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Influx of Leon Co. children heading to school for first time ever this fall

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 6:57 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A brigade of kindergartners and preschoolers will be heading into school for the first time this year after some stayed home during the pandemic, causing close to an expected 30 percent increase in enrollment for Leon County going into this school year.

Leon County Schools are expecting a bunch of excited kiddos to start their schooling for the 2021-2022 school year. but are asking for a little help from parents to make it happen.

Parents are getting ready to send their kids to school for the first time after holding them back during the pandemic, something Tallahassee resident Linzee Buck would consider if she had the choice

“And I would consider for my little ones, like my Pre-K kiddo, to maybe be held back a year just to be able to develop those social skills that otherwise she wouldn’t be able to get on a normal year,” said Buck.

Buck explained that the hands-on experience kindergarten and preschool provides is crucial to development

“Learning experiences come in a variety of different ways,” Buck explained. “It’s not just auditory, but being able to touch things and feel things and have that tactile interaction, those are the experiences that really help knowledge to stay.”

LCS is expecting 600-800 more than their usual 2500 kindergarten and preschool students, but need help from parents to properly prepare.

“The number of children that enroll really impacts our staffing, and we want to be able to make sure that we have teachers in place to accommodate the number of students that will be coming in,” said LCS Director of Early Learning Brooke Brunner. “So we do wanna courage our parents to register right away.”

Regardless, LCS is preparing for the wave.

“Yes, summertime is the time that we do all of that. We do all the staffing, get all the teachers on board. get all the classrooms cleaned and ready to go and we really want to welcome everybody back,” Astoria Park Elementary School Pricnipal David Solz said.

That’s a sentiment Brunner said she’s confident they will achieve: “One thing I can say about our Pre-K and our kindergarten teachers is that they have a keen sense of how to accommodate our children’s social emotional needs.”

One thing to note is that kindergarteners who were learning remotely last year will also be going back to class for the first time this year as first graders, so schools are preparing for that and asking again for parents to register their children early.

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