Author: Caitlin Lennon
About the brief
The transition to kindergarten can be a challenging adjustment for children. One evidence-based framework by Dr. Robert Pianta and Dr. Sara Rimm-Kaufmann emphasizes strong and positive connections among teachers, families, peers, neighbors, and the child transitioning to kindergarten as necessary for their success. Pre-K programs can use this framework as a guide to create and maintain connections between all groups in the model as they prepare children and families for success during this important life transition.
To illustrate how this can work in practice, we’ve published a brief sharing several examples from our partner school, the A. Sophie Rogers School for Early Learning (ASR). ASR works hard to support kindergarten-bound children and families in myriad ways:
Hearing from their kindergarten peers
The school hosts an annual panel discussion featuring current kindergarten students, allowing kindergarten-bound children to ask them questions about kindergarten.
Planning for kindergarten and envisioning their futures
Kindergarten-bound children write their own picture books about kindergarten expectations, make a list of questions to mail to kindergarten teachers, and create collages of school year photos, as well as “what I want to be when I grow up” photos.
Kindergarten transition resources for families
Kindergarten transition coordinator Timea Pap and principal Anneliese Johnson wrote a brief for families with tips on supporting children through the transition. In the brief, they recommend that parents communicate with schools, and request to tour classrooms as well as ask questions about transportation, afterschool care, and kindergarten readiness.
The school hosts an end-of-the-year celebration in May to celebrate the children transitioning to kindergarten in the fall, marking this milestone with graduation photos and pre-K diplomas. The school also provides backpacks for graduates with school supplies and children’s story books about elementary school.
DID YOU KNOW… that the Crane and Schoenbaum Centers have an entire body of work on the transition to kindergarten? From research to practitioner notes to tips for parents, the collective body of work aims to deepen our understanding and better support all children during this important transition.