One of the most impactful ways that we can fight against the achievement gap is to ensure that our children are ready for kindergarten. In the midst of chaotic times, families may not be aware of the steps needed to ensure that their children are K-Ready. There will be a virtual K-Ready Camp launched by JCPS this summer, July 20-31, for which registration is now open. Systems need to be coordinated to reach every rising kindergartener. Our children deserve Universal Pre-K.
Who needs to act? You; Dr. Marty Pollio; JCPS Board of Education; JCPS Early Childhood; Ready 4K Alliance; Evolve502
On July 10, 2020, JCPS Superintendent, Dr. Martin Polio, sent a written response to the Path document. Tech Equity was specifically addressed in the statement below. You may read the full response here.
Another way we can address the needs of our families is to provide early learning opportunities for students, starting with pre-K instruction. Approximately 3,000 students take part in the JCPS Early Childhood Program, which features transportation and a full day of instruction. In light of COVID-19, a virtual camp, Ready4K, will include hands-on learning materials and technology access for families as needed. We have collaborated with community partners to provide direct assistance to all families requiring help with the kindergarten application process as well as distributing resources to best prepare students for kindergarten. There has also been collaboration with medical, mental health, and social services agencies to provide comprehensive support to remove barriers and improve student learning outcomes. Moving forward, we plan to:
- Continue to ensure that seats are available for all qualified students throughout the school year by partnering with Head Start grantee agencies.
- Support technology access for all pre-K families.
- Provide a backpack of materials for each student, similar to what was done in March 2020, if we go back to NTL
- Conduct a review of the JCPS Early Childhood curriculum and instruction to embed racial diversity, inclusion, and intentional anti-racist education.
- Conduct ongoing training of JCPS Early Childhood staff on topics related to implicit racial bias, working with diverse families, and celebrating diverse cultures.
- Convene an Early Childhood Racial Equity Committee and include parent and community representatives.
Moving forward, we must ensure that we have universal pre-K in Jefferson County so that every student begins their educational journey kindergarten-ready. This will require a coordinated effort between many local agencies, including JCPS and Evolve 502, to move closer to that goal every year.