Missoula County Public Schools is pushing to get all local Kindergarten students enrolled before this weekend, April 14. According to MCPS Director of Communications Hatton Littman, students can be enrolled later, but there are some big benefits to getting the process out of the way now.

"You are much more likely to get a spot in your neighborhood school before the potential spots fill up and your student may have to be, what we call 'leveled' to another school, to find an open space at their grade level," Littman said. "It has happened in the past, but at this point in the spring, it is not happening because we are still registering students."

Littman Says right now, there are actually about 75 fewer Kindergarten students enrolled than there were at the same time last year. She also says there’s another big reason to get enrollment done now.

"Your student gets to participate in a kindergarten round-up event which happens in May," Littman said. "That allows the parents and the student to meet the teacher. They do some really fun classroom activities to get the student used to being in a school setting and used to interacting with other students and the teacher and they take home some materials targeted toward Kindergarten readiness."

Some important paperwork is needed for enrollment, including an immunization record and a birth certificate, so parents are advised to not wait until the last minute. Enrolling now has a third big benefit: it helps MCPS make more accurate plans for the next year.