Twelve elementary school options for incoming kindergartners in Champaign

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CHAMPAIGN--With kindergarten registration in full swing and 12 elementary schools to choose from, parents of soon-to-be students in Unit 4 gathered at one of their options Tuesday night to figure out which school will be the best fit for their children.

It's a big decision with lasting impacts on the estimated 800 incoming kindergartners in Champaign.

“Probably one of the most important choices we will make as parents,” said Graham Anthony, who attended Tuesday's information session at Stratton Elementary School.

Each of Champaign's 12 elementary schools offers different programs and feeds into pre-determined middle schools. So parents are asked to rank their favorites when they register their child to start school, and Unit 4 officials consider those and other factors before handing out assignments.

“Not only do we take into account the parent's choices but also the proximity, if they live within a mile and a half of that school, whether they have a sibling that is already at that school or socio-economic status, we try to balance all of our schools so that they're a good mix of all of the kids in our community,” said the school district's community relations coordinator, Stephanie Stuart.

Families that don't get their first choice are put on a wait list.

“Normally more than 85 percent do get their first choice,” said Stuart. “In the 90 percents we get their top five choices. So we really want to get families into a school where their child is going to thrive.”

To determine where that might be, the next information session about the options will be on at 6 pm on February 5th, at Barkstall Elementary School. The deadline to register a child for Kindergarten is March 31st.

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