Principles & Elements Of PK-3

Principles
Key principles of effectiveness were discussed in recent research by Reynolds, Magnuson, and Ou (2010):

* Length of service matters, especially if the transition to kindergarten and the primary grades is supported,
* Organizational factors such as reduced class sizes, curriculum coordination across ages, integration of program elements within sites, and the provision of adequate staff resources, and
* family services can be an important context for developing comprehensive PK-3 programs (p. 1129).

To successfully address the learning needs of children, programs must be comprehensive, cover multiple years, and focus on key transitions (e.g. home to school, preschool to kindergarten, etc).

Practices
Reynolds, Magnuson & Ou define PK-3 practices as "specific elements or components of extended early childhood programs that are hypothesized to be associated with children's outcomes" (p. 1122).

* Preschool or prekindergarten
* Full-school-day Kindergarten
* Reduced class sizes
* Parent involvement activities
* Teaching practices
* Standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessment aligned within and across grades from PreK to 3rd grade
* Curriculum integrates academic and social skills
* Teachers qualified to teach PK to 3rd grade
* Comprehensive involvement and accountability - families, schools, community, etc.