The talented Kindergarten Team and I presented at the statewide Pre-K & Kindergarten Conference last week. The title of our session was “Transition to Full Day Kindergarten: A case study of developmentally appropriate practice”. The experience caused us to reflect on how fortunate we are to work in a close-knit community with significant resources, inquisitive children, passionate teachers, and a supportive school board. The transition to a full day Kindergarten has been a highly successful change initiative. Our students are thriving.
Popular media has portrayed a false dichotomy between academic rigor and developmentally appropriate practice. We believe it is less to do about “what” you are teaching and more about “how” you are delivering content. Our presentation illustrated how our instructional strategies, differentiation, staff collaboration, and focus on play/integrated learning has created a rich experience for our youngest students.
I am so proud of our team and feel fortunate to work in such a wonderful school district. With the full day program, we have lowered the stress level of our students and staff, increased the stamina of our students for academic engagement, and strengthened relationships.