Boyle, Danville collaborating on kindergarten readiness

Published 5:20 pm Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Danville and Boyle County school districts held a curriculum training day for their preschool teachers and partner daycare centers recently. It was all part of a collaborated effort to get children between the ages of 3-5 ready for kindergarten.

Each school district was awarded a $45,000 grant by the Kentucky Governor’s Office of Early Childhood late this summer, for improving school readiness. 

Using a portion of the money, the districts purchased curriculum kits, made up of materials that use the federal guidelines for preschool classrooms in Kentucky. The kits were given to their partner daycare centers and preschools in Danville and Boyle County. 

Jenna Blair, Boyle County Schools Preschool director, looks over the curriculum that is being shared in the local school district and preschools.(Photo by Robin Hart)

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On Monday, an instructor led training for  local daycare employees, and preschool teachers and administrators, as well as those from Washington and Fayette counties. They were taught how to use the kits in teaching young children basic skills so they would be ready to continue learning on a kindergarten level, said Boyle County Preschool Director Jenna Blair.

“Through those grants, we tried not to overlap purchasing materials and curriculum. A big push was to get curriculum opportunities into the daycare providers’ hands so that they can prepare the students for kindergarten,” Blair said.

“Regardless if they are in a preschool classroom in Danville or Boyle County schools, or in a daycare, if we streamlined everything and had the curriculum in everyone’s hands, we could all be collaborating and doing the same things.”

Daycares have been utilizing some teaching methods to increase school readiness, Blair said. By proactively providing the daycares and preschools with the same educational program and training the staff on how to use it, “the children will have a better foundation of essential skills for kindergarten.”

From left, Karen Dunagan, Jenna Blair and Pam Crowe look over the preschool curriculum being shared.

By the two school districts collaborating on early childhood school readiness, “and using the curriculum and being trained in it, they can be more collaborative and share lesson plans and thoughts. Also, a lot of kids in preschool also go to daycare because the parents have to work. And so whatever they’re doing in school gets carried over to the daycare setting,” Blair said. Essentially, they are getting double the academic opportunities, she added.