KingJumpStartFinalEach January we tend to think about our personal accomplishments of the past year. We look at what we might improve and make resolutions. Some we keep, some we don’t, but at least we’ve made an effort.

As educators, we also make resolutions about our students. We look at what we might do to help them learn and grow. Many of our families make these commitments, too.

Here’s an example.

This past year we resolved to do more to help our kindergarten students get ready for school. Students at King Elementary School benefited from an extended Jump Start program last summer. They went to school for 19 mornings prior to September 5. They made friends and learned to socialize. They learned to follow school rules, like how to take turns and work together.

Parents were pleased with the program. Anna Aquino reported, “My daughter is more independent. She feels safe and confident at school after attending Jump Start. It is a good program for the whole family because teachers welcome us early; they motivate us to work with our kids at home, and I learned a lot about how I can play with my daughter and help teach her.”

All those outcomes were great. But these students also learned skills that improved their academic performance. The percentage of King Elementary kindergarteners that passed the fall DIBELS benchmark increased from 24 percent in 2011 to 31 percent in 2012. Fifty-one percent of students who regularly attended Jump Start met the benchmark criteria. These children got off to a great start for their first school year. And research tells us that academic success in the early years pays off for years to come.

Our resolution to help these new kindergarten students was an outstanding success. As you strive toward your goals this year, remember that resolutions do work. Let the kindergarten students at King be an example. If they can do it, we all can do it.

I wish you the best of success with your resolutions in 2013.

Take care,

Image: Steve's signature