Michael Welty, President
Marion County Board of Education
200 Gaston Avenue
Fairmont, W.Va. 26554 July 28, 2005
Re: Delayed Kindergarten start
Dear Mr. Welty,
I am in receipt of your letter requesting a Superintendent?s Interpretation concerning
delayed attendance for kindergarten students, where specifically, you asked the following:
?Given the emphasis on the 180 days of instruction, is the arrangement of a
delayed start for kindergarten students still an allowable practice??
Although W.Va. Board Policy 2520.15, Early Learning Standards Framework
Content Standards and Learning Criteria for West Virginia Pre-Kindergarten (WV Pre-k)
mainly addresses the pre-kindergarten aged children, it includes and incorporates the
Early Learning Standards Framework, which:
?. . . is intended to guide practitioners in offering high quality early education
environments that are responsive to individual children and maximize learning and
skill development. Using this standards framework, educators can plan high quality
learning experiences designed to promote school readiness skills for all children,
including children with disabilities . . . The Early Learning Standards Framework is
considered an integral part of an inter-related comprehensive curriculum and
assessment system as defined by WVDE Policy 2525.?
In addition, ?the standards are designed to serve as early learning guidelines for
all children ages three through five regardless of the setting.? (emphasis added)
In applying the Early Learning Standards Framework, the Social & Emotional
domain identifies four standards, each with Performance Indicators and Experiences.
The Performance Indicators are the following :
Self Concept ?
Makes positive statements about self
Expresses pride in accomplishments
Adjusts to new situations
Demonstrates appropriate trust in adults
Recognizes and expresses feelings in socially appropriate ways
Acts out roles by imitating typical actions associated with the roles
Social Relationships ?
Demonstrates affection in socially appropriate ways
Expresses empathy or caring for others
Demonstrates respect for others and their property
Sustains interactions with peers
Maintains an ongoing friendship with at least one other child
Uses words and actions to assert self in socially acceptable ways
Uses and accepts negotiation, compromise, and discussion to resolve conflicts
Accepts guidance and directions from a variety of familiar adults
Recognizes and respects appropriate authority
Follows basic routines and rules for play and group participation.
Knowledge of Family and Community ?
Understands and describes the interactive roles and relationships among family
Identifies and describes the roles and relationships of community members
Understands similarities and respects differences among people, such as genders, race,
special needs, cultures, language, and family structures
Identifies themselves as a member of groups within a community
Identifies and describes locations and places in their environment
Approach to Learning ?
Participates in classroom activities
Makes independent choices
Initiates and extends activities
Approaches tasks and activities with flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness
Persists in and completes tasks, activities, projects, and experiences
Maintains increasing concentration over a reasonable amount of time despite
distractions, and interruptions
Recognizes and solves problems through active exploration, including trial and error and
interactions with peers and adults
Acknowledges accomplishments positively
In addition, a delayed start for kindergarten students at the beginning of the
school year aligns itself with W.Va. Board Policy 2525, West Virginia's Universal
Access to a Quality Early Education System, which states, in part, through
?12,Transition and Continuity:
12.1. Each program participating in the county plan must have a written and
implemented plan for transitioning children into WV Pre-k and out of WV Pre-k into
kindergarten. At a minimum the plan will include:
12.1.1. an opportunity for the child and his/her family to visit the setting into which
the child is transitioning.
12.1.2. written information to parent/guardian and/or other family members as
appropriate about pre-k or kindergarten registration and what to expect in pre-k or
* * * *
12.1.4. a county system for transferring assessment data, including but not limited
to portfolios, for each child who has participated in a eligible program to the
kindergarten teacher to assist the kindergarten teacher in identifying areas of
development and areas of growth to meet the individual needs of each child.
12.1.5. policies and procedures for the transition of children with IEPs into and out
of the WV Pre-k and will follow all state and federal requirements.
It is my opinion that the initial experience of an incoming child into a kindergarten
setting is critical for establishing the foundation for a lifetime of learning. In applying the
Early Learning Standards Framework, a county?s use of an orientation program for
incoming kindergarten aged children is an acceptable means of providing instructional
part of their day, thus, is not in conflict with the W.Va. Board of Education Policy 2510.
Hoping I have been of service, I am,
Steven L. Paine
State Superintendent of Schools