It’s the day parents look forward to and dread at the same time: the first day of Kindergarten. Your little superstar is going into the real world without you. That first day produces many tears – usually more from parents than the youngsters heading into their new adventure. They are going to school!
Choosing the right Kindergarten is important, and Kindergarten is most often the first year in a comprehensive schooling model. The K-8 educational model is common in private and many charter schools and lends to greater opportunity for family and school to learn about each other and work together as a team to support student achievement. Being part of this learning community helps students succeed at every level even in their preparation to transition to high school. Yes, Kindergarten is the first step for both you and your child, so you want to make sure it’s the best first step you can make.
When choosing the right school, you should make sure the school’s philosophy of learning fits your own philosophy. To do this, consider these four things:
- Opportunity for personalized learning – Students are unique. Kindergarten students come to school at different levels and with different needs. It is important that your school recognizes and adapts to these different levels. Your best choice for a Kindergarten is one that offers personal learning plans for each child to maximize their learning experience.
- Adaptable and results-oriented curriculum – Consider whether data is used to enhance the teacher’s ability to differentiate learning. It’s a plus if you can find a school that uses data, such as Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) assessments, to determine which standards your child has already mastered and which ones he or she is ready to learn. Using and responding to data allows students to learn and grow at their own pace and to the best of their ability. This will lay a foundation for future years and will continue them on the right path.
- Educating the whole child – Students, especially in Kindergarten, are learning about the world in an expanded way that goes far beyond just books and work. Integration of physical education, music and art allow students to learn in different modalities and make lasting connections to ideas and content. Discovering how students best learn leads to better academic success throughout their academic careers.
- Parent volunteering opportunities – Consider your opportunities to be involved. The school you choose should allow you many opportunities to be an active member of the school community. Research has shown that when parents actively participate in their child’s educational experience, students perform better. At a good school, there will be options for volunteering inside and outside of school. Lunch duty, being a reading buddy, participating in book fairs, and at-home assembly work are just some of the options. Parents benefit from this as well as the children because they have a better handle on what is happening at their child’s school.
According to Rachel Windler-Freitag, Vice President of Education, CSUSA, “thoughtful consideration should go into your choice of a school for your Kindergarten student. At Success Mile Academy there is a great emphasis on creating a caring and nurturing environment to help Kindergarten students transition well into a school environment. Students learn what is expected of them and how to become good citizens because of high expectations set for being in school uniform and being ready to learn. And the Success Mile Academy teachers to support this learning”.
“We are fortunate to have certified, loving teachers who have chosen to come to work for our school,” said Thomas Gladieux, Principal. “In the charter school environment, it’s all about choices and just as parents have a choice as to which school they want to send their child, teachers also have a choice as to the type of school in which they want to teach. Charter schools are unique and require a high level of commitment from teachers.”
Success MIle Academy currently has a few openings in Kindergarten. If you are interested in scheduling a personal tour, call (586) 353-2108 or apply online today at www.successmileacademy.org to secure a spot. There is no obligation if you apply, but if there are still seats available, you will be able to secure a seat. If all seats are filled, you will be placed on a waiting list.
Good luck on the first step of your child’s academic journey. There are many worlds to explore and they are all waiting for you.