New Aged Kindergarten?
Remember your early school experiences in kindergarten? Those days were filled with learning how to use scissors, sharing and sitting on the carpet while you admired your new teacher. The old kindergarten is a distant memory compared to changes in early education today.
The standards and content for kindergarten are more rigorous and students cannot successfully perform in today’s typical kindergarten classroom without knowledge in language and content (colors, body parts, counting, etc.) ability in motor skills, self-care and social skills.
The state of Florida’s Board of Education increased state funded preschool programs because of the overwhelming number of students who were not prepared for kindergarten.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, pre-K providers in Florida are being scrutinized by the state on how they prepare students for school. Florida has developed a tool to review pre-K programs. Those programs that fail are deemed “low performing”. The Florida Department of Education is projecting 39% of pre-K programs will earn “low performing” marks in the up coming year.
The state of California has taken a different approach toward early classroom success. Recently, a law called the Kindergarten Readiness Act passed. This law will move the birthday cutoff date for new kindergartners from December to September.
This new kind of class is called Transitional Kindergarten. Educational theorists think that Transitional Kindergarten, will better prepare children to be successful.
The law also requires school districts to offer a new grade level for young children who have fall birthdays and have typically been too young to start kindergarten.
According to Mercury News.com “children with birthdays between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2 — those who would have been eligible for kindergarten under the old system — will be guaranteed a slot once the program is fully implemented in 2014.” Students will have an opportunity to attend school for two years to prepare for 1st grade.
Kindergarten changed and a variety of programs are available to help prepare your child to be successful. Check your state Department of Education website for changes in policy and programs of support.