The start of the 2022-23 school year is fast approaching and more five-year-olds than ever before will be starting kindergarten after the Louisiana legislature made it mandatory throughout the state.
Beginning this year, children who are the age of five by September 30 are legally required to attend kindergarten, with a couple of exceptions. Parents of children who are four on the first day of school can decide to hold their children back a year and enroll them in kindergarten the following school year. They may also defer enrollment in kindergarten for one year if their child is enrolled in a prekindergarten program.
Research shows 90-percent of a child’s brain development occurs between birth and age five and early childhood education plays a key role in their academic success.
“Children learn so much more in kindergarten than their ABC’s and 1,2,3’s, although that is important, too,” said Kimmie Smith, Supervisor of PreK-2 Instruction at Bossier Schools. “Kindergarten helps build foundational skills such as social and emotional development. Children learn how to work both independently and in groups. They acquire fine motor skills, increase their vocabulary and are better prepared for academic success.”
The first full day of kindergarten begins August 17 in Bossier Parish and online student registration is currently underway.
Another significant change pertains to students not reading on grade level by the end of their third grade year. All public schools in Louisiana will be required to create and develop a literacy assessment for every K-3 student that would, in turn, identify students who have not met an acceptable level of performance that would enable them to successfully transition to the next grade level.
“It is tied to promotion and placement,” explained Dr. Nichole Bourgeois, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum at Bossier Schools. “The way it (the law) is written is that a student that is not literate or reading by the end of the third grade year will be held back.”
It will be incumbent on schools to provide those students identified with an individual five-step literacy plan involving literacy support and intervention.
These changes, as well as others pertaining to the placement and promotion of students, can be found in the Bossier Parish School District 2022-23 Pupil Progression Plan.