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Registration for kindergarten to begin soon

LAWRENCEVILLE - In a few months, kindergartners will don new outfits, gather their school supplies and kiss their parents goodbye just before they attend their first day of school.

But before they do, parents must take their child and a stack of documents to the school to enroll the kindergartner. Children also will have to get a few extra shots at the doctor's office or health department because new immunization requirements go into effect July 1. Second doses of the mumps and varicella, or chicken pox, vaccines or proof of these illnesses will be required, according to the Gwinnett County Health Department.

Parents of children who will be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1 can visit Gwinnett County elementary schools May 3 for kindergarten registration, said Jorge Quintana, spokesman for Gwinnett County Public Schools.

While registration can take place throughout the summer, parents and rising kindergartners are encouraged to visit the schools that day because activities and screenings will be offered at the school.

At Sycamore Elementary, children can attend a kindergarten class that day while parents attend a meeting, Principal Wanda Law said. Future students also take a brief ride on a school bus, so students can have "the experience of getting on a big, yellow bus," she said.

Sycamore's future kindergartners are also invited to attend "Kindergarten Camp," a three-day event that allows students to get acclimated with the school.

"It really does prepare them, so school's not so scary on the first day," Law said.

Children who will attend the new Lovin, Mulberry and Patrick elementary schools should attend registration day at the school the child would have attended before the new schools were built, Quintana said. Parents who are not sure where to register their child should call the school system's planning department at 678-301-7085.

In Buford, parents can register their children for kindergarten by visiting Buford Elementary School from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 17 or 5 to 7 p.m. May 22.

Barrow County students can register for kindergarten between May 2 and 15. Most registrations will take place at the Professional Development Center, but Kennedy, Bramlett, Holsenbeck and Yargo's registration will take place at the schools. A complete list of registration times and dates is available on the school system's Web site, www.barrow.k12.ga.us.

Vision and hearing tests will be offered on those registration dates, said Lisa Leighton, the school system's spokeswoman.

Parents in Barrow who want to register their child in preschool have until Friday to register in Early Learning Center's lottery system. Applications are available from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the center, 54 Star St. W., Bethlehem. Parents must bring proof of residency to submit an application.

The lottery drawing will take place April 13, and 200 students will be accepted into the school, said Principal Tonya Royal.

"We want all children to start school ready to learn," Royal said, "and pre-K does that."