Kindergarten can be a big adjustment for children and families, requiring them to adjust rapidly to new routines and expectations. Research and experience shows that making that transition as smooth as possible builds the foundation for children’s academic and social-emotional skills as well as positive family-school connections. The OUSD Early Learning Department has been intentionally building strong transition practices to support children entering kindergarten and transitional kindergarten (TK). This past summer, the Summer Kinder TK Bridge program was successfully scaled to 14 OUSD elementary school sites, where early childhood educators provided a four-week foundational program for children.
“What does fatherhood mean to you?” and “What do you most want for your child’s education?” These are among the questions that participants in an Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) early learning event recently pondered together. The event, “Fathers and Father Figures Kindergarten Readiness Conversation and Celebration,” was the brainchild of teacher Ms. DaMonica Robinson, and was held at OUSD’s Lockwood Child Development Center.
High quality early learning and care opportunities lay the foundation for school readiness. Therefore, connections between school districts and early childhood programs are critical to successful community partnerships that support positive child and family outcomes.
We’ve just completed the fourth year of the Oakland Early Learning Symposium! This year, we focused on our core value of upholding justice and every form of necessary inclusion. November’s Symposium topic was “Partnering with Families of Children with Special Needs.” With over 100 participants in attendance, we heard updates from Theresa Lozach, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Special Education and Ben Braun, Regional Center of the East Bay and learned how to connect families to services through First 5 Alameda County’s Help Me Grow program and BANANAS, Inc. Plus, participants had the opportunity to break into small groups with peer facilitators to discuss specific strategies to support children and families.