School Choice Enrollment
At its most basic, school choice means families/students can request to attend any public school in Colorado for free, even across school district lines. Your “home” schools (elementary, middle, and high school) are based on your address, and you are always guaranteed enrollment in your home schools. To attend a school other than your home school, you must apply for a permit during open enrollment periods. For more information on types of schools, factors to consider, how families apply, how schools grant choice “permits,” and what do to if your permit isn’t granted, read this article from Chalkbeat.
2022-23 Registration Dates
school district registration pages
- Harrison School District 2
- Widefield School District 3
- Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8
- Colorado Springs School District 11
- Cheyenne Mountain District 12
- Manitou Springs School District 14
- Academy School District 20
- Ellicott School District 22
- Peyton School District 23
- Hanover School District 28
- Lewis-Palmer School District 38
- Falcon School District 49
- Edison School District 54JT
- Miami-Yoder School District 60
- Calhan School District RJ1
- Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind
- Cripple Creek Victor RE-1 (Teller County)
- Woodland Park RE-2 (Teller County)
- Fremont School District RE-2 (Fremont County)
- Big Sandy School District 100J (Elbert County)
- For State-Authorized Charter Schools, visit their websites:
For a listing of all area schools, click here for the 2022 Gazette Education Guide.
District, School + Community Events
- 2024 PPLD Kindergarten Round-Up Resource Fair, March 2nd, 10 am to noon, in The Venue at Library 21c (1175 Chapel Hills Drive). This event is to provide families with resources and information related to enrolling in kindergarten and kindergarten readiness. The event consists of the resource fair portion, where organizations have tables and families can stop by to ask questions and get information. There will be hands-on activities where kids can practice skills they’ll need for kindergarten and beyond. (PPLD provides the activities!) The first 100 families will receive a giveaway bag that includes a bilingual book and other activities.
- Chipeta Elementary (D11): Info Night on January 31, 2024, from 6–7 pm. Families are invited to meet staff, learn about programming, tour school, explore enrichment opportunities, and more! Call 719.328.5500 to RSVP.
- Thomas MacLaren School: If you are interested in enrolling your child for the 2024-25 school year, please plan to attend an Information Night on either January 18, 2024, at 6:30 p.m., or March 14, 2024, at 6:30 p.m.
- Mountain Song Community School will host an Information Night on January 31, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. This evening is for families interested in our play-based Kindergarten. Sign up HERE.
- Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Kindergarten Promo Video (includes links to elementary schools)
- Registration for kindergarten in Colorado Springs School District 11 takes place at the individual schools. All District 11 elementary schools offer free full-day kindergarten. Call your neighborhood school to get more information or visit their registration webpage HERE.
- Cheyenne Mountain School District 12: Parents who live within the District 12 boundaries and have children who will be 5-years-old by October 1, 2022 may pick up a kindergarten registration packet at the District 12 Administration Office, 1775 LaClede Street. Parents can also call the District 12 Administration Office at (719) 475-6100 to request a packet be mailed to them, or visit their website HERE.
- For Manitou Springs School District 14, in-district enrollment will begin in June. Visit mssd14.org for more details! New students living outside Manitou Springs School District 14 boundaries, entering grades K-12, need to complete the Choice Enrollment Application. For school choice information and application packets, click HERE.
- Academy School District 20: For links to all schools with kindergarten, click HERE.
resources for families
During a child’s preschool and elementary years, family involvement in their education can set them on a path to success for years to come. The more families know, the better advocate you can be for your child. Below are suggestions for how families can prepare a child for kindergarten and get their school career off to a great start.
- Talk to your child’s preschool teacher or family child care provider on a regular basis and ask how you can help your child learn at home. Your child’s caregiver/teacher can be a great partner in helping you and your child prepare for the transition.
- Plan a kindergarten visit. Visiting the new classroom or school with your child will help make preparing for kindergarten easier. If possible, meet with your child’s new kindergarten teacher. Kindergarten orientation is time for you to introduce your child and yourself to the teacher. Remember there will be lots of children and families attending, so save in-depth conversations about your child for another time.
- Establish bedtime routines. Resume the regular bedtime routines about a month before school starts to help ease the kindergarten transition. You will be glad you did this as the first few weeks can be exhausting for a new kindergartner. You may also want to monitor afternoon and evening TV viewing habits or establish new limits to meet the new needs of your child’s school schedule.
- Establish a morning routine. Having a morning routine will save you time and frustration. See how long it takes in the morning to get to school before that first day. A “dry run” will help with time management. Remember, school preparation almost always takes more time than you think.
- Plan time for breakfast. Having a good breakfast before leaving for school is important. Be sure to adjust your morning schedule to account for the extra time for your child to enjoy breakfast. Nervous tummies don’t need a huge breakfast that first day.
- Create a lunch plan. Be sure your child understands the lunch plan. This can be very confusing for a kindergartner who thinks they might want to eat what the school is serving instead of the lunch you may have prepared.
- Decrease or phase out naps. For preschoolers who still take a nap, begin decreasing nap time so that he/she will be ready for a full day of school by the time kindergarten starts.
- Make a plan for before- and after-school. Make sure you and your child know the routine for before- and after-school care if that applies. Discuss where he/she will go, how he/she will get between school and child care, how he/she will get home, etc. Have a back-up plan for what to do in case you are late. Be sure that your emergency pick-up people know where the new school or after-school program is located and what the pick-up routine is there. Better to prepare ahead of time than wait for an emergency.
- Connect with your child’s teacher. It is important to give yourself and your child a chance to “bond” with the new teacher. Give time for the new relationship to develop between you, your child, and the new teacher as you all adjust to the kindergarten classroom.
- Go shopping together for school supplies. Let your child choose colors or styles for their school supplies. This is a fun activity when getting ready for kindergarten!
- Once kindergarten begins, keep informed of school happenings. Be sure to read the information that is shared with you about school happenings and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
- Keep in mind the transition doesn’t end on the first day of kindergarten. You will continue to be your child’s first and best teacher…AND your child’s best advocate when it comes to his or her education.
Check out these other articles on kindergarten transition:
- Transitioning to Kindergarten | NAEYC
- 12 Ways to Help Your Child Transition to Kindergarten | Harvard Health Publishing
- Kindergarten Transition (with videos!) | Clayton Early Learning
- Advice to a Kindergarten Parent from a Parent | Parent Map
- Get Ready for Kindergarten with Practical Tips, Tricks, and Tools | Common Sense Media
Readiness skills, both academic and social/emotional, can help your child’s transition to kindergarten. Since All children develop in their own way, guidelines can help you determine if your child is ready as well as offer opportunities to work on these skills before they start school.
Information shared with permission from CPCD giving children a head start.
- Ready or Not Kindergarten, Here We Come | NAEYC
- Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten? The Skills They’ll Need This Fall (article & book list) | Scholastic
- Social Skills for Kindergarten | Education Corner
- Keys to Kindergarten: Social and Emotional Development | Leap Frog
Families are the most important and effective supporters of their children’s transition to kindergarten.
The PLAYbook, developed by the Colorado Department of Early
Childhood (CDEC), is a resource filled with activities families can do at home and includes a list of children’s books about the transition to kindergarten.
The PLAYbook is also available in:
Kindergarten teachers are offer their advice to parents preparing to send their children to school:
Your child’s transition to kindergarten doesn’t end when you drop them off the first day. Check out these resources for keeping up with your child’s progress:
- Kindergarten: How Can I Tell If My Child Is Keeping Up? | Healthy Day Newsletter
The Early Learning & Development Guidelines video series includes a video on the topic of preparing for school:
Read and Write with Me Today developed by the Colorado Department of
Education (CDE) includes resources for families to support learning.
Starting school can be scary and exciting for both you and your child. Effective kindergarten teachers know that children are individuals who each start kindergarten with a wide range of skills. You do not need to drill your child with letters, numbers, and facts, before school starts. But there are some things you can do to prepare both you and your child for kindergarten.
Learn more on the NAEYC kindergarten resource page HERE.
Resources for Programs
Early childhood programs act as the bridge between preschool and kindergarten and are an essential resource for families preparing to navigate this transition. Below are suggestions to help your program implement practices to ensure families have the information they need and that children are ready for this big transition. The most important thing is that children who believe in their own abilities have been found to be more successful in school.
Meeting with Parents:
- Address their concerns as best you can, empower the parents to act as advocates for their children
- Remind parents that they play a critical role in this transition.
Resources to provide:
- District information and upcoming orientation dates (see links below)
- Community events (Alliance for Kids shares these on Facebook – call us if you need details.)
- Provide families a summary of their child in a school setting to take to the new teacher (e.g., child’s strengths, areas of improvement, known triggers – both positive and negative)
Tips for discussing kindergarten with families and children:
- Never talk negatively about moving to kindergarten
- Keep your emotions in check
- Encourage the children’s excitement
- Allow children to express their feelings
- Share examples of how kindergarten is the same and how it is different from preschool
Activities to encourage readiness:
- Create tools children can use when missing their family (e.g., a laminated photo of their family, or a book with pictures, a book of emotions, photo of the children the child may know in the class)
- Focus on self-help skills with the children so children are set up to be as independent as possible
- Try to take several tours of the “new school” or encourage parents to visit their options in person
- Ask to share parent contact information with other parents going to the same schools
- Encourage parents to set up play dates and get to know other families
Articles on Kindergarten Transition to share with families:
The Colorado Department of Early Childhood partnered with the National P-3 Center and the Colorado Department of Education to develop resources exploring practices that contribute to successful transitions to kindergarten for children and families. These resources provide strategies for early care and education programs and elementary schools in Colorado to implement and support smooth transitions to kindergarten.
- Transición a kindergarten en Colorado: Apoyo a los niños y las familias sin hogar
- Transición al kindergarten en Colorado: Apoyo a los niños y a las familias en comunidades migrantes y estacionales
Click here for a TOOL developed by the National P-3 Center provides a timeline and checklist of activities for early care and education programs and elementary schools to support transitions.
Learn more about the benefits of incorporating kindness into your program:
- 8 Reasons To Teach Kindness in Schools | Teach Thought
Read books together about moving on to kindergarten can help prepare children for the next step in their education:
- Children’s Book List for Preparing for Transition to Kindergarten
- Kindergarten Readiness Books | Scholastic