At the request of parents, the Denver Public Schools started four advanced classrooms in different locations. They found the program worked well and very soon grew to several locations in over 200 spots. They receive double the applications each year and they have a waiting list. These students are reading and doing advanced math by the time they get to Kindergarten and therefore, the need for an advanced class was not being met.
The teachers and educators in the program set high expectations not only for the students but also the families in these communities who are extremely involved in the progress of the students. Last summer one school sent homework for the students and everyone returned with completed assignments. This was a sign to the district that the parents are grateful their children are being challenged and not staying behind.
Denver Public Schools ensures that these students continue to be challenged once they graduate from these Advanced K classes so that they can keep excelling all the way to 5th grade.
Another positive outcome from advance Kindergarten classes that opened in Denver is that it helps brings the district and school scores up and ensures that families stay in the area instead or moving to other suburbs in search of better education for their children. The program has the same cost as a regular K class for the district and budgets are not a concern.
This a great example of how districts can focus on the positive and encourage students to excel by offering low cost programs that prove effective. The story was published in Education News and more information about how the advanced Kindergarten program work in DPS is provided in their article.
Photo by Kathy Cassidy
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