Pursuing Excellence for Tomorrows Challenges
Q: Does School District Five offer programs for preschoolers?
School District Five is home to an outstanding four-year-old child development (CD) program. CD is open to district residents who turn four on or before September 1 of the applicable school year. Space is limited and acceptances are prioritized through a screening process designed to identify potential developmental weaknesses.
Screening applications are available at any of the district’s twelve elementary schools beginning February 13, 2017. Students are screened in either late May 2017/early June 2017. Parents are notified by late July 2017 if their child is accepted.
CD classrooms operate on a full-day schedule, matching those of the elementary schools in which they are housed. Students eat lunch at school and take a short rest at mid-day. The program follows the The Big Day, Creative Curriculum and Project Approach preschool curriculum, and is designed to meet all state curriculum standards.
Child development classrooms are currently housed at:
Chapin Elementary (Chapin Elementary and Lake Murray Elementary zoned students)
H.E. Corley Elementary (H.E. Corley and Ballentine Elementary)
Nursery Road Elementary (Nursery Road and Irmo Elementary)
Seven Oaks Elementary
Harbison West Elementary
Oak Pointe Elementary
Dutch Fork Elementary
River Springs Elementary
Q: Does the district offer any programs for children younger than four?
Yes. The first of these is the district’s Parents as Teachers (P.A.T.) program. Operated through the Office of Parenting/Family Literacy Services, the P.A.T. program employs three full-time family educators through a partnership with Lexington County First Steps. These educators make home visits to interested families of children from birth through age five, sharing developmental information, parenting support and educational activities. These family educators also operate an ongoing series of activities for preschoolers and their parents at the Ready By Five Parenting Center housed on Irmo High School's campus. For more information on the Parents As Teachers program, contact Jennifer Felkel, Coordinator of Parenting Services at 803-476-8238.
The district also operates a number of special needs preschool classrooms serving identified three and four-year-old students. Participation in these programs is limited to students with identified special needs. For more information, contact Dr. Sarah "Angie" Slatton, Director of Special Services or Suzanne Shearer, Administrative Assistant at 803-476-8222.
Q: At what age can my child begin attending school in District Five?
Age requirements are set by state law and vary by program and grade level. Please see the descriptions below for additional details.
Four-Year-Old Child Development
Students turning four on or before September 1 of a given school year are eligible to apply for the district’s Four-Year-Old Child Development Program. Spaces in this program are limited.
Students turning five on or before September 1 of a given school year may enroll in full-day kindergarten.
Students turning six on or before September 1 of a given school year are designated for placement in first grade.
Special Needs Preschool Programs
School District Five serves a limited number of three- and four-year-old students in special needs preschool programs. In some instances these services are provided after the child’s third birthday, independent of its timing during the year. For more information on eligibility requirements, please call the Office of Elementary Special Services at 803-476-8222.
Q: My child narrowly misses the birth date cutoffs established by the state. Are there any provisions that would allow him/her to enroll early?
School entry age is established under state law. District Five does not make exceptions to the legally defined entry deadlines.
Q: When and how do I register my child for school?
School District Five opens kindergarten enrollment in mid February. If your child will be five-years-old on or before September 1 of the following school year, you are asked to enroll at your zoned elementary school. You will need to bring the following items:
- Your child’s legal birth certificate (not a hospital certificate)
- Your child’s current (and appropriately updated) SC Immunization
- Certificate, Certificate of Medical Exemption or Certificate of Religious Exemption
- Three proofs of residence (For example, 1)rental lease agreement or current property tax bill and 2)any two current utility bills, tax receipts, etc.)
- Applications for the district’s four-year-old child development program are also made available each year during the month of February. Note that all CD applicants must undergo a developmental screening prior to acceptance.
Q: How can I tell if my child is ready to begin kindergarten in District Five?
As a district, we are committed to a definition of “school readiness” that emphasizes the school’s readiness to meet the unique individual needs of children. Naturally we share in parents’ desires to ensure that their children are optimally prepared for success, but recognize that children develop on their own timetables. The only pre-requisites for entry to kindergarten in District Five relate to age and residency. Should you decide not to send your child to a kindergarten program you must sign a waiver. Please call Barbara Coker at (803) 476-8240 for a copy of the waiver.
Q: I’d prefer to send my child to kindergarten at his existing preschool, is this an option?
Yes. The district is home to many outstanding private and church-based preschools, several of which offer programs for five-year-olds. Parents are encouraged to select the program they feel will best meet the needs of their child. Please understand, however, that these programs should be viewed as alternatives to public school programs.
Students who are six on or before September 1 of the applicable year will attend first grade according to State law.