APS – A Kindergarten Maze

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Sending your kid to kindergarten isn’t rocket science – need to know key dates, learning program options, after school care options, and have a number to call with questions that are truly unique to your kid. Basic information.

Our household of over educated adults that manage million dollar programs scoured the APS website and couldn’t find what we were looking for so we reached out to neighbors who were active in the . They too looked and were unable to find anything on the website and gave me a number to call.

We called. They couldn’t provide any information because they were still planning. Planning what?! Every year a couple thousand students show up for kindergarten- give me the basics. After numerous back and forths, we were given a date for kindergarten night at W&L.

Running home from work, we got the babysitter settled and got to W&L. No parking. Everything was full. Make the hike in and we are in an overflow room- the third overflow room. So we sit and the next 40 min of lecturing provides almost zero value- except pointing out what table to go to in the overflow room. The questions people asked were all about their own special children and not applicable to the larger group and now we all make a mad rush to the open house.

We get to the table and find out that there’s actually another open house specifically for Montessori the next week and we can get the information we need there.

Four hours invested so far and we still don’t have our answers.

We go to Montessori night and it was a shorter, smaller version of kindergarten night. And the answer: we need to apply on line by a certain date but the website won’t be updated for a few weeks.

Issue: process, communication, transparency, schools

Impact of experience: wasted our family’s very limited time, increased anxiety, county couldn’t consider our family in the anticipated numbers for fall enrollment

Some suggested solutions:
> Update the website with FAQs and make it searchable
> Set the dates 12 months out
> Allow for registration on line
> Do online information sessions

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