Sixteen Kindergarten Partnership and Innovation (KPI) Projects have been funded across the state of Oregon with the common goal of improving school readiness and improving school success while reducing the achievement gap. Funded KPI projects are given flexibility to focus on one or more of the specified priorities:
- Supporting kindergarten readiness skills and smooth transitions to kindergarten.
- Increasing family engagement in children’s learning and connecting families and schools.
- Providing professional development to early learning and/or elementary school professionals to improve knowledge and skills.
- Increasing alignment, connection and collaboration in the preschool to Grade 3 system.
KPI projects are expected to work toward correcting the achievement gap, especially for underrepresented children, dual language learners, low-income, and/or racial/ethnic minorities. The programs host family events and workshops focusing on connecting families with schools before kindergarten, expanding family understanding about what it means to be “kindergarten ready”, and giving them the skills necessary to feel confident teaching their child math and reading at home. At the same time, the program gives early learning providers and kindergarten teachers a better understanding of their two different worlds. Educators are given tools to better support transitions for students and stronger relationships with each other.