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.
Since 2017, through the Resilient Oakland Communities and Kids (ROCK) initiative, Oakland Starting Smart and Strong (OSSS) has been building knowledge about resilience, trauma and its impact on children, and self-care for educators. Examples of ROCK supports for early childhood educators include: in person and virtual trainings, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), educator coaching, yoga, and self care resources.
As we discussed in a previous blog post, developmental screening helps families understand a child’s development, celebrate milestones, and identify supports for delays in development. Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), First 5 Alameda County/Help Me Grow (HMG) and other partners have been expanding access to developmental screenings for young children in Oakland.