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Evaluation findings from Georgia's 2015 Rising Pre-Kindergarten Summer Transition Program

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Description:
A recent evaluation of Georgia's Pre-K program suggested that additional supports were needed for Georgia's growing population of children from homes where English was not the predominant language. Peisner-Feinberg, Schaaf, and LaForett (2013) found that although Spanish-speaking dual language learners (DLLs) made significant gains during the pre-k year, they entered and left pre-k significantly behind their monolingual English-speaking peers on all outcomes. Based on that finding, DECAL decided to provide a summer program to support children from homes where Spanish is the predominant language as they make the transition to pre-kindergarten. The RPre-K program operated for six weeks in June and July and was offered for free to participating families. Children in the program were from low-income families and were DLLs from homes where Spanish was the predominant language. Several components were in place to meet the program's overall goal of preparing children for success in Georgia's Pre-K. First, RPre-K class size was small, with a maximum of 14 children, and each class had both a lead and an assistant teacher. Second, the RPre-K classrooms were required to use a specific curriculum, the dual-language edition of Opening the World of Learning (OWL; Dickinson, et al., 2011), to support language development and pre-kindergarten readiness. Third, a half-time transition coach was hired for every class to help families meet transition needs and to offer parent educational activities. Finally, every classroom was required to have at least one teacher (lead or assistant) who spoke Spanish. During this third summer of implementation, DECAL funded 30 RPre-K classrooms at 21 sites in 13 counties; 57% were housed in private child care facilities and 43% were located in public schools. This represented a sizable expansion from 2014, when DECAL funded 20 RPre-K classrooms at 13 sites in 10 counties. Approximately 420 children participated in RPre-K in 2015. Table 1 (see sidebar) specifies the types of professional development provided to RPre-K lead teachers and transition coaches in the summer of 2015. The overarching purpose of this project was to provide DECAL with information that will allow them to improve the program in future years. The specific aims were to: (1) describe the quality of teacher-child interactions in RPre-K classrooms, (2) understand the amount and purposes of Spanish and English used in the classrooms; (3) provide information about participating children's growth in early academic skill, especially language, during the program; (4) describe the services provided to participating children and their families; and (5) understand reasons that attendance may be lower than during the school year. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Country:
United States
State(s):
Georgia

Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

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