At this time of year, parents are registering their four-year-olds for kindergarten in the fall. They may be asking themselves, “Will my child be ready?” Answers to that question can be found in a one-page handout from the Long Island Pre-K Initiative. This free resource lists the top 20 skills that kindergarten teachers expect on the first day of school. It can be downloaded from the grant-funded program’s website (www.nassauboces.org/pre-k) and is available in Spanish, Urdu, Turkish, Chinese and Haitian-Creole, as well as in English.
“We surveyed more than 100 kindergarten teachers from 10 Long Island school districts,” said Lucinda Hurley, executive director of the Nassau BOCES Department of Strategic Initiatives and administrator for the Long Island Pre-K Initiative. “And there was clear agreement. What educators call ‘social-emotional skills’ are very important.”
That means that kindergarteners should be able to share and take turns, express their feelings in words and participate in a conversation without interrupting, among other abilities. It is difficult for learning to take place when children have difficulty getting along with each other—or can’t sit still long enough to listen to a story being read. Also on the list: pre-reading skills; everyday skills, such as using the bathroom by themselves; and being able to identify numbers and colors.
The Long Island Pre-K Initiative survey was conducted in the spring of 2015. The teachers came from the following 10 school districts: Amityville, Franklin Square, Harborfields, Levittown, Long Beach, Middle Country, North Merrick, Valley Stream #13, Uniondale and Wyandanch. Some survey questions were based on an earlier survey of teachers in Westbury that was conducted by
The Early Years Institute.
The Long Island Pre-K Initiative is a grant-funded project that seeks to strengthen relationships between school districts and community-based organizations, and to share information about research, policy and best practices for early learning. Administered by Nassau BOCES, it is supported by expertise from The Early Years Institute and funds from the Rauch and Hagedorn Foundations. Its partners are the Eastern and Western Suffolk BOCES and the Child Care Councils of Nassau and Suffolk.