All children deserve a strong start at the beginning of school. Summit Education Initiative works in partnership with the Early Care and Education team of the Summit County First Things First collaborative to increase kindergarten readiness and school success at this first critical transition point. We have three strategies for increasing kindergarten readiness.
Increase access to high quality preschool experiences. Ohio’s Step Up To Quality system evaluates preschools using a 5-star rating system. Each fall, as school begins, we study the number of 3, 4 and 5-star rated programs in Summit County, and also the capacities for students at each. Success in this strategy involves increasing the number of high-rated programs and decreasing “open” or vacant enrollment slots in those programs.
Measure and describe child development at the end of preschool. Summit County early childhood experts created the Summit County Transition Skills Summary (TSS) in 2012. This common developmental report card can be used to measure development on 47 different skills at the end of preschool. Preschools, parents and receiving kindergarten programs receive reports on readiness levels of children each spring as they transition from preschool into kindergarten. Success in this strategy involves raising student developmental levels on the TSS while also increasing communication and partnerships between preschool and kindergarten programs. For more information about the TSS, click here.
Increase the proportion of students who begin kindergarten on track for success. Each fall, kindergarten teachers administer readiness assessments with their new students. Results of these assessments help teachers better understand how to support children as they begin formal schooling. These readiness assessment results are also highly correlated with student reading skills at the end of third grade. Success on this strategy is the ultimate measure of all our kindergarten readiness efforts. Our goal is to increase the proportion of students who begin kindergarten with the skills they need to meet with success during their first years in school.
Click here for a one-page summary of Kindergarten Readiness.
Check out the 2016 School Readiness Summit welcome video about the importance of early childhood education below: