John Mills kindergarten student in her classroom.


Welcome to kindergarten! This is a special time when children are introduced to new learning experiences, friendships and environments. We are excited to have your child start their educational journey here in District 401.

Kindergarten is open to all Elmwood Park children who will be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1 of the school year in which they will be entering the program.

This page will answer questions regarding kindergarten curriculum, day-to-day schedules, student expectations and how to best prepare your child for the transition to kindergarten!

We look forward to getting to know your child and watching them learn and grow. Welcome!

Full-Day Kindergarten in District 401

Contact Information

Our kindergarten students attend either John Mills Elementary School or Elmwood Elementary School

Students attend John Mills for kindergarten if they live north of the railroad tracks. They attend Elmwood if they live south of the tracks. (Please note that all District 401 pre-kindergarten students attend John Mills.) For contact information, see directly below.

Grades PK-5
2824 N. 76th Ave., Elmwood Park, IL 60707
Enrollment Contact: Ms. Denise Wurtz
Phone: 708-452-3560
Principal: Mr. Frank Kuzniewski
Assistant Principal: Ms. Natalia Gomez

Grades K-5
2319 N. 76th Ave., Elmwood Park, IL 60707
Enrollment Contact: Ms. Felicia Mirabile
Phone: 708-452-3558
Principal: Mr. Matthew Lerner
Assistant Principal: Ms. Stephanie Hagins

Kindergarten Programs

District 401’s kindergarten program is a full-day model. However, parents always have the right to request a half-day option for their child.

In addition, we provide a one-way (Spanish) dual-language immersion program at John Mills, and we offer special education services for kindergarten students at both schools.

Full-day students receive instruction in the core curriculum, as well as daily opportunities to engage in purposeful play and participating in specials such as art, music, physical education, technology and enrichment.

Students receive literacy and math instruction in the morning before they are picked up at lunch time. Families interested in half-day kindergarten should speak with their building administrator to request the half-day option.

District 401 offers a one-way (Spanish) dual-language immersion program in which students who are native Spanish speakers qualify for the (Spanish) bilingual program. Students in kindergarten receive 50 percent of their instruction in Spanish and 50 percent of their instruction in English by a certified instructor.

District 401 provides a full range of special education and related services, which are determined by a student's individualized education plan (IEP). For students eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), we follow procedures for identification, evaluation, placement and delivery of services to children with disabilities provided in the ISBE Special Education rules. For more information about the services we offer, contact our PK-5 Special Education Coordinator at 708-583-5852.

Kindergarten Core Curriculum & Specials

District 401’s core curriculum is aligned to Common Core State Standards and Illinois Learning Standards. For more information about the materials used for kindergarten instruction, please see the Curriculum & Instruction main page of our District website.

English language arts (ELA), mathematics, science, social studies and social-emotional learning (SEL) make up our core curriculum, along with time for purposeful play and movement. This curriculum is supplemented by instruction in "specials" — that is, weekly classes in art, music, enrichment, technology and physical education.

To learn more about our core curriculum and specials, please click any of the following rows:

A Typical Day in Kindergarten

A possible schedule for your kindergartener will include a day filled with academic and social exploration: 

  • Students take part in learning activities focused on reading, writing, speaking and listening, math, science and social studies.
  • Students participate in a daily special. We offer the following specials: music, art, physical education, technology and enrichment.
  • Students also have a daily recess before or after lunch.

We Use SeeSaw!

Our kindergarten teachers use the SeeSaw app for digital tasks, learning centers and communication with families.

Information on how to access your child’s SeeSaw account and classroom will be sent home by your child's teacher.

Tips to Prepare Your Child for School

  • Read one of our social stories and get to know your child’s school:
  • Speak positively about school so your child is excited about starting kindergarten and learning new things.
  • Help your child be more independent with meals, using the bathroom, zipping jackets and putting on shoes.
  • Practice basic numbers and letters with your child and how to write their first name.
  • Encourage your child to express wants or needs, to be a good listener and friend.
  • Introduce and review school-day routines so your child is familiar with the structure of school days.
  • Make home a place for learning. Designate a spot where you can do school activities with your child after school on a regular basis.

For More Information

Have a question? See our Frequently Asked Questions document, which can be found here:

To learn more about the school your child will be attending, please see the contact information located above near the top of this page. 

Again, welcome to kindergarten!