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Kindergarten Readiness Action Team

Goal: Children & youth have the literacy skills needed at all stages to support academic success

Key objectives

  • All children experience high quality, trauma-informed early childhood education
  • All children are ready for success in kindergarten
  • All parents are connected to their children's preschool and kindergarten learning experience

current focus

Too many Evanston children arrive at Kindergarten without the fundamental early literacy and social emotional skills they need to be successful readers. In fact, kindergarten readiness has been going down over the last five years for all socioeconomic and racial groups.  This team is focusing on ensuring high quality early childhood education and a smooth transition between early childhood education and kindergarten

First, the team worked to revise and, through the partnership between early childhood providers and District 65, efficiently beta tested the kindergarten intake form to more adequately track children’s participation in early childhood programs. This will allow D65 and EC2C to better understand how various approaches to, and doses of, early childhood education impact kindergarten readiness.

Working with the District, a shared definition for kindergarten readiness has been established and quidebooks developed for both parents and teachers to ensure this common understanding is widely available.

Ten early childhood programs' staffs have been trained in trauma-informed practices, including Sunshine Circles, a group approach to addressing early trauma.  Four (4) programs are receiving coaching for staff in managing a high quality supportive classroom environment.

Finally, the team is building new relationships among early childhood providers and kindergarten teachers through classroom visits, joint strategy sessions, and an annual early childhood/kindergarten summit. Additionally, the team has developed a process for early childhood providers to share information about effective strategies for individual children with kindergarten teachers to help smooth the transition from preschool to kindergarten. 

To see how this work coordinates with our Parent/Caregiver Empowerment Action Team to create a more comprehensive approach to systems change, see more here.