“It's time to build a bridge between early childhood programs and the K–3 system to ensure continued success for all children. This is the ultimate how-to manual for administrators and teachers who wish to maintain and maximize the gains children make in preschool.”
—Sally Wingle, Preschool Teacher
Chelsea Community Preschool, MI
“A great guide pointing in the right direction for starting a program. With the U.S. Department of Education's emphasis on early childhood education and new monies available from the stimulus plan, this book is a valuable resource.”
—Cindy Luna, Principal
Northside ISD, San Antonio, TX
A 10-step plan for linking early childhood education to the K–3 system!
The national push for improving young children's early learning experiences is no longer just about preschool. Now the focus is on strategic planning to increase achievement by reaching out to community early childhood education providers, establishing a strong PreK–3 foundation that connects early childhood education standards and goals to a K–3 system, and ensuring that young learners receive high-quality instruction before kindergarten.
Drawing on more than 20 years' success with a PreK–3 system in Washington state, the authors present a 10-step, field-tested model that demonstrates how early childhood professionals and K–12 school leaders can outline a clear implementation plan for an integrated PreK–3 system that: Identifies both families' and children's needs; Shares developmental information about individual learning skills and social/emotional development as children transition to kindergarten; Aligns resources, curriculum, instruction, and assessments; Anticipates challenges and celebrates successes; Invites input from superintendents, state officials, Head Start leaders, and Title I directors
Step 3: Develop a Leadership Group
Michael Fullan has done extensive work on initiating change and school reform. He talks about the messiness of change and the tremendous potential for a positive outcome (Fullan, 2001). Most recently, Alan M. Blankstein, in his book Failure Is Not an Option: Six Principles That Guide Student Achievement in High-Performing Schools, talks about the difficulty that many encounter when attempting to build a professional learning community with relational trust: “Making fundamental changes and shifts in assumptions, beliefs, and actions is difficult. It is far easier to make slight modifications to old behaviors and then give the effort a new name” (Blankstein, 2004). This is so true in the complex world of systems development and specifically when attempting to ...