Effective Transitions to Enhance School Readiness

Report
EFFECTIVE TRANSITIONS
TO ENHANCE SCHOOL
READINESS
Why is early school success so
important?
• Early school years are a “critical period”
for learning and development
• Preschool and early experiences enhance
school success
• How quickly children adjust across
settings increases their success – so
supporting success across the transition is
important
Transitions Across the Lifespan
• Becoming a new parent
• Going to (or back to) college
• Moving to a new town
• Starting a new job
• Experiencing an empty nest
• Retirement from a career
• Getting married
Elements to foster successful
adjustment
• Information
• Relationships
• Alignment
Successful
Adjustment
What do we know about transitions?
What we know from research and practice about:
• Children’s adjustment to kindergarten
• The transition experiences and its effects on
children
• “Best practice” model of transition
How successfully are children entering
kindergarten?
Difficult
16%
Some
Problems
32%
Successful
52%
Rimm-Kaufman, Pianta & Cox, 2000
Teachers who say “half my class or more”
exhibit these problems entering kindergarten
46%
Difficulty following directions
36%
Lack of academic skills
35%
Difficulty working independently
31%
Difficulty working as part of a group
Problems with social skills
21%
Difficulty communicating/
language problems
14%
0
Rimm-Kaufman, Pianta & Cox, 2000
10
20
30
40
50
School readiness and transition:
A child-focused view
Pre-K
Kindergarten
Child
Child
School readiness and transition:
When connections are the focus
Early Experiences
Teachers
Peers
Kindergarten
Teachers
Child
Community
Peers
Child
Family
Community
Rimm-Kaufman & Pianta, 2000
Family
Setting Changes
40%
35%
30%
25%
Pre-K
K
20%
15%
10%
5%
0%
Free
Individual
Choice/Centers
Sm Group
Wh Group
LaParo et al., 2009
Transition experiences
“His teacher called several days before school started; it
was great and really made Nate feel great.”
“At the beginning I got her excited by talking about starting
school six months before it started… it made the transition
easy… Before school started I took her to the classroom to
get her adjusted to it.”
“I am pleased… the teacher called after the first two days
of school to say how well she was doing.”
Transition experiences
“On a more personal level, my son spends eight hours a
day with his teacher and his best friend. I want to know
those people. I don’t want it to be a once-every-threemonths-for-report-card thing. I want to have more
interaction.”
“The teacher called the first week of school to say he is the
biggest clown in the class.”
Transition experiences
“The teacher called me the first week of school and said she
should have been evaluated for Ritalin because she can’t teach
her.”
“We weren’t sure about sending him, he may be too young. His
teacher called to say he’s way behind and should go back to
preschool.”
“I’m not happy with it… I sent in notes but got no response from
the teacher… The first day of school I sent him with a dollar for
lunch but he didn’t eat all day… something got mixed up. I tried
again with a dollar the next day, but he didn’t eat that day either.
He wet his pants. The teacher is young and she’s not very
organized. I’m anxious about this year.”
Misalignments and Shifts in the
Transition to Kindergarten
• Changes in academic demands / curricula
• Less family connection with school
• Complexity of social environment (peers and
adults)
• Less time with teacher(s)
Successful Transition:
Guiding Principles
• It’s a process, not a program
• Supportive relationships are resources for
children
• Different sets of relationships fit different needs
– some are supportive, some informational
• Connections serve as a bridge for child, family,
and school across time and contexts
Transition connections
• Child-school connections
• Family-school connections
• School-school connections
• Community-school connections
Child-School Connections
• Goal: To foster children’s familiarity with
the classroom setting and those people
within it
– Increased comfort and decreased anxiety
– Building teacher-child relationships
– Exposure to new setting prior to school
starting
Child perspective of kindergarten
Emily: . . . it's a big, big, big school and there's more kids.
Because there's hundred and hundreds and hundreds. And
there's kids that don't know each other's names. Everyone
knows names here.
JS: Are you ready to go to kindergarten next year?
Marcy: Yeah.
JS: How do you know you're ready?
Marcy: Because I feel so happy.
Interviews by Jim Squires, Preschoolers
Conversations about School Readiness
A school connecting with children
• An example of how one school reached out to
children to help create a successful transition
LINK TO ONLINE VIDEO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMf1mveot3I&feature
=related
Family-School Connections
• Goal: To foster family collaboration and
involvement with the school and the
transition process
– Share information about individual children
– Get parents familiar with school routines
– Become partners in the process
Child & family connections with school:
Transition activities families found useful
Transition activity
% of families who used the activity
and found it helpful
Had child visit a kindergarten classroom
Met with a kindergarten teacher
Met with the principal
Took a tour of the school
Talked with preschool staff about kindergarten
Visited the kindergarten classroom
Talked with parents of child’s new classmates
Participated in elementary school-wide activities
Attended a workshop for parents
Met with child’s anticipated kindergarten teacher
Attended an orientation to kindergarten
Pianta et al., 1999
99
89
95
100
99
97
97
100
98
92
96
School-School Connections
• GOAL: To provide children with stable high
quality classroom experiences across time
– Increase consistency for children across
contexts through alignment of:
• Routines
• Curricula
• Learning standards
• Assessments
School-school connections:
Transition activities teachers found useful
Preschool teachers
K teachers
% who found the
activity helpful
% who found the
activity helpful
100
96
Prek teachers visiting a kindergarten
classroom
100
100
Holding an elementary school-wide
activity with prek children
83
100
Having a spring orientation about
kindergarten for parents of preschool
children
100
100
Having an individual meeting between a
teacher and a parent of the preschool
child
100
100
Sharing written records
100
100
Transition activity
Prek children visiting their kindergarten
classroom
School to school example: Early childhood
professionals working together
• Kindergarten, Head Start, and preschool teachers
• Meet four times a year focusing on aligning experiences for children
• Outcomes:
– Increased participation in transition opportunities like K camp
• Children, families, and teachers more prepared
– Increased consistency between settings related to routines and expectations
• Pre-k teachers felt their knowledge of children and families was valued
• K teachers felt children more socially and academically prepared
– Increased awareness of the community needs for more spaces for children
• An additional preschool class is being considered to be added to
elementary school
the
Smart Beginnings, 2011
Community-School Connections
• Goal: To facilitate the transition process
within the community
– Getting the word out
– Providing resources where they are needed
Community-School Connections
• Clarify community needs and expectations
regarding schools and transition
• Inter-agency connections with key players
• Communicate information
effectively
Community in Action
Preparation for parents
• A public service announcement
LINK TO ONLINE VIDEO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grZc0lcliTQ
Preparation for parents
• The Health Science Channel helps prepare
parents for the transition
LINK TO ONLINE VIDEO
http://www.healthsciencechannel.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.main&SearchTxt=kindergarten&SearchBtn
Preparing the community
Pre-Kindergarten Summer Camp
Kindergarten camps
SCUSD > Child Development
Pre-Kindergarten Summer Camp
View and Print Flyer: English | Hmong | Russian | Spanish
Click here for Enrollment Assistance Schedule
• Child, family, school,
and community,
connections
–Improved social
adjustment to
kindergarten
–Improved familiarity
with routines for kids
with same teacher
–Reading benefits
Berlin, Dunning & Dodge, 2010; Borman, Goetz & Dowling, 2009
http://www.scusd.edu/C
SO WHY DO WE
NEED TO DO ALL
OF THIS?
Transition Experience Matters
• In the NCEDL project, more transition activities
were associated with all of the following child
outcomes at the beginning of kindergarten:
–Greater frustration tolerance
–Better social skills
–Fewer conduct problems
–Fewer learning problems
–More positive approaches to learning
• Transition activities were most helpful for children from
disadvantaged families.
LoCasale-Crouch et al., 2008
Effect of Transition Practices
• Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (Schulting, Malone & Dodge,
2005)
– 17,212 children, 992 schools
Fall K
Transition
Practices
=
Spring K
Academic
Skills
Even more for children from disadvantaged families
Children, Families and Schools
Benefit from Connections
• Children more socially ready
–Helps them participate more academically
• Families more connected to school
–Improved long-term student outcomes
• Teachers more prepared to support children/families
–Better relationships that lead to enhanced child
outcomes
• Financially smart: Low investment, high yield
HOW DO WE
BUILD
SUCCESSFUL
TRANSITION
EXPERIENCES?
Six steps to transition planning
1. Assess your partnership: Who is involved?
2. Identify the goals of the team around transition
and alignment
3. Assess what is happening now
4. Identify data that you have to support these
practices
5. Plan and Prioritize: Reevaluate goals, choose
steps to take, assign roles, set deadlines,
anticipate barriers
6. Implement and Evaluate
1. Assessing your partnership
•
Who is involved?
– Teachers (pre-k and kindergarten)
– School leaders (pre-k and kindergarten)
– Family representative(s)
– Community leaders
2. Identifying the goals of the team
•
Choose several goals that fit your program’s
needs
•
Examples:
– Support children being ready for school
– Help families know more about what they can
do at home to help children be ready for school
– Get community more involved with children
3. Assessing what is happening now
•
Sort what you are currently doing into
categories
– What is fostering child-school connections?
– What is fostering family-school connections?
– What is fostering school-school connections?
– What is fostering community-school
connections?
3. Assessing what is happening now
4. Examining data you have
•
Is what you’re currently doing working? How
do you know?
– Are children adjusting to kindergarten better
because their preschool teacher is reading
books about kindergarten before they enter?
– Are more families registering early for
kindergarten because of community efforts to
disseminate information?
– Are kindergarten teachers better informed
about students because of school-school
collaboration?
5. Planning and Prioritizing
•
What are the next steps to take?
–
Reevaluate goals and formulate new ones
–
Plan steps to address new goals
•
Who is responsible for tasks?
–
•
When should tasks be implemented?
–
•
Assign roles within the transition team
Set deadlines for tasks and create a timeline
Anticipate barriers and make plans to overcome
them
5. Planning and prioritizing
Timeline example
PRESCHOOL
September
Family group
meetings
Inform
parents about
home literacy
Activities
April
PS & K teachers
transition efforts
Class lists for K
Preschoolers visit K
K-camp fundraising
Research
locations for
K-camp
K-camp
fundraising
Use community
resources to spread
info about K-camp
SUMMER
June
KINDERGARTEN
August
Remind
parents of
home literacy
activities
Open houses
School
playground
nights
K screenings
K-camp
enrollment
K teacher and
parents meet
K-camp
September
Back-to-school
nights
Foster family
connections
w/ teachers
6. Implementing and Evaluating
•
Implement the plan you have created
•
Evaluate: Is what you are doing working?
How do you know?
– Examine data on newly implemented practices
– do you see changes?
– Modify practices as needed and define new
goals
Resources on the Web
National Head Start Association – “Terrific Transitions”
http://center.serve.org/TT/transiti.html
Enhancing the Transition to Kindergarten: Linking Children, Families & Schools
http://www.cpirc.org/vertical/Sites/%7B95025A21-DD4C-45C2-AE37-D35CA63B7AD9%7D/uploads/%7BB2FC278E-5FC7-47FA9039-E69743ABAF64%7D.PDF
Easing the Transition from Pre-k to Kindergarten: What Schools and Families Can do to Address Child
Readiness
http://www.sedl.org/connections/resources/rb/rb6-readiness.pdf
Durham County’s Transition to Kindergarten Initiative
http://www.dpfc.net/TransitiontoKindergartenInitiative.aspx
Families as Primary Partners in their Child’s Development & School Readiness
www.aecf.org/upload/publicationfiles/families.pdf
What is Family Support?
http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/teaching/eecd/FamiliesParent%20Involvement/Ongoing%20Communication/famcom_lea_09271_062005.html#family
Back to School Time: Tips to Help Children Adjust
http://readyweb.crc.uiuc.edu/virtual-library/1996/bck2schl.html
NECTC Transition Tips: Toolkit of Practices and Strategies
http://www.hdi.uky.edu/SF/NECTC/practicesearch.aspx
Florida’s Transition Project
http://www.floridatransitionproject.ucf.edu/
National Center
on Quality Teaching
and Learning
For more Information
Contact us at: [email protected] or 877-731-0764
This document was prepared under Grant #90HC0002 for the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start, by the National
Center on Quality Teaching and Learning.

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