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Connecting the Steps: State Strategies to Ease the Transition from Pre-K to Kindergarten

The transition from pre-K to kindergarten can be equally difficult for children and their parents, as kindergarten has more explicit academic rigor and higher expectations, along with fewer regular teacher-parent interactions. Some states and school districts are trying to improve the ease of the transition period, but there tends to be less intensive practices and fewer resources in low-income districts. This report from New America outlines some best practices for kindergarten transition from across the country.

West Virginia’s Board of Education requires each county to provide a plan for transitioning children including parent interactions, rigorous reports, and annual meetings between pre-K providers and Kindergarten teachers. Oregon has a Early Learning Kindergarten Readiness Partnership and Innovation grant program to inspire innovative methods around the state. Colorado uses the program Results Matter for observation-based assessment of early education. Washington State implements the Washington Inventory of Developing Skills looking at the family connection to school, a whole-child assessment, and collaboration between early learning providers.