What Principals and Administrators Can Do To Ready Their Schools To Support Kindergarten Transitions

Date 

January 2017

Social 

Elementary principal

When children come to school from a wide range of early learning experiences and at different levels of readiness for kindergarten, what can principals and other administrators do to ensure their schools offer smooth transitions for all incoming kindergarten children and their families?

Research shows that children who are academically, socially, and emotionally prepared to enter kindergarten are more likely to do better down the road in school and in life. Therefore, it’s increasingly imperative to support children’s transition to kindergarten from varied early learning experiences including preschool, daycare, family child care, and at-home settings with family members.

There’s also evidence that effective school leadership influences early childhood achievement, as leaders play a critical role in improving classroom instruction—the most important factor related to the success of young students.

The white paper looks at what research tells us in five specific—and sometimes overlapping—areas on which principals and other administrators can focus to support smoother kindergarten transitions.

The updated "Taking Action" handout focuses on practical strategies that education leaders can use at school, with families, and in the community to help ease the transition into kindergarten and the early grades. These strategies are organized under each of the five research-based areas with additional information and resource links.