Russellville received news last week that it’s students entering kindergarten are performing at a level higher than the state average, according to Kindergarten Readiness Screener data released by the Kentucky Department of Education.
Only about half of the students who entered kindergarten this past August were ready according to the report given at the Kentucky Board of Education meeting. School readiness is defined in 704 KAR 5:070 as “a student entering school is ready to engage in and benefit from early experiences that best promote the student’s success.”
“Unfortunately, not all children have the same opportunities to develop and learn before they enter school,” Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt said. “The reality is that poverty has a big impact on education in Kentucky. It is a reality that puts children at a disadvantage when they enter school and one that we must address from day one.”
Statewide students that came into Kindergarten ready to begin school was at 50.1 percent. At Russellville, that number was 52.5 percent, however.
The percentage of students who were state funded (gap students) was even better at Russellville, where 58.3 percent were deemed Kindergarten ready, versus just 48.2 percent statewide.
“That’s an area that all school districts are struggling with – having them ready when they arrive in Kindergarten,” said Russellville Independent schools superintendent Leon Smith. “We were pleased that our percentage was above state average. That’s a testament to the work we’re doing in our preschool program and our Born Learning program. We also want to note that we saw an increase in students coming in from head start, so this is really combination of the community and the school district to see us move forward.”
When students come in to Kindergarter ready to learn, it makes their chance of education success that much better.
“There’s never an easy job when it comes to teaching, but it helps the teachers when they are a little more prepared with their reading and vocabulary,” Smith said. “They can move forward at a faster pace and it can help us keep our students on grade level as they move into first grade.”
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