This post is sponsored by USD 259 Wichita Public Schools.
The world of early childhood education, including kindergarten, is constantly evolving to meet the needs of students and the standards set by education governing bodies. If it’s been awhile since you were in kindergarten, or since you had a kindergarten student of your own, things have probably changed.
So what should you expect for your students entering kindergarten at a Wichita public school?
Purposeful Play defines our approach to teaching in kindergarten classrooms. That means purposeful curriculum activities bring the impact of play into learning stations as students engage in meaningful activities through Literacy, Math, Science and table activities that develop foundational skills.
In one classroom, you may see kindergarten students learning counting and letters using Bee-Bot activities that also teach early coding skills. In another, they may be using building blocks to design a structure that fits a purpose (like somewhere to live), and then apply a science lesson to why the blocks tumbled down later.
Early literacy is key to long-term success. Students who are reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to graduate high school than their peers who are behind. We use a tested curriculum (Journeys) to focus on creating readers who are empowered, inspired and confident. Handwriting readiness is also key, along with learning and practicing letters and numbers.
Our students spend 60 minutes each day in whole class and small group instruction to develop understanding of new math concepts and review those daily.
Students learn how to listen, pay attention, control their behavior and get along with others. These important social and emotional behaviors prepare them for success in future grades. We use the 2nd Step curriculum to help children learn how to talk about the emotions they feel (angry, sad, frustrated, nervous, happy) and recognize those in others.
Starting in kindergarten, students experience all the “specials” our schools have to offer: art, physical education, music, library and the always-popular recess. These specials continue throughout elementary school, and some become elective options in middle and high school.
At some of our elementary schools, students may also experience programs like Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and Leader in Me that develop goal setting and college-readiness skills. Students at our magnet schools will experience theme-based learning that ranges from Communications to Leadership to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and several others.
To learn more about opportunities at Wichita Public Schools, visit www.usd259.org/choosewichitaschools or to enroll your kindergarten student, go directly to www.usd259.org/enroll. Starting January 21, 2020, we are accepting enrollment applications from all students in the Wichita area who will be 5 years old on or before August 31, 2020.