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Choosing An Elementary School

Learn the basics about Elementary Schools, what the learning focus is, and questions to consider when choosing a school.


Elementary schools typically cover kindergarten through fifth grade. Some elementary schools may contain early childhood education classrooms of pre-kindergarten for 3-year-olds (pre-k 3) and pre-k for 4-year-olds (pre-k 4). Missouri law requires all children start school once they turn 7 years old and allows children to start kindergarten if they have turned 5 by August 1 of the current school year. Most everyone needs help when choosing an elementary school.

Elementary school sets up students for the rest of their educational journey and helps them develop a positive love of learning. During early elementary school, there is a major focus on learning to read which then sets children up to learn about other subjects through reading. This is the difference between learning to read and reading to learn. During these critical years, it is important for you to provide opportunities for your child to practice reading at home and develop habits of reading which set the stage for further growth in school. Listening to you read is also strong support for developing a child’s fluency.

Questions To Consider When Choosing An Elementary School

  • How often do students get to do ‘specials’ like music, gym, art, and library?
  • What reading program do they use?
  • How do they assess students and organize classrooms?
  • What is their recess policy?
  • What field trip opportunities are there?
  • What community organizations do they partner with as a school?

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