School administrators working to improve kindergarten readiness

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Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:37 PM EST
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KENTUCKY (WYMT) - A report from the Kentucky Youth Advocates suggested fewer kindergarteners are ready to learn.

Data shows 46 percent of kindergarten students were prepared in the 2023-24 school year compared to 51.4 percent in the 2017-18 school year.

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Roy G. Eversole Elementary School Principal Derek Allen said they have seen those numbers decrease since COVID-19.

”Post Covid, I guess we’re still seeing the effects of that and we do have a lot of young students that don’t come to us and maybe aren’t Kindergarten ready and that may be from not having access to maybe a preschool or a high quality childcare facility, something like that,” he explained.

Letcher County Schools Superintendent Denise Yonts said approximately 90 percent of students are not considered ready.

“Because a lot of the programs were shut down during Covid. You couldn’t get together and work with children. Particularly of that age and then preschool or head start may have been virtual and so, they didn’t get a lot of the socialization and a lot of the skills that they need to be considered Kindergarten ready,” she said.

Allen said they are trying to find different ways to help those students.

“We just try to look at all that data and try to offer ways for students to catch up. Whether that be intervention type programs or whole class instruction just to make sure that we get everybody on the same playing field,” he said.

He added it is never too early to work with your child.

“Parents are a students first teacher. So, what they are exposed to at home or away from school, carries into the school. So, some ways that parents can help is just to expose them to expose them to reading, expose them to text,” he explained.

Yonts said reading with your child can also make a difference.

“But it’s as simple as reading with your child, from the time your child is born, if you’ll read with your child everyday and help them develop those language skills, they’ll pick up vocabulary and communication and socialization. Just reading with your child will help a great deal,” she said.