Transitions to Kindergarten


Must a schoolwide program include plans to assist preschool children in the transition from preschool to local elementary school?

Yes. A schoolwide program must include plans for assisting preschool children in the transition from early childhood programs, such as Title I preschool, Head Start, Even Start, or Early Reading First, to local elementary school programs.

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What responsibility do targeted assistance programs have with respect to assisting preschool children in the transition from preschool to local elementary school?

Targeted assistance programs must coordinate with and support the school’s regular education program, which may include services to assist preschool children in the transition from early childhood programs such as Head Start, Even Start, Early Reading First, or state-run preschool programs to elementary school programs.

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Are there examples of quality transition processes in Wisconsin Title I preschools?

Yes. Several districts housed their Title I preschool programs in early childhood facilities, or facilities which also housed four-year-old kindergarten (if applicable), kindergarten, and first grade (in some instances). This arrangement enables children to become accustomed to the staff, students, and environment which they will experience in Kindergarten. Additionally, this helps staff become more familiar with each preschool student and their needs, and increases the communication between preschool and Kindergarten teachers. Preschool teachers in some districts also design their program to simulate the processes used in the Kindergarten classrooms, such as the same expectations, language, progress reports, and so on to prepare students for the systems in the coming year.

In addition, one district developed a systematic process to determine which teacher and classroom would best support individual student’s needs and ease the transition to Kindergarten. A team consisting of the school nurse, psychologist, principal, and other key support personnel meet with every teacher to discuss each student’s progress and needs. This process develops ongoing communication regarding each student in order to align students with appropriate supports and interventions early.

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For questions about this information, contact Title I and School Support Team (608) 267-3721