Kids raising hands

Who wants to go to big kid school?

Kindergarten registration and spring screening starts in March and continues into May for the Black Hills area communities. It’s not a requirement in order for your preschooler to join the ranks of being a big kid and attend elementary school, but it’s helpful for a few different reasons.

First, the screening process, which tests language and speech, vision, hearing, small and large motor skills, allows the kindergarten teachers at your child’s school to be ready for the wide spectrum of needs and skill levels of incoming students. It’s important to remember this is not a pass or fail test. Your child isn’t going to answer a question wrong and be barred from starting school.

Another reason the screening is helpful is that it allows the school districts a chance to identify and remediate a speech therapy need or learning disability. By identifying these areas early, the school district can provide the needed services right from the beginning.

Additionally, the screening gives parents a snapshot of their child’s skills. Parents can take advantage of this information and use the summer to work on areas that need some extra TLC.

Parents will need to call the school two weeks prior to their school’s screening dates in order to schedule their appointment. Plan to attend the appointment with your child for approximately one hour.

THINGS TO REMEMBER: Kindergarten registrations are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis during screening. State law requires your child to be five years old on or before September 1 of the year they will be attending Kindergarten. Immunizations should be completed prior to the first day of school.


• A certified copy of your child’s birth certificate

• Immunization records

• Your child’s Social Security card

• Parent/guardian photo ID

• Completed registration packet

Use the following link to find your home school’s kindergarten registration and screening schedule:

Rapid City Elementary Schools

Click link for school dates

Meade School District

Spearfish School District

Mountain View Elementary: Registration – Feb. 10-21, Screenings: March 4-6 (appointments required)

Lead-Deadwood School District

Registration: March 2-18, Screening: March 20 (appointments required)

Hot Springs School District

Registration: May 4

Hill City School District

Registration and Screenings: March 15 & 16 (appointments required)

Check the Calendar of Events for specific dates.