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Colorado Schools Reach Out to Parents to Ease Transition to Kindergarten

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Teachers often face crying, fidgety kids, some of whom have never attended school, when kindergarten starts. And their parents might be weeping with worry just as much outside the classroom door.

School districts increasingly are trying to make the transition to kindergarten easier—and parent outreach is key to their plans. Chalkbeat Colorado, in a June 22 story by Ann Schimke, outlined what Colorado school districts are doing to improve the kindergarten transition, modeling some of its plans on programs in other states.

It's an issue that's been discussed around the country and one that the Obama administration touched on in his early education plans. See a policy brief by Education Commission of the States about transitions.

Some Colorado school districts are making special efforts to find families whose children aren't enrolled in the districts' preschool. Denver schools are recruiting parents, in particular, Latino mothers, to reach out to four neighborhoods with high percentages of 3- and 4-year-olds who are not in preschool, according to Chalkbeat. Other schools hold outreach events for parents, such as a "Breakfast and Books" event. Others do home visits with incoming children and their parents where they can address concerns.

"If you can (ease) those fears, it really helps the parents and child in the long run," said Katrina Lindus, coordinator of the Best Foot Forward Transition Program in Dolores, Colo., in the Chalkbeat article.

Contact Sarah Tully at [email protected].

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