This tool kit is a resource for helping prekindergarten teachers partner with families as their child transitions to kindergarten. These suggestions for supporting kindergarten transition are organized by the seasons (fall, winter, spring, and summer).
IEL also has a resource list, Getting Ready for Kindergarten, which includes resources for educators, caregivers, and families.
- Home visits at the beginning of the school year help create a relationship and open lines of communication between schools and families. (See Boosting Attendance in Preschool Can Start With a Knock on the Door.)
- Mail a postcard to each student indicating how excited you are to meet them on the first day of school. Create specific opportunities to build positive relationships with families and children.
- Share children’s portfolios during parent/teacher conferences and explain how their child is learning and growing each day at preschool. Discuss how children are learning new skills that will prepare them for success later in school (e.g., social and emotional skills, turn taking, following directions, self-care, and early literacy, math, and science).
- Make information available about any opportunities for families to visit their child’s future school/kindergarten.
- Inform families about any elementary school events that future kindergarten students may be invited to attend (e.g., open house, assemblies, school plays/concerts).
- Remind families to make appointments with health care providers for kindergarten physicals and immunizations.
- Remind families about the importance of school attendance as you plan their child’s transition to kindergarten. Inform parents about the impact their child’s regular attendance has on his/her academic and social development.
- Include information about the importance of attendance during kindergarten transition meetings.
- Remind families about attending kindergarten screening events or other transition to kindergarten meetings.
- Some elementary schools schedule a kindergarten visit day for families. Make sure to let families know about these special days so they can meet kindergarten staff, family/school liaisons, and other kindergarten families.
- Remind families to talk with their child about the upcoming school year and share their excitement about what their child will be learning in kindergarten. Some schools build excitement by hosting a summer family potluck or park play date to bring families and their children together.
- To help families get a preview of elementary and secondary curriculum, the ISBE website contains information for families about the Illinois Learning Standards, which establish expectations for what all students should know and be able to do at each grade level.