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Pottsgrove Looks To Close Its ‘Achievement Gap’

STOWE PA – Some children who will be registered next year in Pottsgrove School District kindergarten classes may need additional learning help, West Pottsgrove Elementary School Principal Terri Koehler told the Board of School Directors during its Tuesday (Jan. 10, 2017) meeting in her school’s gymnasium. A newly formed district team is working to ensure these youngsters succeed right from the start, she said.

District studies show a number of children in poor and minority families lack access to quality early childhood education. As a result, Koehler said, they don’t perform as well in kindergarten or later grades as those who benefit from “rich literary experiences and exposure to an extensive vocabulary” offered by pre-school providers. Educational experts label the difference as an “achievement gap.”

The team thinks kids who suffer from an achievement gap can be helped more if identified earlier. It’s looking at ways to screen kindergarten students sooner and more thoroughly. It also met with local pre-schools, and community agencies that support families of children with special needs, to talk about supplying and sharing educational resources, Koehler said.

Team members also want to suggest ways to make the kindergarten registration process more “parent-friendly,” according to Koehler. Possible changes are still being explored. Teachers hope to reduce late registrations, increase the amount of time available to review children’s needs, and eliminate parental confusion in using Pottsgrove’s online registration system.

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ Jan. 10 meeting):

Top video by The Post Publications;
bottom video and top photo from the Pottsgrove School District

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