Families, schools, communities, and other leaders can use this toolkit to make the transition to school a success and a strong base for sustained family and community engagement.
The transition to kindergarten is not a one-time event, nor does it involve just the child and teachers. It is an ongoing process that gives children and their families the tools they need for early and subsequent school success. The transition is also a major leverage point for communities to come together to prioritize and operationalize ongoing family engagement as a shared responsibility and as an essential element for supporting children’s developmental pathways in and out of school.
We are creating our Transition Toolkit to assist local leaders as they build bridges and relationships across homes and families, early childhood providers, schools, afterschool, and other community programs—especially for families without prior connections to school or limited information about the importance of early learning. It distills research on how and why the transition matters and the benefits of creating strong community-based transition practices and policies.
The toolkit contains tailored tools, including transition cases for discussion and examples of design thinking exercises and from innovative communities, to bring out and benefit from the perspectives of multiple and diverse players and engage them in generating new transition approaches and ideas. These and other tools also support professional, family, and community development. The creativity spurring community examples illustrate ways communities have opened the transition circle to include untapped resources including libraries, afterschool programs, beauticians and barber shops, subways and buses, and others.
Because innovative state policies and innovations are such an important component of building new and sustainable transition initiatives, we include and will add additional illuminating examples of how states are supporting young learners and their families to increase educational equity and build pathways to success for all children.
The Research Base
- Four Important Things Research Tells Us About the Transition to School
- Promoting Parent–School Relationships During the Transition to Kindergarten
Coming Together to Build Understanding, Relationships, New Ideas, and Approaches
- Bridging Worlds: Family Engagement in the Transition to Kindergarten
- Pipe Cleaners and Popsicle Sticks: Making Ideas Visible
- Sharing Assessment Data With Preschool Families in Preparation for Kindergarten
- A New Approach to Transitions: Welcoming Families and Their Ideas into Kindergarten Classrooms
- The Countdown to Kindergarten: A Collaborative Approach
- The Transition to Afterschool: One City’s Approach to Connecting Young Children and Their Families to Learning and Enrichment Opportunities
State Policies Supporting the Transition