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Alternative Kindergarten class in action.

Alternative kindergarten is a full-day program that gives your student the opportunity to grow another year before entering kindergarten. Your student must be 5 years old on or before September 15 to be eligible. Interested students will be screened to determine eligibility for alternative kindergarten.

Alternative kindergarten follows the Cedar Rapids Community School District K-12 calendar, and elementary school hours.

Alternative kindergarten is offered at Kenwood Leadership Academy, Maple Grove Elementary and Viola Gibson Elementary School. Your home address determines the school that your student attends. Learn more about transportation here.

What to expect for your student

The alternative kindergarten curriculum focuses on literacy and math foundational skills that sets your student up for educational success.

  • The program provides a balance of both teacher-directed and child-selected activities using both large and small group activities
  • Positive guidance with firm, consistent procedures for behavior helps children develop self-control and teaches them to take responsibility for their actions
  • Provides for varying rates of growth and development and respects children’s internal time-table

How to enroll

The enrollment process for alternative kindergarten is the same as for kindergarten. In the kindergarten registration form, you must indicate your interest for alternative kindergarten, and you will receive an email with more information if your student qualifies. Interested students will be screened in the spring to determine eligibility.

If your student does not qualify for alternative kindergarten, they will be enrolled in their resident school for kindergarten.


Key contacts

Eric Christenson

Executive Director of Elementary Education



Kenwood Leadership Academy

3700 E Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Maple Grove Artist Render

Maple Grove Elementary School

1300 38th St. NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405

Viola Gibson 3 1

Viola Gibson Elementary School

6101 Gibson Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52411