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St. John’s Lutheran School teacher Kathy Underwood is hoping this year’s rise in 4-year-old kindergarten enrollment continues with the next school year’s class, starting with an open house Tuesday.

The 4K teacher said her class size jumped from eight students last year to 15 this year, split into a morning and afternoon class.

“We would be glad if that continues,” Underwood said, noting her goal is at least 20 students between the two classes.

Prospective families will have the chance to see what the school is like, ask questions and let their children explore the 4K classroom from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Underwood said. She plans to have activities and a few treats for the students.

To qualify for enrollment, children need to be 4 years old by Sept. 1. Most students come to the school from St. John’s Lutheran Church or other area Lutheran congregations, Underwood said, but the school also accepts non-Lutheran students.

“We’re a Christ-centered program — it’s a Christian school — and their children will learn a Bible lesson each day,” she said. “We try to make sure that Jesus is in every part of our day — that the things that we say, things that we do would reflect what we believe.”

The program takes a “learn-through-play focus,” she said, teaching children the standard concepts of letters, numbers and shapes, as well as social skills and manners. Interim Principal and church Pastor Tim Kuske said the school also has “top-notch, experienced teachers.”

While she hopes for more students, having smaller class sizes than other 4K programs is one aspect of St. John’s that Underwood highlights during the open house.

The school also offers child care for children who are at least 3 years old, allowing young students to stay in the building all day even if they only have class during the morning or afternoon.

“It is a great asset for our 4K to have child care, especially on site,” Underwood said.

Follow Susan Endres on Twitter @EndresSusan or call her at 745-3506.

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