Kindergartners get jump start with summer program

13 Portland schools offer the Early Kindergarten Transition program

Portland kindergartners get a head start with Early Kindergarten Transition program in the summer. (KOIN)
Portland kindergartners get a head start with Early Kindergarten Transition program in the summer. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — While it’s still summer, some Portland kids have already gone back to school.

Portland Public Schools offers the “Early Kindergarten Transition” program at all its high-poverty schools, including Harrison Park, a K-8 School in SE Portland.

More about the program

The program helps ease incoming Kindergarten students into a school routine before the year officially starts. Many of them have never been to preschool or been exposed to a school routine.

“It’s just a wonderful way for kids to be ready for kindergarten,” teacher Donna Schinagawa said.

Principal John Walden said EKT teaches kids how to be students, which is a big challenge.

Portland kindergartners get a head start with Early Kindergarten Transition program in the summer. (KOIN)
Portland kindergartners get a head start with Early Kindergarten Transition program in the summer. (KOIN)

The future kindergartners attend school every morning for three weeks. Their parents or caregivers can also gather to talk with staff twice a week.

“It’s really shown it’s a great investment in terms of getting kids ready to learn,” school board member Amy Kohnstamm said. “It’s had a proven effect on improving attendance rate for elementary kids, which is one of most important factors for student success.”

Schinagawa also said it helps the parents be less nervous when it’s really time to send their little ones off to school for the first time.

“I see the kids come in ready to go,” she said. “Familiar with the building and the teachers and they also love it.”

Other schools that offered ETK are: Boise-Elitot/Humbolt, Harrison Park, Kelly, James, John, Lee, Marysville, Rigler, Scott, Sitton, Vestal, Whitman and Woodmere.

Portland kindergartners get a head start with Early Kindergarten Transition program in the summer. (KOIN)
Portland kindergartners get a head start with Early Kindergarten Transition program in the summer. (KOIN)