What happens when students get a chance to attend a full-day of a Head Start prekindergarten program instead of a half day? They are more likely to become better readers and to need less in the way of special education services once they get to kindergarten, according to a study released by Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland.
“This report reinforces the power of full-day pre-kindergarten for our at-risk students,” said Superintendent of Schools Jerry D. Weast said in a press release about the report. “Our citizens recognize that a commitment to preparing students for college and the work world must begin at the earliest grade levels and continue throughout a child’s elementary and secondary education.”
Montgomery County is an interesting one to watch when it comes to early learning, because the sprawling school district includes both locally funded pre-kindergarten classes as well as Head Start classes that are federally funded and are aimed at four-year-olds who meet income eligibility guidelines. It would be interesting to spend some time in those classrooms and find out how the different programs differ, and how the teachers are trained. Why are they getting such good results?