Kindergarten Ready: The foundation of your GIPS Experience.

We understand kindergarten is new adventure. For most first-time kindergarten parents, the last kindergarten experience you had was when you yourself were in kindergarten a few years ago. A lot has changed since then. For example, GIPS kindergarten is all day. There was a time when kindergarten was either morning or afternoon. GIPS has been full-day kindergarten for nearly two decades. Also, our kindergarten students do not take naps at school. GIPS kindergarten is for learning ... and playing, too.

Don't be surprised if your kindergarten student is worn out when they come home from school the first few weeks. It can be quite the adjustment! The following information is for you to learn more about how to be Kindergarten Ready. Again, if there are questions you have which aren't answered below, please reach out to us via the Let's Talk Kindergarten Ready page. We look forward to meeting you and having your child welcomed into the GIPS family.

From Dr. Grover

Welcome to Grand Island Public Schools and our outstanding kindergarten program! The start of the formal educational experience is a very exciting time for both parent and child. Getting your child ready for the first day of kindergarten is typically more anxiety-inducing for parents than for the child. Fortunately, after only a few days that worry is diminished considerably through the efforts of our skilled kindergarten teachers! Our experienced kindergarten staff is here to provide a sound educational, social and emotional foundation for each child so that teachers in subsequent years can build upon that framework. Your child’s first year in school is very important. Research indicates that habits and attitudes formed in the early years have a strong influence upon your child’s social and intellectual development. In order to provide the best possible school experience, your child will need the guidance and encouragement of both home and school. This site has been prepared for the parents and guardians of kindergarten children to provide information about the goals of this early educational experience and what you will need to know to set your child up for a successful transition. Again, we welcome you and your child to GIPS and look forward to a strong partnership in the years to come!

2021-2022 Kindergarten

Kindergarten in the year of COVID

The 2021-2022 school year will look a little different from most school years across all grades, including for our kindergarten students and parents. We have a lot of important changes from previous years and even from earlier communications to this year's kindergarten families.

We will be in constant communication with families from the district, the school and the classroom level to help keep you informed and comfortable with your children in our schools.

Click here for more information on the 2021-2022 Kindergarten experience.

Click here to read more about the 2021-2022 Kindergarten school year.

Common questions about GIPS Kindergarten


Who is Kindergarten for?

Kindergarten is for students who turn five by July 31 of the current year.

This chart provided by the Nebraska Department of Education shows when children are eligible for the next three school years.

See age chart

How do you sign up for Kindergarten?

Follow the instructions for online registration found at this link. All students, new and returning, must be registered for school each year. Online registration is available for all students, including kindergarten students.

If you already have another student in GIPS, you can follow the instructions for returning parents. If the kindergartener you are registering is your first child in GIPS, you will need to follow the instructions to get a ParentVue account and proceed to registration. All instructions are at the link.


How are parents involved?

Each school has different ways of helping parents be involved with kindergarten. Most GIPS elementary schools have a PTA/PTO parent group. 

We also encourage parents to volunteer in classrooms. We also need parent volunteers for special class events and field trips. To do so, we require a background check through our administration office. This is one way we help assure the safety of all students. 

Contact your school to see what opportunities exist.

Schools list

Parent Resources


At Home Activities

Suggestions for engaging your preschool child in tasks that develop their mathematical thinking!

See at home activities.

Actividades en Casa

Suggestions for engaging your preschool child in tasks that develop their mathematical thinking!

Ver actividades en casa.

Parent Resource Reading

What you can do to prepare your child for Kindergarten!

Read more.

Lectura de Recursos para Padres

¡Qué puedes hacer para preparar a tu hija para el jardín de infantes!

Lee mas.

Information from GIPS school nurses

Each GIPS elementary has a school nurse on hand to help families and support students. When signing up for kindergarten and getting ready for the first day, there are a lot of important steps to take, including ensuring the student has all the necessary vaccinations and the required physical form filled out and turned in by your family doctor.

The following information may be helpful as we work together to keep your child in school as much as possible. We recognize unique situations may develop. If you are unsure regarding your situation, please feel free to call the school and speak with the nurse.

Click here for more information from GIPS school nurses for kindergarten families.

Click here for more information from GIPS school nurses.

What does a day in GIPS Kindergarten look like?

Kindergarten helps students transition and prepare for the rest of their elementary school experience. The foundation of kindergarten is important for all students, whether or not they have had a high-quality early childhood education experience.

The typical kindergarten day includes learning, lunch and recess, as well as built-in time for play and discovery - two very important parts of early childhood education.

Students will progress throughout the year. GIPS follows the state standards for kindergarten curriculum and assesses students accordingly. However, our staff is exceptional at working with students who struggle with anxiety, stress and social emotional needs.


How can you prepare for kindergarten?

To prepare for kindergarten, parents can do a number of things with their child. We have compiled many resources on this page to help you.

You'll also want to be ready with school supplies. For kindergarten, the list is pretty small. Those are outlined on this page as well.

The best thing to keep in mind for a parent is this: Be enthusiastic about school and help your child be at school on time, every day!

Click here for more information on kindergarten preparation information.

Click here for more information on preparing for kindergarten.

What do students learn in GIPS Kindergarten?


English Language Arts

Demonstrate knowledge of print concepts, identify sounds, express ideas in writing using pictures, letter strings and words, eventually stringing words together; identify characters, setting and events in stories; and much more.

Kindergarten ELA


In kindergarten your child will learn how to write numbers from 0 to 20; add and subtract with numbers up to 5; count objects and say how many there are; identify and describe shapes and much more.

Kindergarten Math


The Kindergarten science standards and indicators help students gather, analyze and communicate evidence as they formulate answers to questions tailored to student interest and current topics.

Kindergarten Science
Nutrition Services Information

School Meals Program

Grand Island Public Schools Child Nutrition Program offers a complete and nutritious breakfast and lunch at all schools. Our meals meet strict guidelines set by the US Department of Education. Please visit our website for more information.

We look forward to serving your student!

Some of our schools offer a free breakfast to all students and five of our elementary schools offer both breakfast and lunch at no cost to students due to the designation of a Community Eligibility Provision.

If your child(ren) does not attend a school that offers meals at no cost, you may fill out a Free and Reduced Meal Application to apply for free or reduced meals. If you do not qualify for free and reduced meals, you can pay for meals here or type in the web address here: You can also send funds to school with your child. Please label the payment with your child’s name and teacher.

Additional things you will find on our website are meal prices, links to menus, Free and Reduced Meal application, meal nutrition information, District Wellness Policy and more! 

Click here for more information on the GIPS Meals program.

Click here for more information on GIPS Nutrition Services

Early Entry Kindergarten

Grand Island Public Schools recognizes that students should enter school ready to learn and socialize with the children and adults in their environment. Readiness for school entry is key to continued student success. 

Click here to learn more about the Early Entry Kindergarten process!