Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)FAQ

Four-year-old kindergarten (4K) provides all young children with the opportunity to participate in a quality early learning program that provides a solid foundation for lifelong learning. Children build the social and pre-academic skills that contribute to future success in school.

Benefits of 4K include

  • Guarantee of a DPI licensed teacher
  • Curriculum that addresses the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards for preschool children
  • Opportunities for early identification of potential learning needs and intervention
  • Expanded parent involvement and training opportunities
  • Additional resources to maintain and build on quality early learning programming

What does 4K look like in the Appleton Area School District?

  • 4K in Appleton is universal for all 4 year olds and voluntary
  • 4K is a comprehensive child development program providing high quality learning opportunities for all four-year-old children and their families prior to 5K
  • Appleton Community 4K is implemented using a Community-Based Collaborative Model that
    builds on existing early learning programs, child care centers, private preschools, Head Start
    programs, and faith based programs in partnership with the AASD to provide quality early
    childhood education for four year olds
  • All Appleton Community 4K teachers must be licensed through the Department of Public
    Instruction (DPI)


When did 4K begin in the Appleton Area School District?
On October 8, 2012, the Appleton Area School District Board of Education approved implementation of 4K and on December 21, 2012 the funding plan was approved. The Appleton Community 4K program began in the 2013-2014 school year.

Who can participate in 4K?
A child must be 4 on or before September 1st and be an AASD resident to enroll in 4 year old
Kindergarten for the upcoming school year. For more information: please contact Community_4K@aasd.k12.wi.us

Is open enrollment an option?
Yes, open enrollment applies to 4K children however, only if the child’s resident school district has 4K programming and only if the child is eligible for the program in her or his resident school district [Wis. Stats. § 118.51 (2)].

Do families have a tuition cost for 4K? What will I have to pay for during the year?
There is no tuition fee for the 4-year-old Kindergarten program, regardless of whether the program a child attends is located in a community based setting or a school building. There will be an annual school fee of approximately $15.00.

What are the days/hours of the program?
Four-year-old Kindergarten will follow the AASD school year calendar. Children will attend 4K programming for 5 days a week for a 2 ½ hour session in either the am or pm. Individual sites will have the opportunity to request a variation from this schedule. Families will receive information from their assigned site regarding their school calendar at the August Welcome to 4K Night.

What will class sizes look like?
Typically 4K classrooms have 18 – 22 children with 2 adults. The AASD has established class size ratios of no more than 13 students to one adult. In addition, class sizes may not exceed 24 students total.

Is wrap around care offered before or after 4K?
Many sites will offer childcare before and/or after 4K sessions. This option is not available in AASD school host sites. Families may enroll their child in wrap around care at a community based 4K site (which is a separate process from 4K registration), knowing that they will be responsible for any charges for care outside the 4K class time.

What do I do if my child currently attends child care and I want them to attend 4K? Can I pick the site my child attends?
If a child currently attends an AASD community partner site and parents would like their child to attend that site for 4K, they may, dependent on available space. Parents who select a site outside of their neighborhood school attendance area will automatically assume responsibility for transportation to and from the 4K site. 

Is transportation provided?
Transportation will be provided according to current AASD guidelines.

Will there be a waiting list for 4K sites that have reached full enrollment?

Waiting lists will not be created for 4K locations. Should a center not have the space to enroll all students who are interested in attending, the district will assign students to another site based on: 1) parent/guardian site preference, 2) parent/guardian session preference and 3) attendance area.

When does the registration process begin?
Registration will occur with two registration windows. Registration for families already established in community partner locations, who wish to attend in that location, will take place during the middle of January. General registration will begin the first week of February.

When will I find out which site my child will attend?

Parents will be notified of site assignments no later than May 15th.

Is early entrance into the AASD 4K Program possible?

Early entrance to 4K will not be considered. A child must be 4 years old on or before September 1 of that school year to participate in the 4K program. See AASD School Board Policy 421 for further details on Early Admission within the Appleton Area School District.

Must children be toilet trained to participate in 4K?

Children are not required to be toilet trained to participate in 4K.

Where will 4K be offered?
The AASD will partner with local child care, Head Start and preschool programs to offer a variety of 4K sites. In addition, a limited number of elementary schools will be 4K school host sites. A list of the Appleton Community 4K sites is available.

Can my child attend 4K twice (retention)?
Retention may be recommended based on established school board policy. Children enrolled in Appleton Community 4K attend for one year. A grade level retention may be considered if a child demonstrates a lack of progress in completing the board adopted 4K curriculum, based on observation and progress monitoring data.

Curriculum and Instruction

Can a child attend 2 different sessions of 4K?
No, a child cannot attend both am and pm sessions of 4K.

What curriculum is used?

The board adopted AASD 4K curriculum is aligned to the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS) and the Common Core State Standards for Kindergarten. A community site can request a variance as long as there is a demonstrated alignment to WMELS, the Common Core State Standards and the AASD 4K curriculum.

What will a 4K student experience?
High quality early learning experiencesfor young children capitalize on their natural curiosity. 4K curriculum activities for four-year-olds will involve lots of play based opportunities for discovery, problem solving, and social interactions with age mates and adults. Language rich environments will provide a solid foundation for future learning. Play is the work of early childhood; play is how much of their learning takes place.

Will my child be assessed in 4K? What will be assessed?
Yes, children participating in 4K will be assessed. Their progress in the 4K developmental areas of Approaches to Learning, Language Development and Communication Arts, Mathematical Thinking, Physical Health and Development and Social Emotional Development will be monitored in an ongoing manner based upon the student’s performance in curriculum activities.

How is my child’s progress documented/shared?

In addition to parent-teacher conferences, a progress report will be completed and sent home at the end of each semester.

Will parent-teacher conferences be offered?
Yes, parents can expect two parent teacher conferences per school year, similar to the K12 conferences in the fall and spring. Parent/teacher meetings can also be scheduled at any time to discuss student progress.

What are the education requirements for 4K teachers?
Teachers of 4K students must hold a Prekindergarten or Kindergarten Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction license. Ongoing professional development and collaboration activities will support 4K teachers and bridge transitions with 4K and 5K teachers to ensure high quality learning environments and continuous program improvement.

Will field trips be offered?
Individual sites may plan up to 3 field trips to enhance curriculum and provide additional learning
opportunities. Appleton Community 4K sites are not required to plan field trips,

Family Engagement

Will there be opportunities for family engagement?
Yes, parent engagement is a critical component of Appleton Community 4K. We value parents as a child’s first teacher and will work to build home-school-community relationships. The AASD is responsible for a district plan for 4K parent involvement. Parent engagement can take a variety of forms. Opportunities will be provided by sites and the district.

Serving Children with Special Education Needs

How will my child with special education needs be served?
A continuum of special education services will be available for students with disabilities. This continuum will include services such as integrated classrooms, itinerant services, speech and language and physical and occupational therapy. A student’s IEP team will determine the services a child receives based upon their individual educational needs.

Serving Children who are Dual Language Learners

Will there be support for children who are learning English as a second language (Dual Language

AASD has some classrooms with Hmong or Spanish interpreters to support children who are dual language learners. Children are identified to attend these classrooms based on information collected from parents during registration.
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