Goal Area: Early Learning

In Vancouver Public Schools, one of our priorities is early learning, and we’ve taken on the task of getting our youngest and newest students prepared to be not just early learners, but lifelong learners.

That’s where Jump Start comes in. Jump Start is a free summer program for incoming kindergarten students across the district, designed to set the stage for a successful school career. It ensures these students have not only the skills to begin learning on the first day of school, but also as a way to bridge the gap of student achievement and success.

Sarah J. Anderson Elementary instructional coach Jill Mackenzie and Martin Luther King Elementary kindergarten teacher Shari Perea spoke about the 2014 program and its results.

Some facts presented about Jump Start:

  • Free summer program generously funded by the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools.
  • All 21 elementary schools offered the program with a total of 902 students participating.
  • 84% of Jump Start teachers transitioned to their regular kindergarten assignment in their school, providing a teacher-student-relationship continuity that supports learning.
  • 100% of Jump Start participants were at school and ready to go on the first day.
  • Both teachers agreed there was already a noticeable increase in fall benchmarks.
  • Parent feedback and reviews were overwhelmingly positive.

“Most of us feel it’s worth it and we see the benefits of it,” stated Mackenzie. “It’s a lot less tears on the first day of school.”