By Superintendent Van Ayres

Enrolling your child in kindergarten is an important and emotional milestone for many parents. But don’t worry, Hillsborough County Public Schools is here to make the process smooth and enjoyable for both you and your child.

Schools across the district will host Kindergarten Ready Open Houses starting at the end of February. To enroll in kindergarten and to attend an open house, your child must turn 5 on or before September 1, 2024.

Here’s how you can prepare for kindergarten enrollment:

• Find Your School. Use the convenient school locator tool on the district website — — to find your assigned school. You can also explore options for our magnet schools at

• Attend Open House. These events are invaluable for getting acquainted with the school environment. You’ll learn about the school, possibly tour the facilities and meet the principal. It’s also a great opportunity to ask any specific questions you might have.

• Gather Documentation. There’s quite a bit of paperwork involved in registering a child for kindergarten. Make sure you have all the necessary documents ready. Check the list of required documents at Please note, your child’s registration is not complete until all documentation is submitted.

Many parents wonder if their child is ready to start kindergarten. The answer, I can assure you, is most likely yes.

There are resources available that can help ease this transition. The Florida Department of Education and the Early Learning Coalition of Tampa Bay offer practical tips for preparing your child for kindergarten, book recommendations and guidelines on what your child should know before starting school. These resources are available on their respective websites at Prek Standards 12.27 (search on and

Remember, enrolling your child in kindergarten is a big step, but with these resources and preparations, you’ll be well-equipped for this new journey. Get ready for an emotional yet exciting milestone, and don’t forget to bring your Kleenex.

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