- February 29, 2012
VPK students all over Flagler County are putting on their miniature-sized caps and gowns and walking across the stage this week, signifying that they are indeed, ready for kindergarten.
The first graduating class of VPK students at Wadsworth Elementary School did so in two segments Friday, May 29. Wadsworth had two VPK classrooms with four teachers total this year. It was the first year that all five public elementary schools in Flagler County offered VPK classes on campus. Prior to this year, VPK was offered through Adult and Community Education at the early learning centers located at Indian Trails Middle School and Bunnell Elementary School. This year, about 300 students filled 14 classrooms at the five locations.
“It’s been a huge success,” said Abra Seay, early childhood education coordinator for Flagler Schools.
Seay said having the students on campus of the school where they will attend kindergarten has created an easier transition, with the same drop-off/pick-up, same playground and same cafeteria.
“It takes away that shock and awe of the first day of elementary,” she said.
The hope is that the transition will not only be easier for the students, but also for the kindergarten teachers, who will have these students in class next year. A VPK report card, created by Seay, will track how many letters, shapes and sounds each students knows, in addition to their school readiness.
“At the end of VPK, they should know some letters and sounds, so if they know all their letters, 26 out of 26, they will have exceeded expectations,” Seay said, adding that knowing half would meet expectations.
The reports, which Seay will be analyzing data from in the coming weeks, will give kindergarten teachers an idea of where each child is academically and socially before school even starts.
“It allows us to see ahead of time what student will need additional assistance,” Seay said. “Teachers will be able to tailor their instruction specifically to each student.”
Because of limited space, parents enrolling their students in VPK for next school year are asked to register as soon as possible. Just like any other provider, parents will need to verify eligibility through the Early Learning Coalition. VPK students will attend their home school, the one they are zoned for, but school choice is also available.