Thursday, February 15, 2018

Jackson County Kindergarten Round Ups

It is time to begin thinking about Kindergarten. Children who will turn five by September 1, 2018 are eligible to enroll in a Michigan Public School for Kindergarten. Parents of children who will turn five by December 1, 2018 who want to enroll their children in Kindergarten should contact the school district for a waiver.

Below you will find a list of Kindergarten Round Up information for Jackson County Schools. Thanks to our friends at Community Action Agency for collecting all of this information. Please check with the school to verify dates and times.

Phone Number
Registration Information & Start Times
Young 5’s
Additional Information
Arnold Elementary  School
4064 Page Ave.
Michigan Center, MI 49254
(517) 764-5700
Parent Meeting/Screening March 22nd
By Appointment – 4:30, 5:30 & 6:15 P.M.
School time – 8:00-3:30 P.M.

Packets online or pickup in office

Bean Elementary School
3101 Noble Rd.
Spring Arbor, MI 49283
(517) 841-8400
Parent Meeting – April 12th @ 7:00 P.M.
Round up by Appointment
April 23, 24, 26 @ 4:00-8:00 P.M.
April 25 – by Appointment @ 3:00-8:00 P.M.
School times – 8:27 – 3:27 P.M.

Receive packet and make apt. @meeting

Bennett School
820 Bennett St.
Jackson, MI 49202
(517) 841-2730
Round up – April 25 @ 5:30-7:30 P.M.

Columbia Elementary School
320 School St.
Brooklyn, MI 49230
(517) 592-6632
Parent Info Meeting – March 21 @ 6:30 P.M.
Meet & Greet – April 27 @ 1:30 P.M.
School times – 8:35-3:49 P.M.

Packet pickup after March 1
Online registration info after March 1
Cascades Elementary School
1200 S. Wisner St
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 841-3900
Round up – April 24 @ 5:30-7:30 P.M.
School Times – 8:35-3:49 P.M.

Round up held at Frost Elementary School
Concord Elementary School
405 South Main St.
Concord, MI 49237
(517) 524-6650
Parent meeting – March 21 @ 6:00 P.M.
Parent meeting located in Cafeteria includes Young 5’s
DaVinci Institute Primary
559 Murphy Dr.
Jackson, MI 49202
(517) 780-9980
Round up May 11
Call to schedule appointment
(517) 780-9980

Charter School
Dibble Elementary School
3450 Kibby Rd
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 841-3970
Round up – April 18 5:30-7:30 P.M.
School times – 8:45-3:47 P.M.

East Jackson Elementary
4340 Walz Rd.
Jackson, MI 49201
(517) 764-1810
Round up by appointment
March 19 & 20
School times – 8:30-3:43 P.M.

Please contact school for times
Ezra Eby Elementary School
220 West
Napoleon, MI 49261
(517) 536-8667
Open enrollment
Must register online after February 15, 2018 School times 8:30-3:36 P.M.
Click on student enrollment button
School has computer access if needed
Frost Elementary School
1226 S. Wisner St
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 841-2600
Round up April 24 @ 5:30-7:30 P.M.
School times – 8:40-3:54 P.M.

George Long Elementary School
(517) 867-5590
Contact School
School times – 7:50-3:11 P.M.

Hanover Horton Elementary
131 Fairview St
Hanover, MI 49241
(517) 563-0103
Parent Meeting – April 17 @ 6:00 P.M.
Round up by appointment
April 25, 26, 27 @ 8:30-2:30 P.M.
April 28 @ 8:30-11:30 A.M.
School times – 8:45-3:34 P.M.
Parent must attend parent meeting
Hunt Elementary
1143 N. Brown St
Jackson, MI 49202
(517) 841-2610
Round up – April 19 @ 9:30-11:30 A.M.

School times – 7:45-2:47 P.M.

Magnet School
JPS Montessori Center
(517) 841-3870
Round up – April 26 @ 5:30-7:00 P.M.
School times 7:45-2:47 P.M.

Northwest Early Elementary
3757 Lansing Ave.
Jackson, MI 49202
(517) 817-4705
Round up by appointment
April 17, 18 & 19
School times – 8:25-3:40 P.M.
Parent meeting March 20 contact school for time
Paragon Charter Academy
3750 McCain Rd
Jackson, MI 49201
(517) 750-9500
Round up – April 17 & 18
Call for appointment and tour

Charter School – Apply online
Parma Elementary School
385 Elizabeth St
Parma, MI 49269
(517) 841-8600
Round up April 23, 24, & 26 @ 4:00-8:00 P.M.
April 25 by appointment @ 3:00-8:00 P.M.
School times -  8:30-3:35 (Wed 2:35)
Parent meeting – April 12 @ 7:00 P.M. @ Western Community Art Center Receive packet and make appt. @ meeting
Sharp Park Academy
766 Park Rd
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 841-2860
Round up April 19 @ 5:30-7:30 P.M.
School time 8:40-3:42 P.M.

Magnet School
Springport Elementary School
300 W Main St
Springport, MI 49284
(517) 857-3465
Parent meeting – March 13 @ 6:00-7:00 P.M.
Open House – March 27 @ 6:00-7:00 P.M.
School times – 7:30-3:33 P.M.

Kindergarten camp – August
Townsend Elementary School
1005 Floyd Ave
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 784-6133
Round up – April 19 5:00-8:00 P.M.
School time – 7:30-4:00 P.M.
Warner Elementary School
(517) 841-8500
Parent meeting – April 12 @ 7:00 P.M.
Round up by appointment
April 23, 24, & 26 @ 4:00-8:00 P.M.
April 25 @ 3:00-8:00 P.M.

Parent meeting @ high school auditorium
Jackson Christian School
801 Halstead Blvd
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 784-6161
Informational Open House
February 12 @ 5:30 P.M.
April 12 @ 5:30 P.M.
Bring your child
Child Care provided
Private School
5:15 Sign-in for the Corral-children activities
5:30 Parents Meeting
6:30 Tour Campus
Queen’s Catholic School
811 S. Wisner St
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 782-2664
Open House – Feb 8 @ 6:30 P.M.
School times – 8:10-3:10 P.M.
Private School
St. John’s Catholic School
(517) 784-1714
Open House – Feb 1 @ 6:00 P.M.
After Feb 1 – Call for appointment & tour
School times 8:00-3:05 P.M.
Private School
St. Mary’s Star of the Sea
(517) 784-8811
Open House – Feb 1 6:00-7:30 P.M.
School times – 8:00-3:05 P.M.
Private School
Call for Appt if after Feb 9
Trinity Lutheran School
122 W. Wesley St
Jackson, MI 49201
(517) 750-2105
Open House – Jan 29 @ 6:00 P.M.
School times – 8:00-3:00 P.M.

Private School

Monday, February 12, 2018

Family Game Night: The Benefits of Board Games

What children need and love the most is being with you.  Playing board games with your child is an easy and excellent way to spend unhurried, enjoyable time together.  And, as a bonus, these games offer children important learning opportunities and help build social skills.  They teach children the life lesson - Never give up!  Just when you feel like you are at your lowest point and losing in inevitable, you hit the jackpot and climb back up again!  You just have to stick with it.

With Valentine's Day in just a few short days, an age-appropriate board game is a perfect gift choice for your child. There are so many fantastic games to choose from.  To get you started, look below for some favorites that are sure to be a hit with your family and can easily be found in your local store!

ThinkFun Roll and Play Board Game : For children 18 months and up
Zingo : For ages 3 and up
Hi Ho Cherry-O : For ages 3 and up
Pop Up Pirate : For ages 4 and up
Let's Go Fishin : For ages 4 and up
Trouble : For ages 5 and up
Jenga : For ages 6 and up

Have fun!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

When Will the 18-19 Preschool Interest Form Be Available?

The 2018-2019 Jackson County Preschool Interest Form will be available soon. We hope to have the form available to the public by February 16th. We will be using a new system that will directly input to our database in Child Plus. This will mean less data entry for staff and more timely enrollments for families.

The new interest form will have a map feature allowing parents to see the preschool sites nearest their home or work. It is also will allow us to recruit for Early Head Start, Head Start, and the Great Start Readiness Program with one form for parents.

Thank you for being patient with the enrollment process. We look forward to seeing many new faces at our first preschool fair on March 16th from 2:30-6:30 P.M. at Baker College.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Celebrating Parents and Families Event!

On Friday, February 2nd 2018, the Great Start Collaborative of Jackson County (GSC) hosted a "Celebrating Parents and Families" breakfast event at the Cascades Manor House. Those in attendance included parents, families, teachers, educational leaders, social service agency representatives and more. Two guest speakers from the Community Action Agency Building Resilience group shared their impactful stories of overcoming a life of trauma. Another highlight of the event was a focus on the Great Start Collaborative's (GSC) Trusted Advisor work. The GSC of Jackson County received a $60,000 Trusted Advisor grant to coordinate efforts around reaching the hardest to reach populations/families in Jackson County to provide resources and supports to meet needs they may have. The Trusted Advisors we are working with in the community were present at this event and are everyday individuals building relationships and connecting people to resources at food banks, shelters, work services, laundromats, and more.

Current and upcoming projects of the GSC were also shared at this event. Because of a generous grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation, the GSC has begun work on increasing the literacy scores of children in Jackson County and decreasing the effects of "summer slide." We have teamed up with our ISD Literacy team in order to plan and introduce "Summer Literacy Labs" in the county's most needed areas. These labs will be focused on both prekindergarten and K-3 Essential Instructional Practices in Literacy to build skills in both children and parents/guardians. In addition, the GSC will increase access to books in the home by utilizing the Little Free Library and the Take a Book: Return a Book program across the county.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

March Great Start Families Community Fair!

I like talking about things coming up in March.  As much as my family and I enjoy the snow and all of the fun it brings...I like the Spring better.☺

I am a parent and I know parents are busy.  Busy with kids and schedules, busy with work and the home and everything and everyone else that requires your time and attention.  So where do you find the time to check out all of the summer camps and activities for kids around Jackson?  Where do you find the time learn about your child's development and what preschool and kindergarten transitions will be like?   With all of that in mind we planned our next Great Start Families Community Fair to help you get all of the information you need.  Let us bring the experts to you, in one place, all at the same time. 

Baker College will be the location of our next Great Start Families Community Fair on March 16th from 2:30 pm - 6:30 pm.  Jackson families are invited to explore local summer programs and events for children of all ages.  Come talk with the City of Jackson Parks and Recreation representatives, Ella Sharp Museum, Dahlem Center and the YMCA just to name a few.

Join us and learn how a families everyday actions can support your child"s literacy skills as early as birth and how understanding developmental milestones will help you and your child make smooth transitions into preschool and kindergarten.

Family friendly snacks will be provided and when you preregister by March 14th you will be entered into a drawing for Meijer gift cards!  You can register by calling or texting Jennifer Ganzel at 517-745-9544 or by email at

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Making Sense of Early Childhood Data

On January 22nd and 23rd, our Great Start Collaborative team attended a training on early childhood data at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Michigan.  The purpose of this training was to explore the Great Start Data Set as an aid in preparing for strategic planning and to learn new ways of presenting the data to the community.

We learned how important it is to be intentional in exactly how data is conveyed for media, partners, program participants, funders, and policymakers.  Audience matters when displaying data; thinking about the level of data to include, framing the issue at hand, and each type of audience requiring a different type of data storytelling.

Collaborative teams were divided into two based on their experience with Microsoft Excel, with each group focusing on creating charts using the Data Set.  Teams then came back together, shared their learning, and created a draft presentation or infographic to take back to their communities.

One of the great things we learned from our training was that we can use the Great Start Data Set as an additional resource.  Combined with data that we already have access to, we are able to create a more impactful presentation in order to create change in Jackson County.  Our Great Start Collaborative team enjoyed this training and we are excited to use the information learned as we move into 2018!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Preparring your Child for Preschool

You may be thinking about enrolling your child in preschool for the fall. Here are some ways to help your child prepare for preschool.

  • Pretend play preschool. Act out daily preschool classroom routines.
  • Read books about preschool.
  • Help your child practice self-help skills such as putting on his or her shoes or taking off his or her coat.
  • Visit the new preschool with your child

For more information view this great article on Preschool Prep from