Implementing a Pilot Pre-Kindergarten 3 Program in Partnership with Dorchester County Public Schools
- Looks to address early childhood achievement and opportunity gaps by providing an additional year of high-quality, structured pre-kindergarten, targeting low-income 3-year olds
- Will provide 3-years of funding to cover the cost of the primary instructor
- Classroom will be at the Judy Center/Sandy Hill Elementary School (designated Title I school)
- Target population will be Sandy Hill Elementary School families with income ranging from 185-300% of the Federal Poverty Level guidelines
- Theory of change: These students going through the Pre-K3 program will have two full years of quality pre-kindergarten and thus should demonstrate a higher level of readiness upon entering kindergarten
Measures of Performance
For more information, please see Data Analysis section at the bottom of the page
- Goal: To increase access to quality early learning opportunities for economically disadvantaged children.
- The Dorchester County Public School Pre-Kindergarten3 program is a pilot program designed to offer pre-kindergarten to 3-year old children.
- Intent: We believe we can improve kindergarten readiness by offering two full years of pre-k for up to 15 students per year. We expect that overall kindergarten readiness scores, as measured by the state of Maryland Department of Educations’ Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA), will demonstrate increased readiness over time.
- We will measure academic performance of the Pre-K3 students by using the Early Learning Assessment (ELA). The ELA will be tested three times over the course of each year.
- After Year-2, we will measure Pre-K4 ELA scores to see if the ELA scores of students that attended the previous year’s Pre-K3 program are demonstratively higher than children entering Pre-K4 that did not attend the Pre-K3 class.
- After Year-3, we will measure kindergarten KRA scores to see if the KRA scores of students that attended both the Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 program are demonstratively higher than children either attending only Pre-K4 as well as children that attended neither Pre-K4 nor Pre-K3. Using this same comparison model, we will also measure the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) scores for kindergarteners.
- Our sustainability goal is this data will demonstrate that two full years of pre-kindergarten does make a difference, as seen through improved readiness scores. With that data, we are hopeful DCPS will see its value and advocate to the School Board for long-term funding of this classroom, and perhaps even increase the number of Pre-K3 classrooms within the public school system.
- Second-year results:
- We were able to enroll a full classroom of 15 students during both 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years, earning a “green” score.
- DCPS quickly saw the value of the Pre-K3 classroom and launched a second classroom for school year 2022-2023, enrolling a total of 30 students. By school year 2023-2024, DCPS added an additional two classrooms, totaling 60 students. J2W initial pilot investment into one classroom will not only be sustained in perpetuity, but has greatly expanded the capacity for 3-year-olds for the future.
- During its second year, ELA developmental testing occurred over all 3 trimesters. We saw continuous improvement in the children over the 3 testing periods. In the first trimester in the fall of 2022, we noted the classroom averaged 79% in hitting the readiness benchmarks. At the midway point in early 2023 during the second trimester, we saw growth from 79% to 94% and, by the final trimester, 99% of all students met or exceeded benchmarks.
- We are awaiting data to compare how last year’s cohort did when analyzed against the current Pre-K4 classroom and we are also awaiting data on growth of this current set of classes. We should have all of this available by early 2024.
- We will not see any kindergarten data (KRA or DIBELS) until early spring 2024, once our first classroom has completed two years of school.