Pike-Delta-York to offer two-year kindergarten

Staff report

Pike-Delta-York Local Schools will introduce a two-year kindergarten classroom for age-appropriate children not ready to work with the traditional kindergarten curriculum.

“The new two-year kindergarten classroom will strengthen the overall educational program offered at the Pike-Delta-York Local Schools district,” Superintendent Ted Haselman said. “This program can help ensure our young students have the strong foundation needed for future learning.”

Haselman said because each child learns differently and at different speeds, the school district has found that not all students who are age appropriate for kindergarten are academically ready for the curriculum. He said under those circumstances a student is placed in a situation and asked to do what they are not academically ready to perform. Consequently, interventions must be done to bring the student up to grade level.

“This scenario continues for numerous years beyond kindergarten,” Haselman said. “Allowing these students the opportunity to build this strong base foundation by providing the interventions first, we are setting these students up for future success.”

The two-year kindergarten program is designed to serve the child whose cognitive ability levels are average or above, but who will benefit from more school experience before entering traditional kindergarten. Two Year Kindergarten will be a full day program that will include fewer students than the traditional kindergarten classroom. The focus will be on developing skills in early literacy, math, social skills, and fine motor skills in preparation for the second year of kindergarten in the traditional kindergarten classroom.

“These students are capable learners and are making progress, but often the progress is slower as the students work to catch up to peers,” Haselman said. “These students have high levels of ability, but may still be struggling with confidence or academics. P-D-Y feels strongly that every student should be given the opportunity to learn to the best of his or her ability.

All children who will be five by the Aug. 1 deadline can attend a kindergarten screening in April. After the screening is complete, parents whose children may benefit from Two Year Kindergarten will receive an invitation letter that must be returned to the school so a place can be reserved.

Students placed in the two-year program will transition to the traditional program for the second year, and then to first grade. Children in the Two Year Kindergarten program will be exposed to skills and topics that are part of the Ohio Learning Standards for kindergarten at a rate and pace allowing them the most success moving forward.

Kindergarten screening will be held April 27-28. Parents and/or guardians can begin calling Delta Elementary School on April 10 to reserve a time slot.

Staff report