Kindergartners, preschoolers who skipped last year fall behind

A number of kindergartners and preschoolers were held back a year because of the COVID pandemic. This year's kindergartners are starting from behind.


State News

September 17, 2021 - 3:17 PM

Kindergarten enrollment dropped nearly 9% in Kansas last year, as thousands of families opted to keep kids home during the pandemic. Photo by Suzanne Perez/Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Armstrong Drees could have gone to kindergarten last year. He didn’t.

His mom, Lindsay, worried about COVID-19 outbreaks, particularly before a vaccine was available for the adults and teens around him. She briefly tried remote school, which was an option last year in the Wichita suburb of Goddard. Ultimately, she decided to keep the 6-year-old home an extra year.

This fall, like a number of Kansas kindergartners and first-graders, he’s experiencing school for the first time.

“There is no right decision,” said Lindsay Drees, a mother of four.

Lindsay Drees’ son Armstrong, right, started kindergarten a year late this fall. Another son, Abraham, left, is a third-grader.