

The Orange County school system has some simple things you can be doing to make sure your child is ready for kindergarten.

What is the cutoff date for turning five years old?

North Carolina law describes when a child can first enroll in public school. Basically, a child who turns five on or before October 16 of the current year is eligible to enroll in kindergarten. More information can be found at the State Board of Education web site.

Which school is my school?

Registration is typically done at your neighborhood's base school. If you don't know which school your neighborhood is assigned to, use these links to check.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro -- Chatham County -- Durham -- Franklin County -- Harnett County (call the transportation department, 910-893-8151 ext. 309) -- Johnston County (use link or call the transportation department, 919-934-8340) -- Lee County -- Orange County -- Wake County

How do I register?

School systems have some basic requirements for school registration, such as providing a copy of immunization records, a birth certificate, etc. Use the links below to find out specifics about where to go to register and what to bring.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro -- Chatham County -- Durham -- Franklin County (call your elementary school for information) -- Harnett County -- Johnston County (call your elementary school for information) -- Lee County -- Orange County -- Wake County

Where can I learn more about my child's school?

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction offers School Report Cards for every public school in the state. The report cards give information about enrollment, student performance on end-of-grade tests, number of student suspensions or expulsions, number of students per computer in the school, percentage of teachers with with advanced degrees, and much more.

What will my child learn in kindergarten?

Public schools follow the curriculum set by the state for every grade. The North Carolina Standard Course of Study is the document that contains each year's curriculum.

Are there other school options?

Magnet schools, charter schools, private schools and home schooling are other options for parents to consider. Magnet and charter schools are public schools.

Magnet schools are available in the following Triangle school systems:

Durham -- Wake County

Charter schools are free, public schools whose funding comes from federal, state, and local taxes. The schools are located throughout the state, but are not part of a particular county's or town's school system. Rather, charter schools report to the state. Parents must contact the charter school directly to undersand the application process for enrollment. If there are more applicants than there are openings at a school then an open lottery is held to select new students. The state's Office of Charter Schools has more information about North Carolina's charter schools. In addition, use the links below to see the charter schools available in Triangle counties:

Chatham County -- Durham County -- Franklin County -- Johnston County -- Lee County -- Orange County -- Wake County

About 95,000 students attended private schools in North Carolina in the 2006-2007 school year. Additionally, in that same year about 68,000 students were home schooled. The state's Division of Non-Public Education tracks non-public statistics, and offers a directory of private schools. They also give the legal requirements for home schools and private schools.

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