Oklahoma City Public Schools wants to empower parents to prepare their kindergarten age kids for the upcoming school year.
Director of Early Childhood Stephanie Hinton said there are broad concerns about COVID related learning losses, but there are some steps parents can take.
She said there’s a lot you can do at home to get your child ready for their first day.
“We’re going to get our backpack on, and we are going to say goodbye at the door, big hug and kiss,” she said.
This can be a scary step for kids who might be too young to remember the last time they walked into a school, or who haven’t been to school yet at all.
“There is going to be a larger gap of students who did not attend pre-K coming into kindergarten this next year, so we are working through what that might look like,” Hinton said.
Teachers are gearing up for another year of new challenges this summer with professional development courses aligned to their specific needs.
“I think there are going to be lots of research papers written about the year we just had and the years to come. But right now, we are kind of on the beginning of [it.] This year is going to be unique just like last year was, so we may have to think a lot more critically about our practices and what we need to do to meet our student's needs,” she said.
Parents can also boost their kid’s learning this summer with OKCPS programs.
The summer Jump In! Enrichment program is virtual.
As students complete a week of learning, they can earn a badge. To date, students have achieved 695 badges, Hinton said.
The Jump Up! Enhancement program is in person and averages 1,464 students a day.
Some community-based camps are free for OKCPS students. Go to okcps.org for more information.
Hinton said even with potential learning losses, to not forget all the lessons that were learned during an unusual school year.
“A lot of resilience, a lot of technology skills they might not have had to encounter,” she said.
If you are questioning if your child is ready for their upcoming class, the Oklahoma State Department of Education created learning guides that might put your mind at ease.
The guides framework what your child should know at their grade level, and how to supplement their education from home. Check them out here.