To help close the achievement gap, BPS continues to focus on preparing children at a very young age for academic and personal success. In the past two years, the district has invested more than $7.5 million to strengthen and expand early childhood education programs citywide, particularly with the creation of more Kindergarten 1 (K1) classrooms for four-year-olds. Superintendent Contompasis recently presented the Boston School Committee with a plan to expand and strengthen early childhood programs throughout the city.
The plan proposed by the Department of Early Childhood Education is designed to ensure high standards in all kindergarten classrooms, with consistent curriculum aligned to learning in Grade 1 and beyond. To inform the decision-making in this investment, the district commissioned a needs assessment from the Wellesley Centers for Women to study the quality of instruction and facilities in 127 randomly-selected kindergarten classrooms in 67 schools, which represents slightly less than half of all kindergarten classrooms in Boston. The study cites the need for improvement in many of the classrooms the researchers visited and makes recommendations that support the district’s strategic plan for the months and years ahead.