Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

South Fortuna Elementary School has opened its doors to welcome new kindergarten students for the 2012-2013 school year. The enrollment process is open to anyone in the city of Fortuna without having to file a waiver to enter the Fortuna School District due to the recent elected consolidation of the Fortuna School districts.

South School Superintendent Jeff Northern encourages all that are interested to come to South School and fill out an application. The paperwork can be filled out at the school and turned in with the child's immunization record and birth certificate.

Many changes are coming to the State of California and with them come Transitional Kindergarten. This is a two-year kindergarten program set up to “support students with the gift of time” by building the bridge between preschool years and a regular kindergarten program.

South Fortuna Elementary School will offer both programs during the 2012-2013 school year. Mrs. Coleman will teach the Transitional Kindergarten program.

”We are very excited to have Mrs. Coleman teaching our new program and helping the children who need that extra preparation time for school,” Northern said.

As the newly developed school district works out the kinks, it is important for parents to know that they can call the school with any questions regarding the two programs. Originally the program was designed to cater to children who turn five years old between Sept. 1 and Dec. 2. With continued discussions and debates on the age cutoffs, all children entering the South Fortuna Elementary School for kindergarten will be assessed for readiness.

”This program will provide children with the gift of time to build necessary social, emotional, and academic skills for success throughout their school careers,” Northern said.

South School's TK program will use Preschool Learning Foundations to lay a strong foundation in literacy and numeracy. This will help children transition successfully into the kindergarten standards. This program also works on self regulation and social skills development.

Both programs will run on a 6.5 hour day -- from 8:10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The programs will offer whole-group instruction, activities, small-group instruction, independent instruction, social skills development, gross motor skill development, and “hands on” learning.

For more information about South Fortuna Elementary School kindergarten program or the newly founded Transitional Kindergarten two-year program, contact Superintendent Jeff Northern at 725-2519. Registration packets can be picked up during school hours at South Fortuna Elementary School at 2089 Newburg Rd. in Fortuna.

photo captions:

photos by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

1. South Fortuna Elementary School music teacher Katrina Haeger directs her second- and third-grade students during a recent musical performance.

2. South School librarian Mary Dishman helps students find the perfect book during a recent book exchange at the school library. Dishman is a student favorite at the school and works closely with students in the library to help promote reading.