KinderCat Academy

  • What is KinderCat Academy?

    NSD’s KinderCat Academy (KCA) is an exploration-kindergarten; Simply stated, it is a combination of preschool and traditional kindergarten. KinderCat is specifically for students who are eligible for kindergarten but have late birthdays, typically March - July. The teacher to student ratio is kept low at a maximum of 15 students in a class. KinderCat Academy is an accelerated program, meaning KinderCats will be exposed to the traditional kindergarten curriculum, along with hands-on activities that focus on Centers, Project-Based Learning, STEAM, and structured play. 

     

    What are the benefits of KinderCat Academy?

    Research shows that early childhood education plays a key role in a person’s success throughout their education. Children who are exposed to high quality early childhood education are more likely to graduate high school and on average, score higher on vocabulary, math, and print awareness. In addition to the educational benefits of KCA, students will grow in their social-emotional development through working with others, experiencing a school schedule, and taking part in structured play. 

     

    The most significant benefit of KinderCat Academy is that it sets the stage for a successful K-12 experience by helping every child be on or above grade level when they enter kindergarten. 

     

    What does a KinderCat day look like?

    The classroom schedule includes specials (art, music, fitness, library, technology) as well as classroom curriculum through STEAM, Centers, and core subjects. A schedule could look similar to the one below.

     

    8:00-8:15 Morning Routine | backpack, folder, bathroom

    8:15-8:50 Reading

    8:50-9:40 Brain Gym & Motor Lab

    9:40-10:00 Restroom, Recess, Restroom

    10:00-10:45 Snacks & Centers

    10:45-11:40 Specials Class | Library, Art, Fitness, Music, or Technology

    11:40-12:20 Restroom & Lunch

    12:20-12:45 Restroom & Rest

    12:45-1:30 STEAM

    1:30-1:50 Restroom, Recess, Restroom

    1:50-2:20 Writing

    2:20-2:45 Snacks & Math

    2:45-3:00 End of Day Routine

     

    Who can attend KinderCat Academy?

    To be eligible for KCA, a student must be five years old by August 1st. There are no financial or need-based eligibility requirements. Kindergarten screening results, teacher recommendations, and PAT recommendations may be taken into consideration. There is no cost to attend KinderCat Academy.

     

    What NSD locations offer KinderCat Academy?

    KCA classes are offered at Benton Elementary, Carver Elementary, Goodman Elementary, and South Elementary. Our Curriculum & Instruction office can help determine your child’s attendance location based on your address.

     

    Is KinderCat Academy taught by certified teachers?

    Yes, all of our KinderCat classes are taught by certified teachers. Additionally, our KinderCat teachers partner with Northwest Arkansas’ Scott Family Amazeum for professional development. Parents will have a regular open line of communication with their student’s teacher, along with parent-teacher conferences throughout the year.

     

    Does KinderCat Academy follow the same calendar as regular K-12?

    Yes, KinderCats attend school following the district calendar. 

     

    Is school-provided transportation available for KinderCat academy?

    Of course! KinderCats can ride the bus to and from school.

     

    Are KinderCats given technology devices such as a Chromebook or Ipad?

    KinderCats will have access to classroom sets of Ipads that may be used to support learning under a teacher’s direction. Technology will stay in the classroom and will not go home with students.

     

    Will KinderCats go to traditional kindergarten the following year or first grade?

    KinderCat Academy does not replace traditional kindergarten rather supports the gap between preschool and kindergarten. After students complete KinderCat Academy, they will move into traditional kindergarten.

     

    How do I find out more about KinderCat Academy?

    Contact the NSD Curriculum & Instruction office at 417.451.8600 or email Christine Cawley at cawleychristine@neoshosd.org.

     

    How do I enroll in KinderCat Academy?

    To enroll in KinderCat Academy, complete the online enrollment application form located here. All students wanting to attend KCA should complete this form, regardless of attendance at an NSD Early Childhood location (Field/Goodman). Students who did not attend early childhood at Field or Goodman, will need to also complete the New Student Enrollment form located here. 

    Please note that completion of this form starts the process of enrollment in KinderCat Academy but does not guarantee a space. A representative from NSD will follow up after receiving the form to discuss the educational path that will be most beneficial for your student.

Two kids working with alphabet cards.
A young boy learning through messy play
Two students working on motor skills and spelling
A boy spelling his name and learning colors.
Two students learning through hands-on STEAM activities involving movement through gears.