eSN Special Report: Closing Gaps Early

As more students enter kindergarten already behind their peers, closing these gaps quickly is critical to their success. Here’s how software can help

Here’s a closer look at how some schools are succeeding at closing learning gaps early.

Located in Marion County, a rural area of north central Florida, the town of Weirsdale doesn’t offer many opportunities for preschool education. The median family income in the county is around $37,000, or $12,000 less than the state average, and about one in 10 families lives below the poverty line.

As a result, many children are starting their formal education already well behind where they should be, according to the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS, or “flickers” as it’s known to the state’s teachers). In fact, some students enter kindergarten not knowing any letters or sounds, said Chris Sandy, principal of Stanton-Weirsdale Elementary School.

“It’s amazing to me that a child can walk in the door and not even know the letter ‘M’ for McDonald’s,” Sandy said, noting that the normally ubiquitous fast-food chain hardly exists in her community.…Read More