A Smooth Transition to Kindergarten Miami-Dade County Public Schools Prekindergarten Program for Children with Disabilities 2012-2013
I have always known that at last I would take this road, but yesterday I did not know that it would be today. Narihira
Transitions are difficult for most of us. But the better prepared parents and children are, the easier the process of moving from one program to another becomes. This presentation will hopefully prepare you, the parents, for your child’s transition to Kindergarten. This way you will be able to make sure your child feels welcomed and at ease in the new Kindergarten program.
The Transition Process for Students with Disabilities • The transition to Kindergarten begins in October and November of the current school year. • At a ReevaluationTeam (RT) meeting teachers, psychologists, parents and other professionals determine if your child needs to be re-evaluated. • If your child was previously determined eligible for Special Education as Developmentally Delayed (DD), the IEP team would have to make a new eligibility determination before his/her 6th birthday. • For those DD children who will be six years old on or before December 1 of their Kindergarten school year, the Prekindergarten Program will begin the re-evaluation prior to your child transitioning to Kindergarten. If your child will turn 6 after December 1 of their Kindergarten school year, then the re-evaluation will occur during Kindergarten.
Kindergarten 101 • The goal for the Pre-K student with disabilities is to attend his/her home school for Kindergarten with the necessary supports and services. • Some children may require more specialized classrooms in order to meet their individual needs. These classrooms may not be at your home school but in a different school in your region. This determination is made at an IEP transition meeting. • Prior to the end of the Pre-Kindergarten school year, contact the assigned school and: • Ask about Kindergarten Orientation. • Make sure all immunizations are up to date. • Complete the registration at the new school. Take a copy of the new IEP which you received at the transition staffing. Do this as soon as possible before the end of the school year.
Kindergarten Classroom Options for Students with Disabilities General Education - Regular Kindergarten Classroom • Consultation – special education teacher provides face-to-face support to the kindergarten teacher • Support Facilitation – special education teacher provides direct service to student with disabilities in the regular kindergarten classroom for part of the instructional period • Co-teaching – special education teacher provides direct support to students with disabilities in the regular kindergarten classroom the entire day or for a subject i.e. language arts, math Resource Room – Instruction in a separate classroom with a special education teacher. Self-Contained or Separate Class – All children in the classroom are children with disabilities. Students are taught by a special education teacher. There are separate classrooms for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Emotional/Behavior Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, Orthopedically Impaired, or Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing. Separate Day School – All students in the school are students with disabilities. Students are taught by a special education teacher. Merrick Educational Center at Ruth O. Kruse and Neva King Cooper Educational Center are the only separate schools for kindergarten students.
Parents of VPK or Role Model Students This information is for parents whose child is already enrolled as a Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) student or a role model. Parents should call their home or neighborhood school in April to let the school know that their child may be attending for the next year. • Ask about Kindergarten Orientation. • Make sure all immunizations are up to date. • Complete the registration at the new school.
Help Your Child Be Independent! Kindergarten classes have 18 students in a class. Kindergarten classes usually have just one adult, the teacher. For that reason it is important that your child be as independent as possible. Here are some ways you can help: • Shoes with zippers or velcro. • No belts on pants • Elastic waist band pants that your child can manage to totally pull up and down on his/her own. • Lunch foods packaged that your child can easily handle (i.e. containers that open easily with velcro).
Most Kindergarten school hours are 8:20 A.M. – 1:50 P.M. There may be some individual arrival and dismissal times at specific schools. Ask what the hours will be at your child’s school. There is no supervision of children before 8:00 A.M. on school grounds. If your child needs to arrive earlier, inquire about the before school care program (ask about fees). Every school has very strict policies about tardiness (arriving after 8:20 A.M. or picking up your child after 1:50 P.M.). School Hours
School Hours • If your child will be absent from school, you must send a letter with your child upon his/her return explaining the absence. Children with more than ten absences may be contacted by a school social worker. • Most elementary schools offer after school care programs from 1:50 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. There is a charge for this care and you should inquire about it when registering your child.
Kindergarten Routine During the Kindergarten day, there is no rest time and usually no snack time. The children spend all day with the Kindergarten teacher. The day often includes the following: • Language Arts Block (2 hours) (includes Reading, Writing, Handwriting and Phonics). • Math Block (60 minutes) (includes math concepts and math application). • Science • Social Studies • Art • Music • Recess
ScreeningFlorida Kindergarten Readiness Screener The Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS) is a state assessment program that is designed to gather information about the readiness of all children entering Kindergarten in the public school. This instrument is also administered to private school kindergarten students who participated in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK) the previous school year. • The FLKRS includes two screening instruments. The Early Childhood Observation System (ECHOS), a developmental screening tool, and the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR), measuring letter naming & phonemic awareness. • It is given within the first 30 school days of the kindergarten year.
Curriculum and Standards • There are Kindergarten grade level expectations for either the Common Core Standards* or the Sunshine State Standards. These grade level expectations cover: • English Language Arts* • Mathematics* • Science • Social Studies • Art • Health • Physical Education All Kindergarten classrooms throughout the county use the same Reading Program – Houghton-Mifflin. www.floridastandards.org
Grades • In kindergarten, students are graded based on progress towards meeting grade level expectations (Common Core Standards and Sunshine State Standards). E = Excellent Progress G = Good Progress S = Satisfactory Progress. Progressing toward grade level expectations M = Minimal Progress U = Unsatisfactory Progress
Modified Curriculum for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities • For the student whose IEP team has determined that a modified curriculum needs to be accessed, the student will be graded on progress in the modified curriculum, as the Sunshine State Standards Access points. www.floridastandards.org
Progress Report Cards • Your child will receive a Kindergarten Student Report Card four times during the school year. You must sign and return report card to your child’s homeroom teacher. • Interim Progress Reports will be used by the kindergarten teacher to report child’s progress mid-way between grading periods. • Make sure that you communicate with your child’s teacher on a regular basis about his/her progress.
Home Learning All children are assigned Home Learning (homework). In addition, parents/guardians are asked to read each day with their child for 30 minutes. Parents can assist with the Home Learning by providing a quiet space in which to work, explaining the instructions, and then allowing the child to do it on his/her own. There should be a consistent time set aside each day for Home Learning. Television and computer / video games should be limited, and if used, should be after Home Learning is completed.
Transportation Miami-Dade County Public Schools does not provide transportation to and from school unless the student lives more than two miles from the assigned school. Arrangements for private bus service may be made. (Ask about fees) The school office usually has the phone numbers of private school buses that serve a particular school. The need for special transportation is made at the Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting for a student with disabilities.
Uniforms • Most schools require uniforms. Parents may purchase uniforms at local uniform companies or buy school clothes in the appropriate school colors at most large Department Stores. The school’s logo can be purchased at the uniform stores or at the school’s PTA office and attach to the shirts.
Breakfast and Lunch • Breakfast is usually served by 8:00 A.M. and it is minimally supervised by the cafeteria staff. Breakfast is free for all M-DCPS students. Parents need to check the times for breakfast at their child’s school. • During lunch, children are expected to go through the cafeteria line, enter their lunch number, sit and eat without assistance, in less than 30 minutes. • There are usually one or two people supervising the cafeteria. • For children in separate classrooms an adult usually sits with the children in the cafeteria.
Some general suggestions prior to the start of the school year. • Visit the school prior to the first day. • Locate the kindergarten classrooms, media center, cafeteria, and playground. • Show your child where the bathrooms are located. • Practice where you will meet your child at 1:50 P.M. dismissal. Please note that most schools have very specific guidelines for pick up and drop off. • Ask the school for the recommended school supplies needed for Kindergarten. Shop for these supplies together with your child.
Continue…Some general suggestions prior to the start of the school year. • Put your child’s name inside all personal items, i.e. lunchbox, backpack, sweater, jacket, and raincoat. • Be sure your child goes to sleep at an appropriate time starting two weeks before school starts and wake child up early as if going to school. • Be positive about going to Kindergarten. Your child will reflect your attitude. Smile as you drop him/her off. Leave the classroom after a few minutes. Be there promptly to pick them up at 1:50 P.M. • Get involved in the school. Join the PTA. Attend Parent Academy Workshops. Sign up for the Parent Portal.
Parent Involvement and Participation • M-DCPS website www.dadeschools.net (click on Parents) • Office of Parental Involvement http://parents.dadeschools.net/305-995-1233 • Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) – join your child’s school PTA • Parent Portal – This is your gateway to access secure parent information regarding your child’s school program. • Parent Academy – year round initiative designed to help parents become full partners in their child’s education www.theparentacademy.net 305-995-2680 • Riverdeep Home-Based Instructional Programs is an Internet access program that supports the classroom curriculum for use in the home. It is free with your child’s ID number. If you don’t have a computer at home, use your Public Library.
School Choice Parents have many types of schools to choose Magnet Programs Charter Schools Controlled Choice Schools Bilingual Programs McKay Scholarships
Office of School ChoiceAnd Parental Options 305-995-1922 www.yourchoicemiami.org
John McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities • Established to provide a student with disabilities the option to attend a public school other than the one assigned or • Provide a scholarship to a private school of choice for a student with disabilities
Eligibility Requirements for McKay Scholarship Prekindergarten special education student may be eligible to use McKay Scholarship starting in their kindergarten year if: • Student applied for the program prior to withdrawing from public school • Student has an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) • The prekindergarten student was enrolled and received special education in M-DCPS or another Florida county during the October and February funding periods prior to entering Kindergarten.
Meaningful Consultation Private School Options • If your child has an IEP and • your child attends a not for profit private school and • this not for profit school has at least a Kindergarten class We may be able to work with the Private School to assist and support your child. Speak with your staffing specialist at the Transition Staffing.
North & South District SPED Centers North North Regional (9952) Central Regional (9952) Ms. Kathryn Cadieux Ms. Alfredia Robinson MacArthur North Sr. High MacArthur North Sr. High 13835 N.W 97th Ave 13835 N.W 97th Ave 305-827-3025 786-412-3563 Kcadieux@dadeschools.netalfrediaRob@dadeschools.net South South Central Regional (9953) South Regional (9953) Ms. Kathy Maguire Ms. Helene Chait SPED Center at J.R.E. Lee SPED Center at J.R.E Lee 6521 S.W . 62nd Ave. So. Miami 6521 S.W . 62nd Ave. So. Miami 786-268-4758 786-268-4757 email@example.com@dadeschools.net
QuestionsAsk your child’s pre- k special education teacher orAsk your pre-k staffing specialist
Questions Dolores Mendoza and Cecilia Nunez Miami-Dade County Public Schools Prekindergarten Program for Children with Disabilities 305-271-5701 firstname.lastname@example.org Cnunez@dadeschools.net
Websites • Miami-Dade County Public Schools http://www.dadeschools.net • Miami-Dade County Public Schools/Division of Special Education http://ese.dadeschools.net
We are proud of all the children in our program. They have made tremendous progress and we know they will do very well in Kindergarten.