RMS changes up kindergarten transition

By Tanner Harding | Apr 27, 2017

Rochester — Teachers and administrators at Rochester Memorial School are hoping to make the transition to kindergarten a little bit easier for students.

Next fall, teachers will use the first two days of school to let the new kindergarteners explore the classrooms and experience different activities, while also taking that time to asses each student individually.

“This will give a better idea to teachers to make sure we’re putting kiddos in the right groupings and right environment to succeed,” RMS Principal Derek Medeiros said.

He also said that Sippican School had successfully implemented this type of strategy and he had received all positive feedback from principal Lyn Rivet as well as Sippican parents.

Currently, the school sends out a questionnaire in the spring to the incoming kindergartener’s parents, but Medeiros said that teachers could a lot more from seeing the kids right in front of them. Additionally, students at that age can grow and change a lot over the course of the summer months.

The school will continue to send out the questionnaire in the spring in addition to the new first two days, but Rochester School Committee members thought having students come in during the spring to see their future classrooms would be beneficial to add as well.

“I think it’s important to touch base in the spring,” committee member Robin Rounseville said.

Medeiros said in the past the school had hosted barbecues for the new kindergarteners and their families in the spring, but found with new families moving to town in the summer, it seemed to make more sense to stick to activities in the fall. However, as Mike Nelson, director of student services said, “there’s no option we’re not willing to consider.”

Committee member Sharon Hartley offered to organize a spring event for families, as she also thought it was important for students to touch base before the summer.

“It’s just as important to do that,” she said. “I would like to offer my time and effort for a spring piece. I would be happy to.”

Member Meagan Bennett agreed it was a good idea.

“This is definitely something I think our kids would benefit from,” she said.

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