Four-Year-Old Kindergarten

Shorewood School District is excited to offer four-year-old Kindergarten (4K)! This tuition-free program is available to all District residents at both Atwater Elementary and Lake Bluff Elementary.
On Thursday, February 23, Atwater Elementary and Lake Bluff Elementary held an Open House to provide parents and caregivers with an opportunity to visit the classrooms and speak with 4K teachers, Milestones wraparound care representatives and members of the school PTOs.
If you missed the Open House, you can learn more about the 4K classroom experience by viewing the presentation below:

Join Atwater 4K teacher, Ms. Thoreson, virtually as she reads Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes and provides a few important updates on 4K registration!

Shorewood’s 4K program focuses on building the academic and social-emotional skills young learners need to be successful in school and can be coordinated with Milestones wraparound care to create a seamless and engaging full-day schedule. 

In addition to developing academic skills aligned with Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards, 4K students benefit from our District-wide commitment to social-emotional health and wellness and student-led learning opportunities that encourage curiosity, creativity, and collaboration. 

4K is also an opportunity for families to become part of an amazing elementary school community. Through school events, volunteer opportunities and classroom visits, you and your child will develop friendships that will last a lifetime.
Please explore the menu items below to learn more about Shorewood School District 4K. Enrollment for the 23/24 school year will open January 1, 2023.

If you cannot make the 4K Open House on February 23, and would like a tour of the classrooms/school, please contact:

If you have another student currently in Shorewood Public School, log into the Infinite Campus Parent Portal, click the “More” tab in the left navigation bar, then click the “Online Registration” link.

If you are NEW to the District, visit the District website’s New Student Enrollment page and click the “Online Registration” link.

**Please note interest in morning 4K enrollment is high. If you are interested in AM 4K, you must register no later than Friday, February 10, to be entered in a lottery for available seats. Families will be notified about placements on or before Friday, February 17.

Our "Hurray for 4K" events will begin after Winter Break, including a 4K Open House at each of our elementary schools on February 23 and other activities for new families. Continue to check here for updates!

  • The 4K program is a tuition-free program offered by Shorewood Schools for District residents
  • 4K will be at your neighborhood elementary school (see division of schools below). To verify which elementary school your child is eligible to attend, contact Student Services at [email protected]
  • Enrollment is for children who are four years old, on or before September 1, 2023 (no exceptions)
  • The 4K program is five days a week for a half-day, with morning or afternoon sessions
  • 4K curriculum is closely aligned to Shorewood's 5K curriculum to best prepare our youngest learners
  • State-Certified Teachers and Assistants in all classrooms
  • High-quality, wraparound childcare services are conveniently offered at each elementary school for a fee by Milestones, and complement the District's 4K curriculum.
Exposure to Shorewood’s 4K program sets students up for success by developing skills, behaviors, and dispositions that are aligned with the District’s instructional programming and building a foundation for future success.  These high-quality early learning experiences ensure equitable learning opportunities for all students.
Shorewood’s 4K program provides learning experiences for students with a focus on academic and social-emotional development.  The 4K program allows students to develop relationships with peers and adults while becoming comfortable with the school environments at Atwater and Lake Bluff Elementary Schools.  The program is built around the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards with a focus on the following areas:

  • Language Arts and Early Literacy Development: comprehension, letter recognition, phonemic awareness, oral reading and decoding, concepts of print, and conventions of reading.
  • Writing Production Skills: learning the mechanics and conventions of writing and developing an understanding of the purpose of writing.
  • Mathematical Thinking: developing number relationships, measurement, geometry, algebraic thinking, and mathematical processes.
  • Creative Expression: using a variety of materials to explore and express ideas and emotions.  Participating in creative movement, dance, drama, and group music experiences.
  • Scientific Inquiry: exploring the natural world and developing observation, comparison, and prediction skills.  Learners will take field trips to extend their learning to community partners like the Urban Ecology Center.
  • Social Skills: getting to know yourself as an individual, as a member of a family, and as a member of a community.  Students are exposed to a wide variety of cultural customs, celebrations, and traditions.
  • Motor Skills: developing fine and gross motor skills through writing and other tools, using art to complete fine motor tasks, and engaging in outdoor play while learning to use equipment and interact with peers.

A typical day in 4K includes a combination of large and small group learning opportunities along with outdoor play and indoor play activities.  Engagement in these activities results in: social and emotional development, language and communication development, health and physical development, and growth in academic knowledge and skills.  A typical day’s activities include:

  • Arrival - Caregivers drop off at school, or students are picked up from the Milestones classroom.
  • Table Toys - Students engage in activities focusing on fine motor skills and current literacy or math learning targets.
  • Crew Meeting - Whole group activities focused on building community and learning about respect, responsibility, and cooperation.
  • Work Time - Academic-based mini-lessons in a whole group structure.  Students are then presented with an activity related to the mini-lesson.
  • Calendar - Student opportunity to practice math skills such as rote counting, concepts of before and after, understanding weather, and exposure to graphing.  Literacy concepts explored include letter sounds, rhyming, beginning sounds, and more. 
  • Center Time - Stations throughout the classroom in which the students are able to learn and explore through play. Students are invited to explore their interests and develop social skills with peers during this time.
  • Snack - Another opportunity for students to develop proactive social skills with teachers and peers.
  • Outside Play - Students enjoy free play on the Kindergarten playground.
  • Dismissal - Students are dismissed to Milestones staff within the building, or are brought outside to meet caregivers.  

About our Program:

Milestones is a non-profit agency that collaborates with the Shorewood School District to offer a state-licensed childcare option for students attending Lake Bluff and Atwater schools. Families can add wraparound care to a child’s 4K session, offering care as early as 7:00 AM and as late as 5:45 PM depending on the needs of the family. These programs are private pay, but Milestones also offers need-based financial assistance. 

What can you expect from Milestones Programs for Children?

  • CARING STAFF - Milestones teachers are warm, nurturing, knowledgeable in child development, and committed to fostering the individual potential of your child.
  • PLAY-BASED CURRICULUM - Structured to provide a safe, secure, and developmentally appropriate environment for children to learn and grow.
  • INTENTIONAL CURRICULUM APPROACH - focused on the interests of the children.  Science discoveries, sensory experiences, daily outdoor play, cooperative games, painting, drawing, music, and more.   
  • SEAMLESS TRANSITION - Located in your child’s school to provide a seamless transition and perfect complement from your child’s school day to after school. 
  • TRUSTED PARTNER - Close connection and daily communication with school district staff to support your child’s individual needs beyond the school day.   
  • Ranked as one of the top ten after-school programs in the state.
  • Over 40 years of collaboration with the Shorewood school district
  • Over 40 years of providing after-school services in the North Shore
  • Exceptional child-to-staff ratios

Milestones Options - Days/Hours

  • Monday through Friday- Choose from 2-5 days a week.
  • 7:00 AM  to school start time
  • School dismissal time to 5:45 PM
  • Full-day care provided on no-school days

Milestones Daily Routine

7:00-8:15             Before School Activities including center outside time & Teacher lead activities

8:15                     Atwater/Lake Bluff Elementary School begins

8:30-9:00             Free Choice and Main Activity

9:00                     AM Snack

9:30-10:00           Outside Time

10:00-11:00         Center choice

11:05                   Escort Atwater/Lake bluff AM JrK’s to Milestones

11:00-11:30         Group time

11:30-12:15         Lunch

12:35                  Atwater/Lake Bluff PM JrK begins

12:30-1:00           Main Activity

1:00-1:30             Outside Time

1:30-2:00             Quiet Time                    

2:00-3:00             Center choice

3:25                     Escort PM JrK’s Milestones

3:25-3:45             Group Time

3:45-4:15             PM Snack

3:45-4:30             Main Activity

4:30-5:30             Outside/gym time

5:30-5:45             “5:30 Box” and End of Day Choices

  • Classroom Volunteers
  • Field Trip Chaperones
  • Parent Visits
  • Take-Home Projects
  • Cultural Celebrations
  • School-wide Events
Important 4K Dates
  • January 1 - 4K registration opens
  • February 10 - Registration for AM/PM lottery ends
  • February 17 - Lottery results shared with parents
  • February 23 - 4K Open House at Atwater Elementary and Lake Bluff Elementary
    • Tour of the classrooms provided
    • Meet the 4K teachers/aides
    • Register (if you have not done so already)
  • TBD - 4K Family Play Dates
  • TBD - Jump into 4K Program
District Events (any and all invited!)
  • March 14 - District Orchestra Festival 
  • March 16 - Shorewood High School Choir Concert
  • April 10 - Atwater Book Fair
  • April 22 - Atwater Landscape Work Day 
  • May 6 - Swing with Shorewood Auction
  • May 20 - Lake Bluff Landscape Work Day
  • May 23 - Shorewood High School Band Concert
  • TBD - Lake Bluff Playground Grand Opening