New school year begins

McDowell Mountain Elementary School students file into the building to kick off the 2014-15 academic year. Both the Fountain Hills Unified School District and the Fountain Hills Charter School began the new year this Monday, Aug. 4.

McDowell Mountain Elementary School is preparing for its annual kindergarten/preschool “Round-Up.”

Parents of incoming kindergarten or preschool students can visit MMES on Thursday, Feb. 20, between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; or on Friday, Feb. 21, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. or between 12:30 and 3 p.m. Parents should allow for up to an hour for this event.

Kindergarten

Parents should bring their 2020-2021 kindergarten children to this event along with an original birth certificate, immunization records and proof of residency, which could be a utility bill, lease agreement or driver’s license that has their name and address on it.

Round-up is a time to introduce parents and kids to kindergarten, and to register as many students as early as possible.

From the school’s perspective, early kindergarten registration allows McDowell Mountain to better estimate enrollment and assists in planning for teachers and resources.

Early registration for preschool is also important because it allows parents to secure a spot for their student, as space is limited.

At the Round-Up, parents will be able to complete the 2020-2021 enrollment packets and have copies made of the aforementioned documents.

MMES office and health staff will be available to provide enrollment information and answer parents’ questions. Parents and students will meet the principal, kindergarten teachers and other staff. Tours of the school will also be provided.

While parents are registering, their students entering kindergarten will complete pre-assessments with kindergarten teachers.

These pre-assessments allow the staff to get to know new kindergarten students and assess their strengths and needs before school starts.

The pre-assessments will help the school determine the best possible classroom placements for the students and ensure a happy beginning to their K-12 school experience.

Parents will also have the opportunity to sign up their new kindergarten students for summer orientation provided by preschool staff at the Boys & Girls Club in June.

Despite only being funded by the State for half-day kindergarten, MMES offers free, full-day kindergarten. Parents can still choose the half-day kindergarten option, which is available for morning instruction.

Of note, children must be 5 years old before September 1, 2020 to enroll for the 2020-2021 school year.

Preschool

Registration will also take place at the Round-Up for McDowell Mountain’s state-licensed preschool program offered to three- and four-year-olds, and for children who turn five after Aug. 31, 2020.

Preschool staff, including certified teachers, will be available to provide program information and answer parents’ questions.

It is not required to bring preschool children to Round-Up, but all children are welcome at the event. They will be able to play under staff supervision while parents complete enrollment packets in the central kindergarten area.

MMES is an Arizona Educational Foundation A+ School of Excellence that offers a comprehensive Arizona standards-based curriculum; student support and enrichment such as Title I reading and a third grade honors class; special area classes such as art and music; technology equipment and STEM instruction; Character Counts/Falcon Spirit assemblies; a variety of clubs and student leadership/service opportunities; an active Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO); and various volunteer opportunities and community partnerships.

“We encourage all of you to pass this information along to anyone you know who has a child of preschool or kindergarten age,” said MMES Principal Valerie Dehombreux. “We believe MMES is the best choice for these littlest learners and we appreciate your help in spreading the word.”