Multnomah County Experiencing Increase in Early Kindergarten Registrations, Helping Improve the Kindergarten Transition for Kids, Families and Schools
County-Wide Partnership Focused on Improving Educational Outcomes Helps to Leverage Existing Multnomah County Program
As many as one in seven local children registers late for kindergarten. This means lost instructional time, missed opportunities to enroll in summer support programs and an unstructured start to a new school year.
Since 2012, however, a campaign to “Register for School by June’’ has boosted the percent of on-time registered kindergarteners in targeted schools from 67.5 percent in 2011 to 84 percent in 2013. Overall, on-time registrations county-wide have risen from 80.4 percent to 86 percent.
“We know that it benefits the child, their family and the school when a kindergartener registers for school by June,” said May Cha, project coordinator with Multnomah County. “For the child it means that they come to a school and a classroom that is prepared to greet them not just by having a desk, cubby and materials ready for them, but having a teacher who is more prepared to meet the individual needs of that student and their family.”
Through its Linkage Initiative, Multnomah County launched the “Register for School by June” campaign to increase on-time kindergarten registration. This past spring, the Ready for Kindergarten Collaborative, a collaborative of the All Hands Raised Partnership, joined that effort to align resources and partnerships to reduce late registrations. The Ready for Kindergarten Collaborative is co-convened with Multnomah County and Social Venture Partners.
“Improvements such as these are at the heart of why this community established the All Hands Raised Partnership,” said All Hands Raised CEO Dan Ryan. “And we are still setting our sights on more improvement through targeted outreach to touch families that would otherwise be overlooked.”
The Ready for Kindergarten Collaborative conducted outreach to media, medical clinics, the faith community and neighborhood housing complexes. Members concentrated on families with very low incomes and in communities of color where school district partners identified need.
The Collaborative selected eight elementary schools that they are currently partnering with as initial demonstration sites for their work: Davis and Glenfair Elementary from the Reynolds School District; Highland Elementary from Gresham-Barlow School District; Lynch Wood Elementary from Centennial School District; Mill Park Elementary from the David Douglas School District; Shaver Elementary from Parkrose; and James John Elementary and Woodlawn PK-8 from Portland Public Schools.
Ready for Kindergarten is one of the four initial Collaboratives of the All Hands Raised Partnership, a community-wide effort to methodically and significantly improve educational outcomes for children and youth. These Collaboratives work to deliver measurable improvements on 12 “Indicators of Success” that measure the progress of children and youth from birth to career. The All Hands Raised Partnership is tracking these indicators in Multnomah County and promoting improvement targets from kindergarten readiness to college completion.
Mark Holloway, executive director of Social Venture Partners and co-convener of Ready for Kindergarten, said, “The key to the improvements we are seeing is continuing to align our various resources and surround our schools and families with support—it’s truly a communitywide effort. The principals of our demonstration site schools are so enthusiastic about this effort—several of them got out to knock on doors with us, building deeper connections with their neighborhood community.”
Media interested in more information about the results of the Register for School by June campaign or the work of the All Hands Raised Partnership, including the Ready for Kindergarten Collaborative, should contact Jeanie-Marie Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-234-5404 x12.
SOURCE: Peggy Samolinski, Multnomah County, 503-988-6295