Are Kindergartners Ready For School?


By Stephanie Mead

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) A regional study on kindergarten readiness conducted in Oregon suggests that children are not ready to enter kindergarten.

But how are schools fairing in southern Idaho?

Our kids, according to local school officials, aren't in the same boat.

Teachers are a key role in getting their students ready for kindergarten.

Twin Falls School District officials say some children aren't ready for kindergarten.

But, after a year, teachers are seeing improvement.

In fact, many students are now above average.

“When our students come into kindergarten and we see that across our seven elementary schools, we do have kids that are above average and we do have kids below average, yet when we test again in the spring, a majority of the kids are at grade level or higher,” explains Harrison Elementary School Vice Principal Melissa Ardito.

In a study conducted in Oregon, students were shown 110 letters to sound out.

The average kindergartner could only pronounce 6.7 of them.

Teachers at Harrison Elementary School work with their students to help progress their reading, math and writing skills.

A teacher’s job is to teach reading, but it's also a parents job.

“Most definitely when you read to your kids at home, they learn to pick it up and they want to read to you eventually," says parent Brandy Klimer.

Learning goes beyond the classroom.

Teachers ask parents to read at least 20 minutes a day to their children at home.

Playing with words can also help, by singing songs, rhyming or even holding conversations.

"Working with your child is really important even just reading with them, talking with them, learn to be engaging and to attend in the classroom," Ardito explains.

Twin Falls School District utilizes the Idaho Reading Initiative to test students.

The IRI is mandatory in the fall and spring.

Spring testing runs April 1 through May 2.

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