Understanding Kindergarten Registration

About the Project

The School District of Philadelphia opens kindergarten registration every January. However, in the 2018-19 school year, only about 50% of SDP kindergarteners registered “on time” (between January and June).

In fall 2018, the Office of Research and Evaluation and the Office of Early Childhood Education administered parent surveys, conducted interviews and focus groups with parents and staff, and surveyed school secretaries to answer one primary question: What factors do parents and school staff identify as the major barriers to on-time kindergarten registration?

Key Findings

  1. Parents and school secretaries reported that the paperwork required to register a student for kindergarten was burdensome and contributed to delays in on-time registration.
  2. Parents and school secretaries reported that the window for on-time kindergarten registration was unclear.
  3. Parents considering alternative schooling options for their child may not register at their neighborhood public school during the “on time” window.
  4. Some parents reported that they had recently relocated and therefore could not have registered their student any earlier.
  5. School secretaries described several registration scenarios that they were unsure how to address.

For More Information

Contact Ebru Erdem-Akcay, Ph.D., at eerdem@philasd.org.