Kindergarten: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know which elementary school district I am in?

You can search by your home address here.

Please note: You can request to attend another of our elementary schools, but transportation is not provided to any school except to the one you would be designated to attend based on your home address. (In addition, we do have an area within walking distance around each school building that is considered a non-transportation zone.) 

Please contact your designated home elementary school to start the process of requesting to attend another Marion elementary school. Contact information is available here.

Want to view virtual tours of our elementary schools? Click the link that you want to watch:

Is there an age restriction for kindergarten attendance?

Any child who will be 5 years old on or before Aug. 1 can attend kindergarten. If your child misses that cutoff date and you would like to apply for early entrance, you must contact your school before enrollment can be considered. Contact information is available here

When does the school year start?

For the 2020-21 school year, the first day of school is set for Aug. 5. However, in light of COVID-19, we will continue to follow the guidance of state officials regarding needed changes, if any. We will communicate with families as the summer goes on. 

Is before-school and/or after-school care offered? 

The Grant County Family YMCA provides latchkey, holiday and emergency childcare. If you want to use these services, you must register and make payment arrangements with the YMCA. Call 765-664-0544 for more information, or click here to visit the Grant County Family YMCA's website.

How can I get updates from my child’s teacher and the school?

Information is sent in various ways:

  • Teachers often provide newsletters or other regular communication. Be sure to ask your teacher about the best way to get these updates. 
  • Schools also send periodic newsletters and information home with students. 
  • Schools also use phone and email to provide information. It is important that we have current contact information on file for every family. If your contact information (phone number, email, address) changes, please inform us right away. 
  • In addition, information is available here on the Marion Community Schools website and on our social media platforms

What vaccinations are required for school enrollment?

Click here to get school vaccination requirements from the Indiana State Department of Health. (Your medical provider should have this information as well.)

What school supplies are needed?

Our school supply lists will be available in the Enrollment section of the Marion Community Schools website when they are available. Typically they are also made available by local stores that sell school supplies closer to the start of the school year.

What are the dress code rules?

Click here to view/download the most recent dress code specifics.

What bathroom procedures are in place for kindergartners? 

There are bathrooms connected to each of our kindergarten classrooms. While teachers can help with clasps and buttons if needed, students must be self-sufficient in terms of bathroom usage and hygiene. Teachers do not go into bathrooms with students, and cannot assist with routine bathroom hygiene. 
 
If you have a specific concern with your student and bathroom usage, please communicate in advance with your school. 

What if my child is sick or hurt at school?

Our teachers, health clinic assistants, office personnel, and administrators can provide help with minor injuries. With parents’ permission, appropriate over-the-counter medications may be given at school. If a student’s injuries or illness is serious enough to require additional care, or if there appears to be a risk of contagious illness, your school will reach out to you or your other designated emergency contacts as needed. It is very important that we have current contact information on file for every family. If your contact information (phone number, email, address) changes, please inform us right away. 
 
Please note: If your child requires prescription medication to be provided at school, or if you have any ongoing health concerns we should be aware of, please contact your school to discuss.

When do I find out who my child’s teacher will be?

Typically, you can meet your child’s teacher during the Back-to-School Open House at your school the day before classes start. 
 
However, in light of COVID-19, we will continue to follow the guidance of state officials regarding needed changes, if any, to our typical events. We will communicate with families as the summer goes on. 

How do I get bus transportation / find out what bus my child will ride?

When you fill out your registration online, you will be able to request bus transportation. 
 
(We do have an area within walking distance around each school building that is considered a non-transportation zone, where bus transportation is not available. In addition, if you live outside of the MCS school district, or if you are requesting to attend a different elementary school, instead of the one you would be designated to attend based on your home address, bus transportation is not available.) 
 
Closer to the start of the school year, the MCS Transportation Department will contact families with bus riders to provide their bus number, bus stop location, and pickup time. 

How does pick-up / drop-off work for car-riders and walkers?

Each school provides details about regular drop-off and pick-up procedures directly to their families, as each building has specific routes and processes. 

How can I ensure my child gets to the right place at the end of the school day? 

Each school has their own procedures for dismissal. Regular procedures and expectations will be reviewed with students, and staffers are present to supervise and assist during arrival and dismissal times. 
 
If your pick-up needs are changing for any reason on a specific day (for instance, if your child usually rides the bus but will need to be picked up by car for some reason) you must contact your school ahead of time.  

Can I walk my child to class?

Parents/guardians may walk their kindergartner to their classroom the first day of classes. 
 
For the rest of the first week, parents/guardians may walk their kindergartners into the building (but not all the way to the classroom). 
 
After that, regular drop-off procedures should be followed, and students should enter the building on their own. Regular procedures and expectations will be reviewed with students, and staffers are present to supervise and assist during arrival and dismissal times. 
 
Individual schools provide more details about regular drop-off and pick-up procedures directly to their families, as each building has specific routes and processes.

What time does the school day start and end?

Office hours at all of our elementary buildings are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year. Doors open at 7:20 a.m. Children are not to be sent to school before the designated time since entry areas are not supervised before school. All students are expected to be at their desks, ready to begin the school day before 7:45 a.m. Classes end at 2:15 p.m.

What should I do if my student will be late?

Every student is expected to be ready to begin when class starts. (This means they need to be dropped off a few minutes earlier than that, so they have time to get to class!) Some buildings and classrooms may have certain procedures in the morning that set a specific tardy time. Please contact your school office if you need clarification on specific tardy procedures.
 
Parents are required to notify the school office when a child is absent from school. Please call your elementary school office between 7 and 8 a.m. (Phone numbers can be found here.) If a call cannot be made, then parents will need to send a note to school with the child on the day they return explaining the absence.
 
Students are required by state law to attend school regularly. This means students are to be in their classrooms by the start of class and here through the end of the school day. An accurate daily record is kept of all absences, tardies and early departures. Multiple unexcused absences or tardies violate state law and may be categorized as truancies.

What time is lunch and recess?

Schedules vary from school to school, grade to grade, and sometimes even classroom to classroom. If you need specifics for any reason, please contact your school once the school year has started.

How much does lunch cost?

EVERY student in our school system, preschool through 12th grade, will get FREE breakfast and lunch in the coming school year. There is no application process, and there are no special requirements. 

For menus and more information about meals, visit the Food Service Department at the Marion Community Schools website. 

You can send lunch from home if you wish, but we encourage you to keep the nutritional needs of growing kids in mind! 

Can I eat lunch with my child?

All visitor requirements, including check-ins and visitor badges, are followed for all parent visits, including lunch visits. In addition, we also require background checks. Please contact your school office if you are interested in lunch visits. 

Are snacks provided?

From time to time our schools have the opportunity to participate in a fresh produce program that provides fruit and vegetable snacks for our classrooms. We do not typically allow parents to provide snacks.

If you have specific dietary or health concerns, please connect directly with your school to discuss further. 

Can I provide treats for my child’s birthday or for holiday parties?

Parents/guardians may make arrangements with their child’s teacher to bring a small treat at the end of the school day to celebrate their child’s birthday. Parent/guardian must notify the teacher at least a day in advance for any birthday plans. Treats must be packaged or commercially prepared.
 
Due to food allergies, make sure to ask your child’s teacher if anyone in the classroom is allergic to any type of food. Many students today are allergic to things such as peanuts and milk. 
 
The same guidelines are in place for holiday celebrations; please coordinate any such arrangements with your child’s teacher.

How do I contact the school or my child's teacher?

During this time, email is the best way to reach any of our school staff. For general questions, please feel free to reach out to your school principal. Click here for our staff directory to find email addresses for our administrators and teachers. 
 
Many teachers provide additional ways to connect with them. Make sure to ask your teacher if they have other classroom communication options (such as Infinite Campus, Remind, or a class social media page).
 
During the regular school year, you can also visit teachers at school, but arrangements must be made ahead of time through the school. Click here for more information on scheduling a visit.

Can I help in the classroom?

Background checks are required for anyone helping in our schools or with school activities such as field trips. After the start of school, please contact your school office to discuss options, and stay in touch with your child’s teacher to find out about opportunities.
 
Arrangements for visits and volunteering must be made ahead of time through the school. Click here for more information on scheduling a visit.

Are there textbook fees?

Fees vary by grade. They will be communicated to all families later this year. Those who wish to apply for assistance with textbook costs will need to fill out an application this summer. We will communicate when that application is available.

On what holidays and vacations is school closed? 

Click here to view the school year calendar.