Ready for school
Parents register kids for kindergarten

LAWRENCEVILLE - Benjamin Roberts woke up on Jan. 1 and asked his mother if he was going to kindergarten that day.

"You said it's next year, and it's the next year," his mother remembers him saying.

Jackie Roberts and her son visited Gwin Oaks Elementary School on Thursday to register for the upcoming year. The youngest of three boys, Benjamin will start kindergarten on Aug. 10.

"He's really excited," Jackie Roberts said. "He's not nervous at all. It helps that he has older brothers."

Elementary schools throughout Gwinnett County registered kindergartners Thursday. The school district expects 12,262 kindergartners to attend school in the 2009-10 year, a slight increase from the current enrollment of about 12,100. Overall, enrollment in the state's largest school district is expected to increase by 1,744 to 158,963 students.

About 140 kindergartners are expected to attend Gwin Oaks Elementary, principal Peggy Goodman said. A steady stream of families visited the school once registration activities began at noon.

While parents filled out paperwork, teachers screened students for their school readiness skills.

"We want to make sure we're ready for next year and for each student that comes in that door," Goodman said.

Gwin Oaks parent Milette Watkins said the registration process was "very smooth ... and well run." Her 5-year-old daughter, Malea, will attend the Brookwood cluster school this August.

"The biggest highlight is getting on the yellow school bus," Watkins said of what her daughter is looking forward to in kindergarten.

Joseprabu Inbaraj said his daughter, Janie Joseprabu, is also looking forward to riding the school bus. He said he's excited about the education his daughter will receive at Gwin Oaks, where his son is a student.

To prepare Janie for the upcoming year, Inbaraj said he'll "keep her reading books and work with numbers."