Kindergarten Boot Camp will take place July 7-25 and is for children registered for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year at H.M. Nailor Elementary.
"Kindergarten boot camp is a three week intense program for incoming kindergarteners that will be arriving here at H.M. Nailor," said Principal Jessica Tyson.
“During that time we will work on pre-requisite skills that need to be done before kindergarten. We will see exactly where they are in remediation and enrichment programs that have been put in place," she said.
The class will cap off at 50 children and parents are encouraged to sign their children up when they register for kindergarten.
There is no cost for the class.
"This is really a transition program for our students. A majority of the students come from Head Start and Head Start is totally different from public schools and with Common Core coming into play we thought it necessary to do transition activities to prepare students for the rigorous curriculum once they enter kindergarten,” said Tyson.
“The teachers will provide strategies for the regular kindergarten classroom such as identifying letters and the sounds of letters, identifying numbers and being able to count, we work on legibly writing, and daily transitions of going to the restroom and getting into line.
“We will also work on how much time to spend on work and transitioning from one assignment to the next," she said.
Tyson said the children have to get used to a more structured environment and endure from one action to another as well as be able to sit still and raise their hands.
"Last year was the very first time we implemented the program. We had a total of 40 students and what I saw was that in the first 9 week period those students got a jump start on coming to school and the rigorous Common Core state standards we implement on day one,” said Tyson.
“None of the students that went to kindergarten boot camp were struggling students and none were behind.
“I think a lot of people see those three weeks as not enough time but because we limit it to a small amount and have three certified teachers, they are able to focus on each child's individual strengths and weaknesses.
“We see that this lessens the academic gap with kindergarten skills," said Tyson.
Students are required to attend the boot camp for the full three weeks and do not need any supplies.
Boot camp will last from 8 a.m.-noon and children will receive a backpack, a folder, a pencil and a snack before they leave.
"I think that after having Kindergarten Boot Camp the first year we saw great gains and our parents are beginning to catch on that the new Common Core state standards are here,” said Tyson.
“We have to find other ways to make sure we have a transition for our children. This is one of the initiatives we've put into place for our incoming students because Head Start structure is totally different from public schools.
“Our superintendent and school board support it highly, especially after the first year and seeing the students do well. I'm very excited and so are our parents," said Tyson.