New Kindergarten process disrupted by pandemic

May 23, 2020

MARION — Doreen Lopes, the Old Rochester Regional Early Childhood Coordinator, worked with teachers to try to think of everything in designing a new transition program to Kindergarten earlier this year. Everything except for a pandemic.  

The new plans streamlined the number of forms that teachers had to fill out, included an “Ask a Teacher” event in April, and planned for an in-person screening process and school tour in late May or early June where teachers can watch how students handle the new environment and interact with other students. 

Now, it’s back to the drawing board on the plans, after coronavirus shut down the school buildings, but Assistant Superintendent Michael Nelson assured the school committee that he and other administrators were constantly talking about it. 

They are considering moving the ages and stages assessment (a set of parent questionnaires that measure motor skills, problem solving and social skills, among other developmental traits) online, and holding virtual classroom visits. 

Nelson also said the state hasn’t given any guidance on summer programs yet, so he is trying to plan for online, in-person or hybrid programs.