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Welcome to Kindergarten in District 196!

We have 19 outstanding elementary schools, all of which provide excellent teachers and an engaging curriculum in language arts, math, social studies and science. In addition, students attend music, physical education and library/media classes. The information below provides resources to help prepare all incoming kindergarten families.

This is indeed an exciting time for both children and families. We want your child’s experience in District 196 to be positive and rewarding. We hope this page is informative and answers some of your questions regarding kindergarten. You are also an important part of this process. We look forward to being part of your child’s exciting journey!

View the Welcome to Kindergarten Booklet for important information about preparing your child for kindergarten, personal safety, what a typical day of kindergarten looks like and what you can expect your child to learn.


Timeline of Important Dates

  • May 1, 2024 - Immunizations due to school nurse
  • August 2024 - Transportation information sent to households
  • August 28 & 29, 2024 - Literacy Assessments
  • September 3, 2024 - First day of school for all elementary students

Kindergarten Eligibility

A child is eligible for kindergarten if he or she will be 5 years old on or before September 1 of the year he or she will begin school.

Early entrance guidelines are available for parents wishing to enroll students who do not meet the age requirement. Parents may also call 651-423-7739 for more information on early entrance to kindergarten testing.

Early Childhood Screening 

Minnesota requires that all children complete a free screening to detect any health and/or developmental concerns prior to entering kindergarten in a public school. District 196 encourages early childhood screening between three and four years of age. This allows time for a preschool experience or other social/educational opportunities to benefit the child.  
If your child has not been through the screening process, please schedule your appointment using one of the following ways:

Phone:  651-423-7899
Email:  ecscreening

Screening appointments are available on weekdays, as well as select evenings and Saturdays each month.

Enrolling Your Child for Kindergarten

  1. If you have not already done so, schedule your child’s early childhood screening (see paragraph above).
  2. Pre-register for kindergarten online by clicking on this link: Enrolling your child and following the 4 registration steps.
  3. To complete the enrollment process, please submit the following items via email, school fax, or in person at your elementary school.
  • A birth certificate, passport of other evidence of your child’s age
  • A copy of your child’s immunization record, medical exemption or conscientious objection
  • The completed Minnesota Language Survey
  • Proof of early childhood screening if your child was screened outside District 196
  • School year childcare information, if applicable, including name, address and phone number of your childcare provider for transportation purposes
  • If a parent or guardian lives at a different address than the primary household, complete the Additional Family Household Census Information form

Find My School

School attendance area locator

Disclaimer - Find My School is a tool for K-12 informational purposes only and the accuracy of the information is not guaranteed. To verify your schools of attendance, please call 651-423-7640.

School Choice

Selecting a school for your child is an exciting process. We offer many excellent school choices for your child — including five elementary magnet schools. A magnet school has a theme-based learning environment. This theme is woven into how most classes are taught and expressed.

Your child may attend the neighborhood school in the attendance area where you live or you may apply for your child to attend a magnet school. Families who live outside of District 196 can open enroll into the district through the State Enrollment Options Program. Additionally, interdistrict transfer options allow District 196 students to transfer to another District 196 school.

A boy walking into school on the first day of school.