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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Mayor’s Commission for Children presented the Readiness for Kindergarten 2018 Continuation Study findings at 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 23 at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. This study is conducted approximately every four years. This year, the study was prepared by Dr. Melissa Duncan Fallone from the Dixon Center for Research and Service at Missouri State University.
A total of 435 surveys were completed by Springfield Public Schools teachers for a response rate of 93.5%. 2018 overall readiness results indicate 26% of those surveyed were not prepared for kindergarten. This compares to 24.7% in 2016.
40.6% of free and reduced lunch program students were reported as “not ready” while 10.6% of their non-free and reduced lunch program peers reported as “not ready.” In 2016, 31.8% of free and reduced lunch program students were reported as “not ready,” while 16.7% of non-free and reduced lunch program students were reported as “not ready.”
51.1% of students who did not attend a formal preschool were reported as “not ready” as compared to 17.8% of their preschool-attending peers.
31.1% of boys were reported as “not ready,” while 21.1% of girls were reported as “not ready.”
Springfield Public Schools continues to use new state funding to expand access to high quality early childhood education for under-resourced and underrepresented students. With the historic decision to create Campbell Early Childhood Center, SPS expanded access to 200 4-year-olds in 2018-19.
With the passage of the 2019 bond, the district will construct the first building designed for early childhood education. By maximizing the funding stream and the community’s support to build a new early childhood facility, the district plans to serve over 1,000 4-year-olds by 2020-21.
“This study continues to inform and focus the collective efforts of many partners to ensure our children are ready to learn,” said Brigitte Marrs, executive director of the Mayor’s Commission for Children. “It is certainly a cornerstone in fueling the energy and momentum around the importance and impact of early childhood education that has helped our community embrace the opportunities for pre-school expansion and strengthen other initiatives to remove barriers for readiness.”
The Kindergarten Readiness Study was made possible through the funding and support of the City of Springfield, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Musgrave Foundation and Springfield Public Schools.
“As we continue our work to skill up our workforce in Springfield, we must remember that it all begins with children arriving at kindergarten ready to learn,” said Mayor Ken McClure. “I want to thank the commission and our partners for tracking this important data, and I want to commend Springfield Public Schools and the education community for their efforts to make pre-K programs accessible to every child in Springfield.”
The Mayor’s Commission for Children was established in 2004. Our mission is to ensure every child matters by acting as a catalyst to mobilize and educate our community concerning the health and well-being of our local youth. Our vision is to be the voice for children’s issues in our community. Meetings are held at 8 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, 202 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway.
Members and advisory council serve three-year terms.
For more information, please contact: Executive Director Brigitte Marrs at 417-224-1678 or [email protected] or Mayor’s Commission for Children at 417-864-1656. For more information regarding the study, please contact Dr. Melissa Fallone at 417-576-0617 or [email protected].