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In person Elementary School Information Sessions:

Each elementary school offers an in-person information session for families in February and March where families can learn about each school, connect with staff, and ask questions.

See the Schedule

Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

Tips for Preparing your Student for Kindergarten

  • Play games that require cooperative interaction.
  • Encourage your child to do things independently.
  • Read to your child every day or every night for fifteen to twenty minutes.
  • Have your child practice self-help skills such as tying shoes, buttoning pants, washing hands, using the bathroom and eating at the table.​
  • Make sure your child knows important personal information such as his or her name and phone number. ​
  • Begin to plan for how your child will get to and from school.
  • Engage in ”school-like experiences” with your child: Joining a play group, attending story hour at the local library, and encouraging interaction with new friends are great ways to introduce your child to new social experiences.​
  • Talk with your child about everyday experiences. Ask open-ended questions like, “What would happen if…?” “What do you like about…?”​

Fostering Independence 

Prepare your child for kindergarten by encouraging helpful habits such as putting things away, following directions, doing simple chores, dressing themselves, and helping others. As adults, many of us love that feeling of satisfaction when we get to check something off our to-do lists. Why not give children this same opportunity? Create a chart with visuals of two or three jobs for your child to accomplish each day. Allow them to check off the list with a marker or move the pictures using velcro. You will be amazed at how proud and confident your child will be to accomplish daily tasks! Kindergarten students are expected to be able to put away their backpacks and lunch box and put on their coats. Help your child practice storing items in a particular place in the home and locating it each day. Help them to dress themselves and put on their coats or shoes. Celebrate successes when your child is able to do this on his/or her own. Be sure to write your child’s name on the tag of jackets and sweaters. This will help the teacher to reunite your child with any clothing that gets misplaced. Every school has a lost & found area near the main office that is usually overflowing by the end of the year. By encouraging your child to take care of their belongings, you can ensure that your child’s clothing will not be added to this collection.

Recommended Books to Read with your Child

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When can my child go to kindergarten?

Children who reach their fifth birthday on or before September 30 may enter kindergarten in that year, by state law. Children whose birthdays fall after September 30 enter kindergarten the following year.

Does my child have to go to kindergarten?

No. Kindergarten is recommended, but not required by law. However, you must inform the school system in writing if you decide not to register your child. If your child will be six years old by September 30, Virginia Law requires you to enroll your child in school.

Where do I register?

Register your child online, at the elementary school that your child will attend, or by calling the APS Welcome Center at 703-228-8000.

Find your attendance/boundary zone

What are the hours for the kindergarten program?

Arlington Public Schools provides a full-day kindergarten program. Children attend school for 6 1/2 hours a day.

What should I bring to registration?

Please visit the Required Documentation page

What will my child learn?

Arlington Public Schools (APS) offers a high quality, developmentally appropriate kindergarten program.  This full-day program is designed to meet the emotional, social, physical, and academic needs of all children and is based on the Virginia State Standards.  The following describes what parents and the community may expect from the APS Kindergarten Program.

Teachers and Students

  • Classrooms with a certified teacher and paraprofessional who receive on-going professional development
  • Positive, language rich interactions among the children and staff
  • Experiences that support the development of community within the classroom

Classroom Curriculum

  • A balance of whole group, small group, and individual instruction designed to meet the interests and needs of the children
  • Implementation of APS curriculum resources and instructional best practices
  • Instruction in literacy, mathematics, social studies, science, and health
  • Instruction in music, physical education, art, and library (specials)
  • Experiences, materials, conversation, and activities that support language and vocabulary development
  • Opportunities for children to:
    • work with letters, songs, rhymes, and stories
    • engage in shared, guided, and independent reading and writing
    • count, classify, sequence, sort, match, and experiment
    • build and practice academic problem-solving skills
    • answer open-ended questions and extend thinking
    • engage in fine and gross motor skills
    • build relationships with peers throughout the school day, including during lunch and recess


  • Consistent communication between the school, the classroom, and the home

Classroom Environment

  • Print rich, well equipped classrooms designed to support inquiry and investigation
  • Respect for the culture, language, ethnicity, family, and skills of every child
  • Safe environment

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How do I learn about my child's progress?

Teacher parent conferences are held in October and March. You may request a conference with your child’s teacher at any time. Kindergarten progress reports are written and distributed in January and June.

Is Extended Day care available?

Yes. The Extended Day Program provides before and after school sessions that operate on regularly scheduled school days. Fees are based on sliding scale. Your school can provide additional information or call the Extended Day Program at 703-228-6069.

Is transportation provided?

Bus transportation is provided for children who live one or more miles from their neighborhood school. A list of bus stops and pick-up and drop-off times is available at your school. Any changes to your child’s daily schedule must be reported to the school. According to Virginia Board of Education regulations, parents must walk their young children to and from the bus stop, or arrange for someone else to do so.

How large are the classes?

Each class has approximately 24-25 students with a teacher and a teacher’s assistant.

Are there different options for kindergarten programs?

There are many kindergarten options in Arlington. Some choices are offered countywide, others depend upon where you live. Visit the school options page or call 703-228-8000 for information about choices other than your neighborhood school.