MARION COUNTY –It is full steam ahead for “Kindergarten Stagger Start,” a school preparation program that splits kindergarten classrooms into thirds during the first three days of school on Aug. 10-12. Afterward, all kindergarten students report to class collectively on Monday, Aug. 15.
This approach lowers student-to-teacher ratios and affords students a more personalized approach to experiencing school for the first time.
Though the Kindergarten Stagger Start is weeks away, there is plenty parents and families can do to ready their youngest students for school including reading together, establishing routines, practicing opening lunch items, reviewing numbers, letters, shapes, colors, and more.
Last week, for the first time ever, brand new students in Marion County Public Schools went to school before the new school year even started. That’s when 264 kindergarten students spent time with their teachers in most of the district’s elementary schools. The “Kindergarten Kickstart” effort kept class sizes limited to a handful of students per teacher and offered incoming kindergarten students – all five years old by Sept. 1 as required by state law – a head start to full-time school.
The opportunity provided bonding time between teachers and students, afforded social time for students to learn and play together, and made a new school environment a little less intimidating before school officially starts.