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School district asks parents enrolling kindergarteners to list possible colleges

Kindergarteners on their first day of school.
Woodley Wonderworks
Creative Commons
Kindergarteners on their first day of school.

This spring, parents across the state will enroll their kids in kindergarten. In the Montague Area Public School district, parents will be asked to list 5 colleges they’d like to see their 4-or-5-year-olds eventually attend.

“Before their children walk through our doors for the first time, we want to plant that seed. We want to create an excitement with parents so that they are considering college from day one.”

Dave Sipka is superintendent of Montague Area Public Schools. The lakeshore community’s school board voted recently to add the question to the kindergarten enrollment package that goes out this spring.

He says the move is partly to help shape the community’s general feelings towards higher education.  

“Many of our families haven’t experienced college either personally, or within the family setting. So we want our families thinking about college and really creating the expectation that all kids can and should go to college.”

Sipka points out the number of jobs requiring only a high school diploma are dwindling in his community and across the state. Sipka says the question is part of a long-term strategy to make sure every student goes on to some form of higher education.

He hopes students and their parents think of a high school diploma, not as the last step in the education process, but as passport to the next step in learning.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.