School districts responding to kindergarten enrollment swell

     (AP file photo)

    (AP file photo)

    Harrisburg school officials changed their minds about cutting off kindergarten registration after Labor Day.

    The Board of School Directors voted Monday to change the deadline to Sept. 26, PennLive reports.

    Board President Jennifer Smallwood says the decision stemmed from her and other board members’ desire to give families more time to register.

    Their vote also happened nearly a week after Keystone Crossroads reported Harrisburg’s cutoff policy was legal, but rare for Pennsylvania school districts — particularly urban ones.That’s still the case: in an unusual move, Harrisburg won’t register kindergarten students after Sept. 26 unless they’re transferring from another kindergarten program, district spokeswoman Kirsten Keys says.

    But the extension affords families more time.

    Harrisburg also hadn’t hit its projected enrollment when the Sept. 2 deadline arrived. The district had planned on 700 students, but enrolled just 575 kindergartners by then.

    Since, the district has registered another 87 kindergarteners, and added two more classes totaling 46 students, Keys says.

    Other districts are experiencing higher-than-expected registration.

    Shamokin added two kindergarten classes in response; Lebanon added one.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.