By Ken Selvaggi, WAVE 3 News Vice President and General Manager
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - In some Louisville zip codes, nearly three out of every four children began kindergarten a few weeks ago unprepared for it.
For Kentucky’s largest city overall, nearly one of every two children were not ready for kindergarten when they started. Challenges abound for Jefferson County Public schools and much effort is going into dealing with them. But the biggest remains children who are not ready for school from the start and trying to get them up to speed. In many cases, this is insurmountable.
It is certainly part of the reason why about half of JCPS high school graduates stop school after high school. Getting children ready for school begins with reading with them early and often so they enter kindergarten speaking in complete sentences most of the time, understanding key vocabulary, and are able to retell simple stories and recognize alphabet letter names, among other physical, social, and emotional attributes, like listening to instructions and following them.
Simply conversing often with your child helps, and also giving them plenty of unstructured outdoor play time.
For JCPS to substantially improve key education attributes for students, we need to make sure, at a minimum, three of every four students are ready for kindergarten, and that has to happen soon.