MCS decision to expand Pre-K program supported by new study
February 3, 2022 8:39 AM
Muncie, Ind. – When Muncie Community Schools (MCS) submitted its Innovation Plan to the State of Indiana in June, 2020, it listed high quality early learning opportunities for all children in Muncie as one of its five “pillars of focus.” Due to partnerships with By5 of Muncie/Delaware County, the YMCA, the Muncie Boys and Girls Club and Huffer Memorial Children’s Center, MCS now has high-quality, low-cost pre-K classrooms at all six of its elementary schools.
Indiana defines a high-quality pre-K program as one that is rated by the state as Level 3 or 4 on its Path to Quality ratings. As a result of MCS programs achieving this high-quality rating, its students from lower income families can qualify for On My Way Pre-K funding.
From 2015-2021, researchers from Purdue University studied the impact of Level 3 or Level 4 Pre-K programs on kindergarten readiness and the continued impact on these children as they reached grades 3 and 4. The study, released this week, assessed the children’s readiness for the start of school by evaluating six different literacy, language and math skills. Performance in grades 3 and 4 was assessed by analyzing iLearn scores, attendance, discipline and special education data.
The results of the study are clear and persuasive: attendance at high-quality pre-K programs better prepares children for academic success.
On My Way Pre-K Study Results
In terms of school readiness, those On My Way Pre-K students outperformed similarly situated students who did not attend a Level 3 or Level 4 program. Likewise, the attending students achieved more positive learning trajectories that were maintained throughout their kindergarten year.
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