It’s the holiday season, and for months Spectrum Station has been preparing to bring the magic of this time of year to all of our students. In similar fashion, we’ve been getting ready for the next season – Back to School and Kindergarten Round Up. Just like the holidays, this next season creeps up on many parents faster than they’re ready for, but the Spectrum Station Team has done this more than a few times, and we’re ready to support our parents and students. Whether this is your first transition year or your fourth, prepared to support the move from one class to the next.
School readiness is a priority at Spectrum. We believe strongly in nurturing our students so that when they move on to their next educational experience they are equipped with the entire intellectual and behavioral tools they need to succeed. A recent article in Education Week highlighted the importance our country’s local government agencies are placing on Early Childhood Education. According to the research, officials are recognizing the value of formal education practices at ages earlier than previously considered necessary. Our own Kansas City Chamber of Commerce added Kindergarten Readiness to its “Big 5” list of initiatives intended to increase prosperity for KC residents.
From the beginning of our students’ experiences at Spectrum we start introducing Animated Literacy and other academic platforms that incorporate our commitment to the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) principles and practices. There are many ways your children are currently preparing for their next classroom. Academically they are experiencing literacy and math concepts in a setting that is parallel to the lesson plans of our local school districts. Artistically, they are challenged and encouraged to engage with interesting mediums and experiences. Physically, they are presented with varying opportunities to engage their minds and bodies. All of these experiences are tied together with a philosophy of innovation and individuality. Every child is expected to make the experience her or his own.
In addition to our regular classroom curriculum we offer our families a variety of supplemental programs that further enhance school readiness. Spectrum is incredibly proud of the success we have seen in our students who take part in our individualized Hooked on Phonics © Program. These intimate and intense lessons take students from letter recognition to phonemic awareness and pre-reading skills and then to full literacy, often at levels two grades above their classroom placement. Ms. Jen, our Pre-K teacher, commented that her “students who are enrolled in Phonics are always eager for their lesson and go running to the door when Ms. Victoria shows up to get them.” This program boasts over 90% retention, meaning parents are more than pleased with the results and students take pride in continuing to develop their reading skills. One of our parents, Kristina Strickland who has three children enrolled in Spectrum, recently sent us a complimentary e-mail and wrote, “Our oldest loves Hooked on Phonics and is reading at almost a first grade level, which is great considering we’re not even in kindergarten yet.”
Spectrum also works closely with our local school districts and academic support services. Students who need additional provisions, to meet or exceed grade level benchmarks, can receive these services at our facility or take advantage of off-site services while still benefiting from our caring and creative environment. Two examples of these services include occupational therapy, which helps to develop gross and fine motor skills, and speech therapy to aide in developing clear and confident verbal skills. Mrs. Strickland also mentioned in her e-mail how much she appreciates Spectrum's work with her middle child’s speech therapist. We do frequent and regular classroom evaluations and offer additional screenings to all of our students in order to support you in preparing your children for their continued success in education.
Finally, the administration and staff at Spectrum Station are exceedingly familiar with the school districts that your students will eventually transition into and the processes of that next phase. We make every effort to align our curriculum with state and local standards, and we are ready and willing to help you navigate the process when the time comes for your learner to move on. Our work and support is never over. We always look forward to watching our former students thrive in their education, even after they leave our walls. In fact, many of our students have returned to work at Spectrum during their vacations at college.
Beginning with this first post, we want to introduce you to our collaborative effort to support parents in everything developmental for your child, unique as he or she is. Spectrum Station is here for you in every phase and transition that you face. Our staff is dedicated to researching and sharing the latest information on Early Childhood Education and we hope you know how much we appreciate you and yours.
Big 5 Home. Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from www.kcchamber.com/Big5KC/Home.aspx.
Hinton, M. (2017, November 17). Cities, Counties Join New Initiative to Focus on Kindergarten Readiness. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/early_years/2017/11/cities_counties_join_new_initiative_to_focus_on_kindergarten_readiness.html