Top 20 Questions Families need to ask before Kindergarten Transitions

Our work with a diverse group of school districts, communities, and families allows us to learn from and with so many who are considered stakeholders in education. If you are a parent review these questions and find answers. If you are a school or district, you may want to think about how you are responding to these questions so that families can equitable access supports and information.

The Early Learning Alliance Network is a non-profit organization that supports communities, families, and educators of children ages 0-8. The following are highlights of what families need to know about the transition to Kindergarten. These highlights have been curated from focus groups, interviews, questions submitted by families, and surveys.

See the top 20 questions families need to know for Kindergarten Transition

Kindergarten transitions mark a point where young children and their families are moving from the somewhat informal, and typically smaller early learning communities into more formal, structured K12 schools. We are always asked how families can prepare for kindergarten. To help drive the conversations that families need to have with their teachers and schools we offer the top 20 questions families need to know the answer to before their kids start a new school year.

  1. When, how, and why to register their child for kindergarten.
  2. Start and end times for school.
  3. Availability and cost of before and after care.
  4. Bus rules for pick-up and drop off of Kindergarten aged children.
  5. What events prior to school can children attend?
  6. What is the daily schedule for Kindergarten students?
  7. Availability of snacks for Kindergarten students.
  8. Procedures for communicating special needs (like food allergies) to school personnel.
  9. Communication plan between teachers and families (when, what format, how often, expected interaction).
  10. Rules and expectations for families visit the school and/or participate in special events.
  11. Clear expectations for the format of home communication (special apps, paper, email, etc.).
  12. Regularity of assessments (report cards, progress reports, etc.).
  13. Expectations for kindergarten participation in testing and what role the scores have in addressing needs of all children.
  14. Whatlearningwilllooklikeintheclassroom.
  15. How often and when parents and teachers will formally meet and/or communicate.
  16. How to access any required technology device information (including take home, stay at school expectations and costs/capacity for financial support).
  17. List of sites that will necessitate parent/family subscription, login, or account creation.
  18. Communication plan for parents to address concerns (who to contact first, who to contact next).
  19. Overview of current initiatives that are shaping the school (technology, social emotional learning, etc.).
  20. Guidance for children with special needs and how those transitions will occur by the team that includes the family as a true partner.

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