Five components are core to a PreK-3rd approach to education. Implementation will vary across sites, but the core components below constitute the operating principles of any PreK-3rd approach:
- Standards, curricula, instruction, assessment, and professional development are strongly connected within and across grades from PreK through Third Grade.
- Standards, curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development focus on both social competence and self-discipline as well as academic skills.
- Voluntary full-school-day PreKindergarten is provided for all three- and four-year old children.
- Full-school-day Kindergarten that builds on PreK experiences is required for all children.
- School districts and Superintendents provide principals and teachers with on-going professional development and joint planning time to ensure alignment.
- Principals foster collaboration among PreK-3rd teachers that strengthens alignment.
- Principals connect elementary schools with families and all early childhood programs in their communities.
- All teachers have at least a Bachelor's Degree with relevant specialized training.
- Preparation and certification enable teachers to teach at any grade level from PreK to Third Grade.
- Teachers are capable of assessing students' achievement and assisting each student to make progress based on regular assessments that inform instruction.
Classrooms as Learning Environments
- Instruction balances child-centered approaches with teacher-directed approaches.
- Well-rounded curriculum, including literacy, math, arts, physical education, social and emotional learning, history, and science.
- Classes are staffed by a well-qualified teacher and assistant teacher.
- Student-teacher ratios allow each child to receive individual attention and foster strong relationships with adults in the school.
Accountability to Parents and Communities
- Family engagement focused on supporting what children learn in school.
- Teachers and families work to set educational goals for children.
- Schools are responsible for reporting students' progress to families, communities, the school district, and the state.