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SDSU Kindergarten

Enrollment in the SDSU Kindergarten

Enrollment in the SDSU Kindergarten occurs during the Brookings School District Kindergarten Screening process which will occur on Monday, March 29 through Wednesday March 31, 2021. To make an appointment go to During the appointment process and screening process, families who are interested in enrolling their children in the SDSU Kindergarten will need to indicate that on the forms.

For families who are interested in the SDSU Kindergarten, there is a presentation below that has more information, along with the SDSU Kindergarten Information below the presentation. 

For more information, please email the SDSU Kindergarten teacher, Bethann Murphy or call 605-688-6701.

A Day in the Life of a Kindergartner in the SDSU Kindergarten

SDSU Kindergarten Information


The enrollment for the SDSU Kindergarten Program occurs each year in the spring for the following fall during the Brookings School District Kindergarten Screening Time. Interested family members need to indicate on the enrollment information that they would like their child to attend the SDSU Kindergarten as an alternative placement. Twenty-two children are chosen at random from the pool of interested families. The remaining families are then placed on an annual waiting list. Chosen families are notified in late spring before the end of the current school year. Spots may open throughout the summer as family plans change.


There is NO FEE to attend the SDSU Kindergarten. If families use the OST program outside of school time, there is an hourly fee for just the times used.


The SDSU Kindergarten operates Monday through Thursday from 8:15 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. The school year starts and ends similar to the Brookings School District, but has extended winter and spring breaks due to the SDSU schedule.


Hot lunch is available through the Brookings School District meal program for the SDSU Kindergarten.


While planning for children's learning, the teachers assess the developmental readiness of each child and differentiate instruction accordingly. The interests and background knowledge of the students, as well as the State of South Dakota standards for language arts, math, science and social studies, are incorporated into small and whole group investigations in a playful, inquiry-based approach. Art, technology and movement are woven into these inquiries. Daily literacy instruction in phonics and reading comprehension promotes early literacy skills. Concrete and experiential math lessons stimulate mathematical thinking skills. Additionally, social and emotional development is regarded as an important component of kindergarten and focus on cooperation, friendship skills and self-regulation is included in the curriculum.

In collaboration with SDSU, our PE classes, music classes and guidance sessions are conducted in conjunction with the related departments on campus. Occasional foreign language and art collaborations occur to support curriculum in the classroom. Additional campus resources are used when taking field trips and inviting guest speakers into the classroom.

Daily Schedule

8:15-8:45 a.m. Discovery Centers (math, literacy, science, art, dramatic play, cooperative play, investigation, etc.)

8:45-9:30 a.m. Morning Meeting/Snack

9:30-9:50 a.m. Outdoor Time

9:50-11 a.m. Large and Small Group Literacy and Math

11-11:30 a.m. Science Investigations

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch and Outdoor Time

12:30-12:40 p.m. Meditation

12:40-1:10 p.m. Literacy/Writer’s Workshop

1:10-1:45 p.m. PE/Music/Guidance

1:45-2:15 p.m. Extended Discovery Centers

2:15-2:30 Story Time

2:30 Dismissal

Out-of-School Time Program

The kindergarten is a free public school classroom. For families interested in care outside of school hours, the hourly fee-based Out-of-School Time (OST) Program provides an extended day schedule run by Jennifer Johnson, Coordinator of the Fishback Center for ECE and staffed by Early Childhood Education students. Students may arrive at school for the morning session at 7:30 a.m. The afternoon session runs from 2:30-5:15 p.m. On Friday, when kindergarten is not in session, OST operates all day from 7:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Outdoor time, stories, art, play centers and snacks are offered for children, as well as special excursions and activities on campus.


Given the SDSU Kindergarten Program is considered a parent's choice alternative placement in the Brookings School District, there is no school bus service. Transportation is the responsibility of the parents. Some families choose to arrange transportation with the BATA bus; others make car-pool arrangements with other families whose children are enrolled in the program.

Contact Information

Bethann Murphy

Kindergarten Mentor Teacher
Early Childhood Education Instructor
Phone: 605-688-6701

Jennifer Johnson

Coordinator of the Out-of-School-Time Program for the Kindergarten
ECE Instructor
Phone: 605-688-4751

SDSU Kindergarten and Out-of-School-Time Program Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Collaboration with the Brookings School District and SDSU?

The SDSU Kindergarten is considered a Brookings’ Public-School classroom and therefore is free for families. Our kindergarten teacher works for both SDSU as an Early Childhood Education Instructor and as a Kindergarten Teacher for the Bookings’ School District.

All families in the Brookings School District are eligible for the SDSU Kindergarten. When attending kindergarten screening, families must state their preference for the SDSU Kindergarten and then there is a lottery draw with the interested families. There is a total of 22 children in the classroom.

What are the hours for the kindergarten?

The SDSU Kindergarten goes Monday through Thursday from 8:15 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

What do I do before and after school and on Fridays?

We have an Out-of-School-Time (OST) Program specific to our kindergarten families that goes from 7:30-8:15 a.m., after school from 2:30-5:15 p.m., and all day on Fridays 7:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. for families who choose to use the program. It is an hourly tuition for the OST program and you only pay for the time you use (rounded up to the nearest half hour). If you are accepted into the SDSU Kindergarten, you automatically can have a spot in the OST program if you would like. We have space for all children. No transport is needed because the OST program uses the kindergarten spaces. Tuition is paid monthly for this program.

How many teachers are in the classroom?

The SDSU Kindergarten is in collaboration with the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program at SDSU, which is a training program for future teacher-educators. The SDSU Kindergarten always has at least two teachers, but also includes student teachers and assistant teachers in the ECE program. This number goes up and down due to enrollment in classes but averages around 2-3 student teachers each semester and an assistant teacher each day. This extra help in the classroom keeps group sizes small and allows for more individualized instruction.

What is the collaboration with SDSU’s campus?

We utilize campus resources throughout the year. Our PE classes, music classes and guidance sessions are conducted in conjunction with the related departments on campus. Occasional foreign language and art collaborations occur to support curriculum in the classroom. Additional campus resources are used when taking field trips and inviting guest speakers into the classroom.

What does the curriculum include?

Our curriculum follows the SDState Kindergarten Standards, the curriculum provided by the school district, and it is also inquiry-based. We believe that children are capable and competent and that they need to be involved in their education through inquiry investigations. They use hands-on activities and questioning to socially construct their knowledge by working together and problem solving. More about our philosophy can be found on our website.

What does my child do for lunch and snacks?

Lunch is through the school district just like the other elementary schools. The food is transported to our building and served by our staff in the classroom. Snacks are provided by families for the kindergarten day, and the OST program provides snacks for the children after school.

What is accreditation?

We are nationally accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC accreditation means that programs are held to higher standards of best practice in education.