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Pre-kindergarten round-up for the St. Ansgar School District will be held in March 2020 instead of November of this year to give staff more time to evaluate data to help determine where students will be placed.

Scott Cakerice, elementary principal at St. Ansgar, told the school board on Oct. 14 parents of children in the district's preschool are starting to make up their minds before the November round-up as to whether they want their kids placed in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten for the following school year. 

The pre-kindergarten program is for children who aren't quite ready for kindergarten yet although they have been through one year of preschool. St. Ansgar students are not allowed to be in the district's preschool program for more than one year. 

Parent choice is one factor considered by staff when determining where current preschool children should be placed for the next school year, but there are many other criteria, including age, social/emotional maturity, academic assessments and availability of space in the pre-kindergarten program. 

The pre-kindergarten program currently has 16 children enrolled. St. Ansgar School Superintendent Michael Crozier said that's just about the right number of kids for the program.  

Cackerice said moving the round-up to March will give staff more data to use when making decisions on where the current preschool children should be placed for the following school year. 

He said information will be presented to parents during parent-teacher conferences in March, and the staff will make placement decisions in April. 

School Board President Steve Groth said some parents are concerned about whether the pre-kindergarten program will be available in the future.

Crozier said since children can't spend two years in preschool, "there's always a need for it." 

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