FORT MYERS, Fla -- If your child has a young birthday and you're not sure whether they're ready for kindergarten, you're not alone. The School District of Lee County identified a need for extra readiness and development before that first year of elementary school depending on your child's age and it’s why it’s launching its new Young Five Program.
The state’s Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is what pointed to this need. Every year, the state requires counties to administer the exam to all incoming kindergarten students.
“For the past couple of years our county has been in the lower bracket of the state. So, we started looking for different ways we could ensure we were offering programs for our students to be kindergarten ready,” said Dr. Bethany Quisenberry, Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction for The School District of Lee County.
She said that included expanding the county's early learning opportunities like its pre-k classrooms. As well as offering Young Five for students who went to pre-k but still need a little more time because of their age.
Dr. Quisenberry explained that you can think of the program as a transitional kindergarten classroom. Students who turn five years old between May 1st and September 1st might not be academically or developmentally ready for kindergarten. This gives them the extra time they might need.
The Young Five program will launch next school year.
The enrollment process is the same as enrolling in kindergarten. However, remember it's only being offered at ten schools, so you'll need choose one of them as your first option.
Schools offering The Young Five Program:
- Cape Elementary
- J. Colin English Elementary
- Edgewood Academy
- Orangewood Elementary
- San Carlos Park Elementary
- Spring Creek Elementary
- Lehigh Elementary
- Manatee Elementary
- River Hall Elementary
- Sunshine Elementary