Kindergarten Jump Start changes coming in fall 2024

366711062 770946938364341 7254175070318853028 nJOHNSTON, Ia. (May 13, 2024) — The Johnston Community School District is pleased to announce changes to our Kindergarten Jump Start in fall 2024 aimed at bringing more balance and equity for all students, families, teachers and classrooms.

In the past, entry into the K-12 system in Johnston started with “Kindergarten Jump Start.” This four-hour, two-day preview to school held in late July or early August introduced students to kindergarten teachers and classrooms.

Because the day occurred during the summer, only 65% of students have attended Kindergarten Jump Start. Elementary school principals and teachers expressed concern about declining attendance and the inability for some families to attend. As a result, a team of kindergarten teachers began working this year on a new approach.

IMG 6495“Recently, we’ve noticed that our traditional approach to Jump Start during the summer has resulted in a steadily decreasing participation rate,” said Chris Billings, executive director of school leadership. “Those who do not attend often tend to be our most at-risk students.” 

Under a “Jump Start Reset” approved by the school board, several changes will take effect in the 2024-25 school year:

  • First three days: Kindergarten Jump Start will no longer be during the summer, but will be moved to the first three days of school. This coming school year, that will be Aug. 23, 26 and 27. This will allow all kindergarten students to attend.    364706667 771569254968776 4950140396605948968 n
  • Orientation: The first two days of school (Aug. 23 and 26) will serve as an orientation for kindergarten where students get to know the school, teachers, routines and procedures. 
  • Kindergarten teacher: Your student’s  kindergarten teacher and class will not be assigned right away in an effort to get to know your student and make the best assignment. This will also give balance to each classroom. 
  • No school on the third day: There will be NO SCHOOL for kindergarten students on the third day of school (Aug. 27). Families will learn the name of their child’s kindergarten teacher mid-day. A Meet the Teacher event will be held later that afternoon/evening to officially meet your kindergarten teacher and bring in school supplies.

364140264 771568661635502 7158903254750672455 n“To reiterate, these changes allow all kindergarten students to attend Kindergarten Jump Start,” Billings said. “Teachers will have a better chance to begin getting to know each student. Staff will have the ability to make more informed decisions so appropriate classroom placements can be made, and each school will have more balanced classrooms.”

The 2024-2025 JCSD Academic Calendar has been updated to reflect that there will be no school for kindergartners on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

We understand that change can sometimes bring uncertainty, especially for students and families. Rest assured that we are working diligently to make this transition as seamless as possible. Our staff members are available to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have during this time of transition. You will soon receive additional information and details about the changes from your school.