Progress for Kindergarten Readiness in Kansas

Dec 20, 2021

Beginning this school year, the Kansas State Department of Education has started funding three-year-old at-risk preschool students who are enrolled in approved programs through their school districts. Cabinet Member, Monica Murnan, describes this change as “a big, big deal” for kindergarten readiness in Kansas.

The expansion of funding increases opportunities for collaboration among early childhood providers, school districts, and communities. As a KSDE partner, the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund is excited about the ways communities are coming together to ensure a child’s successful transition into kindergarten and start of their academic careers.

To increase the percentage of Kansas children considered ready for kindergarten, school districts are working with state and community partners to provide the best comprehensive support families and children in Kansas need. Throughout November, KSDE highlighted the work involved in fostering children’s early childhood learning and socio-behavioral development through community engagement in their Insight Podcast and these news stories on their website:

Kindergarten readiness essential building block for a student’s future achievement

Development screenings beneficial for families, teachers and school

Community partnerships key to ensuring access to quality early learning

Kindergarten transition teams developing plans to benefit students, families and teachers

According to the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust’s 2019 Kansas Early Childhood Systems Building Needs Assessment, only 35 percent of Kansas public school districts responding to a pre-K survey had a formal transition plan or process for kindergarten readiness. The new state funding for three-year-old at-risk students is supporting school districts as they collaborate and build formal transition plans. On Nov. 9, 2021, more than 100 school districts were recognized by the Kansas State Board of Education for excelling in outcomes around the vision for education in Kansas, including these districts earning recognition for progress around kindergarten readiness:

  • Fairfield USD 310
  • Goddard USD 265
  • Perry-Lecompton USD 343
  • Southern Lyon County USD 252
  • Basehor-Linwood USD 458
  • Colby Public Schools USD 315
  • Durham-Hillsboro-Lehigh USD 410
  • Geary County Schools USD 475
  • Hays USD 489
  • Iola USD 257
  • Kaw Valley USD 321
  • Moundridge USD 423
  • Newton USD 373
  • North Jackson USD 335
  • Rock Creek USD 323
  • South Barber USD 255

Kindergarten readiness is one area of focus under the All in for Kansas Kids Strategic Plan. To learn more, visit the Kindergarten Transitions Toolkit and All In for Kansas Kids.

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Next week! Join us virtually Friday, February 4, for our next Children's Cabinet and Early Childhood Stakeholder Group meetings.
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Are you a Kansas early childhood professional? Check out the Stakeholder Resource Directory compiled by the Kansas Early Childhood Recommendations Panel - an ever-evolving resource to strengthen relationships across the state.
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