The transition from Early Childhood to First Grade is a major one. Therefore each child’s potential readiness is evaluated individually. In order to be considered for the following September, children must turn 6 by April 30. The First Grade Readiness screening is conducted, beginning in February, for the students enrolled in our Early Childhood programs; applicants from other programs are screened separately.
The students are carefully observed by the Early Childhood teachers during the school day, and also during a series of enjoyable movement games and artistic exercises with an experienced Grades teacher and/or Educational Support teacher. Unbeknownst to the children, this constitutes their screening for social, emotional, physical, and intellectual readiness. Behaviors that the teachers look for include the ability to play cooperatively with peers, express emotions and needs, self-regulate, throw and catch, skip, and exhibit coordination and balance; the ability to focus, listen to and follow a series of instructions, pay attention for a certain period of time, collaborate and cooperate, and demonstrate independence during transitions between lessons.
Following the screening process, all observations are reviewed and discussed by the First Grade Readiness Committee, consisting of the Early Childhood and Educational Support teachers, the Enrollment Director, and an experienced Grades teacher. Each child is discussed in depth. Thereafter, recommendations are made: some children are recommended for First Grade, while others receive the gift of another year in the Early Childhood program in order to bring their developmental maturity to the optimal readiness level and allow further “ripening” of the basic capacities that will support their future academic success. Children may also be accepted on a conditional basis.