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Kindergarten

The Forest Hills School District kindergarten program is shaped by the belief that all children are capable, engaged learners who thrive in a child-centered, safe environment. Students develop a curiosity and excitement for learning in a setting that promotes positive academic, social and emotional development. Forest Hills’ innovative program is designed to promote discovery and choice, as well as develop the strengths and address the needs of each child, to help students build a strong foundation for future success. The kindergarten classroom celebrates diversity and individual student contributions. Through collaboration, interaction and learning through play (purposeful play that supports learning goals), the whole child is developed.

Registration for the 2024-2025 school year will open on January 22, 2024 at 9 a.m. Please note, children must be five years old on or before August 1, 2024 to register for kindergarten.

CURRICULUM

Forest Hills School District operates six elementary schools that serve students in pre-kindergarten through grade six. The instruction emphasizes personalized learning that empowers students to grow academically, socially and emotionally. Students engage in learning experiences focused on English language arts, mathematics, health and wellness, social studies, visual and performing arts, science, and technology. For detailed information on Forest Hills’ curriculum, visit the PK-6 curriculum web page. Forest Hills School District uses 6 Cs (six competencies) as the foundation for teaching and learning. Focus is given not only to mastering core academic content, but also to building the skill sets of the 6 Cs (communication, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, character, citizenship). By mastering both, students develop a keen understanding of academic content and are able to apply their knowledge to situations in education and the workforce.

PARENT KINDERGARTEN VIRTUAL VIDEO

Watch the Kindergarten Parent Informational Video for the 2024-2025 school year.

After watching the video, please contact the buildings with additional questions or tours. 

Ayer Elementary
(513) 474-3811
Heather Hoelle, Principal
heatherhoelle@foresthills.edu

Maddux Elementary
(513) 231-0780
Joy O'Brien, Principal 
joyobrien@foresthills.edu

Mercer Elementary
(513) 232-7000
Jodi Davidson, Principal
jodidavidson@foresthills.edu

Sherwood Elementary
(513) 231-7565
Dan Hamilton, Principal
danhamilton@foresthills.edu

Summit Elementary
(513) 474-2270
Michele Sulfsted, Principal
michelesulfsted@foresthills.edu

Wilson Elementary
(513) 231-3240
Erin Storer, Principal
erinstorer@foresthills.edu

HOURS

Half-day, Morning: 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.

Half-day, Afternoon: 1-3:45 p.m.

All-Day: 9:15 a.m.-3:45 p.m.

TUITION

The tuition for all-day kindergarten is $3,165. A non-refundable $78 deposit (check) is required to complete registration, and this deposit is applied to the cost of tuition. Please send your $78 deposit check to: "Forest Hills School District, 7946 Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati, OH. 45255 Attention Sheila Humbert." Please include your child's full name and the school in which he/she will attend.

Tuition can be paid in a lump sum at the beginning of the school year or in monthly or quarterly installments. Payments will be made online via PaySchools Central. Financial assistance is available to those who apply and qualify for the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program.

Apply for Free and Reduced-Price School Meals. You will need your student’s ID number to apply online. Hard copies are also available in the Food Service Office at 7550 Forest Road; phone: (513) 231-3215.

The half-day program will not have a cost associated with it as the state of Ohio provides partial funding for half-day programs. FHSD does not receive additional funding from the state of Ohio for all-day kindergarten (the additional half-day of kindergarten to make it all-day).

All-Day Kindergarten Tuition Guidelines and Procedures 2024-2025. Please sign and return this form to your child's school.

FEES

Both all-day and half-day kindergarten programs have fees ($50) for academic materials. Financial assistance is available to those who apply and qualify for the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Frequently asked questions about kindergarten programs are below, but are not all encompassing. For more information, refer to the Kindergarten Program Guide or Grades PK-6 Student-Parent Handbook above.

What kindergarten programs are available to families in Forest Hills?

Thanks to generous support from the community, which led to the success of the 2014 bond issue, FHSD is able to offer both half-day and all-day programming options to families in the district.

What is the current state law regarding kindergarten options?

Currently, Ohio law states that school districts must provide tuition-free, half-day kindergarten for all who request it. Forest Hills also offers a tuition-based, all-day kindergarten program for families. Families choose which option is best for their child and family at the time of registration.

How can I learn more about the curriculum in kindergarten?

Should my child attend all-day or half-day kindergarten?

Every child is unique and has a different personality, learning behavior and skill set. Therefore, the decision on which kindergarten program to enroll a child is a parental and personal decision, based on the unique needs and situations for each child. There is no wrong answer and both programs meet the same curricular goals. Parents may want to consider the readiness information in the Grades PK-6 Student-Parent Handbook and the age of their child. Children must be five years old on or before August 1 of the given school year to register for kindergarten.

What is tuition for all-day kindergarten? Can it be paid in installments?

The tuition for all-day kindergarten is $3,165. Tuition can be paid in a lump sum at the beginning of the school year or in monthly or quarterly installments. Payments will be made online via PaySchoolsCentral. Financial assistance is available to those who apply and qualify for the Free/Reduced Lunch Program. 

Why is tuition charged for all-day kindergarten?

The 2014 bond issue allowed for additional classroom space to accommodate the gradual implementation of all-day kindergarten. However, money from bond issues can only be used for facilities, not operational expenses. Therefore, tuition would offset the additional operating costs and defer operating costs from taxpayers. Financial assistance will be available to those who apply and qualify for the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program.

The half-day program will not have a cost associated with it as the state of Ohio provides partial funding for half-day programs. FHSD does not receive additional funding from the state of Ohio for all-day kindergarten (the additional half-day of kindergarten to make it all-day). 

Parents will now have a choice of either half-day or all-day kindergarten, with transportation provided for both programs.

Do other districts charge for all-day kindergarten?

Yes. Many districts throughout the area and state have a tuition associated with all-day kindergarten to offset the additional cost to taxpayers. (For example, Milford Schools: $3,150; Sycamore Community Schools: $3,700; Wyoming City Schools: $3,500.)

Is financial assistance available for the all-day option?

Yes. Financial assistance will be available to those who apply and qualify for the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program. 

Are there additional fees associated with the kindergarten program?

Both all-day and half-day kindergarten programs have academic fees (currently $50) for academic materials. The all-day program requires a $75 deposit (check) at the time of registration, which is applied to tuition. Financial assistance is available to those who apply and qualify for the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program. 

How will the all-day and half-day kindergarten registration process work?

Parents and legal guardians of students begin the student registration process online. Once a parent completes the online registration process, they should upload required registration documents (see below). Families choose which program option (all-day or half-day) is best for their child and family at the time of registration. While it is not the preferred option, there may be a need for the district to transport students out of their attendance zones in order to balance all-day kindergarten class sizes.

Required Registration Documents:

  • parent/guardian driver’s license
  • child\'s current immunization records
  • child\'s official birth certificate
  • custody papers (if applicable)
  • proof of residence (mortgage deed, rental/lease agreement)
  • ETR/IEP/504 reports/documents (if applicable)
  • ALL-DAY KINDERGARTEN ONLY: $75 deposit (check) toward tuition 
  • ALL-DAY Kindergarten Tuition Statement

How will I know if my child is assigned to morning or afternoon half-day kindergarten class?

Students are assigned to morning or afternoon classes according to their street address for transportation purposes. Parents are urged to share special circumstances with the school principal. For more information, call the Forest Hills Transportation Department at (513) 231-3335.

How many students are in a kindergarten class?

While Forest Hills’ goal is to have approximately 19 students per kindergarten class, adjustments may be made based on enrollment.

Do kindergarten students attend school on the first day?

To help students transition to the school environment, Forest Hills has a staggered start for kindergarten students. Teachers will notify parents of their child’s starting date and time. 

How does lunch work?

Students have a combined lunch and recess time. At the beginning of each day, students inform their teacher if they are buying lunch or if they brought a lunch to school. If a child is buying lunch, parents will add money to the student’s account online (see instructions here). School staff will assist students in buying lunch. There are several adults in the cafeteria to help with opening lunch items, if needed.

Children in households receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Ohio Works First (OWF) benefits can receive free school meals regardless of income. Children can also receive free meals if the household’s gross income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Guidelines. For more information, visit the Food Service web page.

What supplies do I need to buy?

Supply lists are posted each summer at on thee PK-6 Resources page.

How can I be involved in my child’s school?

There are many different ways to get involved in FHSD! Volunteer information will be communicated through school newsletters. Learn more by visiting the website\'s volunteer page, which includes information on necessary requirements and contact information for different groups.

Are there before- and after-school care options?

The local YMCA operates a before- and after-school program, paid for by parents who utilize the program. For costs and additional information, parents should call the M.E. Lyons YMCA at (513) 474-1400. In the event that school is closed, before- and after-school care is also closed. 

Will transportation be provided for my kindergarten student?

Yes. The district provides transportation for all students who live more than one mile from school. While it is not the preferred option, there may be a need for the district to transport students out of their home school attendance zone in order to balance all-day kindergarten class sizes. Current transportation routes are available here. Please note, routes are subject to change.

If I suspect that my child has a special need, who should I contact?

Parents who suspect their child has a special need should contact Student Services at (513) 231-3600.

Will everyone who wants to be in all-day kindergarten be able to enroll?

It is believed that all students will be placed in their preferred kindergarten option. FHSD will know more once students begin to enroll. While is not the preferred option, there may be a need for the district to transport students out of their attendance zones in order to balance all-day kindergarten class sizes.

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