The title of Robert Fulghum's book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" may slightly overstate the importance of kindergarten.
But California educators recently dedicated a night to helping prospective kindergartners — and their parents — prepare for a smooth transition into California Elementary School.
The district hosted a Kindergarten Information Night for families Feb. 26 at California Elementary School.
Principal Gary Baker began the program Feb. 25 with introductions and information designed to ease the jitters of students and parents. He told them what to expect and bring for Tuesday's registration night.
He assured his audience safety was a top priority.
"At California Elementary School, we take safety very seriously," Baker said. "In the last year, we have added a very valuable resource to make sure your students are safe."
That valuable resource is Scott Harkins, the district's new student resource officer. Baker said Harkins will be giving students presentations on drug awareness, railroad safety and other important safety features they can use at home and at school.
Baker said it "takes a village to educate children," but he also prompted the parents about how educational standards have evolved over time.
"There is no more macaroni art with lots of glue," he said. "Now there is a lot of rigor and education. I guarantee you all that your child will be reading by Christmas."
Baker said kindergarten students actively practice what they're learning and take ownership of their own education experiences. One such way this method has proven successful is through open communication, he said.
"I like to think of communication here as a three-legged stool," he said. "One leg is the student, another is the parent and the third is the school. If one of those three legs is missing, then nothing is going to be in concert."
Along with communication, Baker told the parents and future students about the different amenities students can use if needed. The district offers services from professionals in various therapy fields such as speech, physical, occupational and behavior.
Just after orientation, the crowd took a self-guided tour in the kindergarten classes. There, future students had a meet and greet with their future classrooms and teachers.