The Early Childhood Programs department hosted a Kindergarten Readiness Webinar on Nov. 30, providing vital information for families of students preparing to enter kindergarten in 2023-24. Early Childhood Director Laruen Pattullo shared data from the 2022 Early Development Index report, which measures student development in in five general domains-
- Physical Health and Well-Being
- Emotional Maturity
- Communication Skills and General Knowledge
- Language and Cognitive Development
- Social Competence
Pattullo and Kinoshita kindergarten teacher Damon Ridgway also shared strategies and practices for families to develop these skills at home, both before the student enrolls and throughout the kindergarten year.
The full webinar video can be viewed below, and the presentation slides can be viewed here. A summary of the Q&A session is also available below.
When does kindergarten registration begin?
Typically in February. Check with your home school for specific dates. Each school will host a kindergarten round-up orientation, where families can see the school and meet teachers.
Which schools accept School of Choice?
Around half of the schools in the District accept School of Choice applications. This year’s window is Feb. 1-March 3. Check the school’s website for information.
What is the size of a typical kindergarten class?
Approximately 24 students.
How can I encourage healthy food habits and eating independently in a timed lunch break?
Start by teaching your child the difference between a snack and a lunch, so they understand the timeline might be a little different throughout the day. Tell them that they can have choices at school and encourage them to try new foods. Incorporate some of the new foods they like at school at home.
Are students prompted when to eat and when they can play during lunch time?
Yes, they typically eat first, then have time for play.
How much recess/outside time do students have in kindergarten?
Three 20-minute recess periods each day, plus 100 minutes of PE each week.
What is the pre-assessment test?
The teachers sit one-on-one with each student to assess basic academic skills – letters, sounds, writing, numbers.
Is reading instruction in kindergarten focused on phonics rather than cues?
Kindergarten teachers all utilize curriculum that focuses on Reading Foundational Skills with an emphasis on phonological awareness and phonics.
For students who need additional help, are there reading recovery programs? Is there an emphasis the “whole reading” approach or other similar programs?
Our emphasis is utilizing the science of reading approach for intervention. Reading Foundational Skills are addressed through a structured literacy approach. Curriculum includes Wonders, Heggerty, and Orton-Gillingham for those students with significant needs.
Does i-Ready replace teacher-guided reading instruction? How does the teacher differentiate instruction for students needing a higher level?
i-Ready is supplemental and is differentiated. Teachers differentiate direct instruction, including intervention and extension.
How much are students using Chromebooks? How can I help prepare them to use them properly?
Kindergarten students use Chromebooks every day, and it’s important that they have basic working knowledge of devices when they start. Practice with both a mouse and a touchpad. The amount of time each day and week varies, but is closely monitored by teachers. Starfall, GoNoodle and Jack Hartmann are great resources for educational online materials that can help students practice using devices.
How can I help my child build confidence and be less shy?
Talk to your child everyday, before and after school. Ask what they did, who they played with, what they learned, what they liked/disliked, etc. Practice how to interact with new friends, take them to the park or playdates to meet new children. Engage with your teacher to learn how your child is doing in class, how you can help at home.