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Building Learning Pathways from ECE to Elementary Schools

by Raymond Isola and Helen Maniates
November/December 2013
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/building-learning-pathways-from-ece-to-elementary-schools/5021472/

Formal education is generally organized in three broad, autonomous configurations: 1) early childhood; 2) kindergarten through high school; and 3) post-secondary. Legislation, education code requirements, policies, regulations, and funding streams typically support one specific educational configuration. Even though there are obvious benefits to ­tailoring policies to specific settings, this practice creates a disjointed learning pathway from preschool through post-secondary education. We argue that more integrated approaches will likely support students’ development over time by providing continuity in learning and sustaining early educational benefits. In this article, we outline four ­strategies that we developed at Sanchez Elementary School in San Francisco, California, to lay the foundation for continuity between the onsite pre-kindergarten program and K-5 classrooms. The focus of this project was to strengthen and more fully integrate our PreK program with the elementary school in order to establish a stronger continuity of learning.

As part of the San Francisco Unified School District’s PreK-elementary initiative, we formed a school-university partnership to more deeply examine continuity of learning issues in a public school context. Sanchez School, located on the edge of San Francisco’s Mission District, serves approximately 300 students from preschool to fifth grade. Eighty-four percent of the ­students qualify for the subsidized lunch ...

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