Ss. Simon & Jude School

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Kindergarten/1st Grade

KINDERGARTEN AND 1st GRADE APPLICATION REGISTRATION PROCEDURES

We use the following criteria when accepting students for enrollment in Kindergarten and First Grade:

  • Child must be five years old by September 1st for kindergarten; six years old by September 1st for first Grade. This is a requirement of the Arizona Department of Education and adhered to by our school administration.
  • Score on Gesell Readiness Observation
  • Siblings already registered at SS. Simon and Jude Cathedral School are given preference
  • Contributing registered members of SS. Simon and Jude Parish are given preference

The application form assures that you will be notified in January inviting you to an informational meeting about the Gesell Developmental Placement Program. Kindergarten and First Grade parents will be able to sign up for an assessment appointment at that meeting. No new students will be accepted before the assessments are completed. Every child develops at a different pace. The Gesell assessment will allow the teacher and parents to determine the academic and social readiness for each candidate.

  1. Applications are available after October 15th for entrance the following year.
  2. Bring in the following information:
    • Application Checklist
    • Application for Admission (available here: Application-Packet)
    • Non-refundable $50 Application Fee
    • Original birth certificate (we will make a copy of the birth certificate and return it to you, but we must see the original)
    • Baptism Certificate (copy acceptable)
    • Immunization Records
  3. Kindergarten and First Grade parents will be invited to attend the Gesell Developmental Placement Program meeting in January.
  4. Schedule an appointment for Gesell assessment. You will be able to do this at the January meeting.  There are a limited number of assessment dates and times scheduled, so it is important to be aware of the following procedures.
    1. Gesell fee is $35.00 (to be paid when appointment is scheduled)
    2. No reminder calls will be made.
    3. Rescheduling fee: $5.00
    4. Duration of assessment: approximately 45 minutes.
    5. Kindergarten parents may sit in on the appointment; first grade parents may not.
  5. Team Review of Assessments
    1. Assessment is scored by the teacher who administers it.
    2. Assessments are evaluated by the team (evaluating teacher, kindergarten teachers, first grade teachers, and principal.)
    3. A team decision is made based on observed behaviors and the Developmental Age of the Child.
    4. The decision of the team is final. There will be NO retesting of any child.
    5. Parents will be notified by mail no later than March 15th.
    6. Those accepted may proceed with registration. Bring letter of acceptance, baptismal certificate to the School Office, and final registration forms. Forms for scholarships from Catholic Education Arizona will be in the registration packet and are due to FAIR (the company which evaluates the applications) by April 15th. Information for other sources of financial assistance will also be included in the registration packet.

Gesell Readiness Observation

As educators, we are committed to working with each child so that his/her experience in school will be successful, and that the child will have the opportunity to grow spiritually, academically, psychologically, and socially. As partners with parents in the educational process, we strive to maintain a high standard of excellence in our school and believe that our goal as teachers and parents is to set high expectations for children and assist them in reaching their full potential.

The administration and faculty of SS. Simon & Jude are in full agreement with the developmental philosophy of the Gesell Institute. Some of our teachers have been trained to administer and evaluate the Gesell Readiness Observation, and we have found it to be very accurate in determining a child’s readiness for school.

The Gesell Readiness Observation is an assessment of a child’s behavior during a one-to-one session between the child and the teacher. It is not an I.Q.test or a reading test. There are no right or wrong answers. No child fails the assessment. The Gesell Assessment gives the developmental age of the child, and it is the developmental age that is most important in evaluating the child’s readiness for and success in school.

The goal of the Gesell Readiness Observation is proper placement for school success. To have the greatest chance for success in Kindergarten, a child needs to have a developmental age of 5 to 5 ½ years; to be a successful first grader, a child needs to have a developmental age of 6 to 6 ½ years. Research shows that up to 30% of children are not developmentally ready for Kindergarten or first grade even though they are the proper chronological age.

After the assessment is completed, the results are evaluated by the teacher who administered it.  A team conference is held after all children are assessed, and one of the following recommendations for placement will be made:

  • Register your child at SS. Simon & Jude School for Kindergarten or 1st grade.
  • Place your child in Kindergarten rather than 1st grade.
  • Give the child “The Gift of Time” which may be another year in preschool, pre-kindergarten, or place the child in a half-day Kindergarten program.

If your child is not where you think he/she should be, just remember that not all babies walk on the day they turn 1 year old. Most babies begin to walk anywhere between 8 ½ months and 15 months. Each child grows and develops at his/her own pace. Our goal as educators and parents must be that each child be given the opportunity to succeed in school through proper placement.

We suggest that parents do not emphasize the assessment or the concept of passing or failing, but encourage your child to cooperate with the teacher. It also helps if the child is well rested, has been fed, and has gone to the bathroom. Hopefully this will help to make the child feel relaxed and comfortable in the school setting before the assessment begins.