Today’s kindergarten curriculum is much more academically and emotionally demanding than what our students’ parents (and maybe even older siblings) experienced. Half-days are now full days; naptime is a thing of the past. Academic lesson time has increased; playtime has decreased. It is critical that children enrolling in kindergarten be as prepared as possible for the challenges they will face.
The Pre-K assessment given to entering kindergarten students as part of Highland’s registration process provides us with valid and reliable data to determine whether or not a child is ready to succeed in ‘today’s kindergarten.’ A large percentage of students score in the 80-100% range. We have found that students scoring at or above 75% tend to be very successful in kindergarten. The farther below 75% that a student scores, the more likely that student will not be able to keep up with the strenuous and demanding pace of kindergarten; the more likely that student will be retained.
We offered our Transition Kindergarten (TK) program for the first time during the 2014-15 school year and were extremely pleased with the students' growth and academic success. Our TK program is housed at Johnston Elementary. The class size is smaller than a regular kindergarten classroom in order to provide students more one-on-one and small group teacher time, as well as more teacher aide support. The TK classroom's curriculum, activities, instruction and pace will help these little ones develop the level of skills necessary for incoming students in ‘today’s kindergarten.’ After a strong, fundamental foundation is laid, the students are moved along at a faster pace. Our goal is to help them develop essential skills and knowledge that will prepare them to move on to 1st grade.
If at the end of TK a student is still not ready for 1st grade, then he/she will return to his/her home school and be enrolled in a regular kindergarten classroom the following school year. The TK student will be much better prepared for a successful kindergarten experience at that time. And, they will not be repeating the exact same kindergarten curriculum and materials for a second time. (Remember, the TK classroom's curriculum is based on the Indiana Academic Kindergarten Standards, just like the regular classrooms.)
Our TK students that are outside the Johnston area will be provided bus transportation.
If you have questions about the TK program or want more information, please contact one of our elementary principals or Dr. Sherri Mitchell, Director of Academics and Student Services.