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Contact:
Trent Atkins, professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, UM Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, 406-243-4978, trent.atkins@umontana.edu .

UM Faculty Will Administer Literacy Assessments During Kindergarten Roundup

May. 13, 2013

MISSOULA – Hawthorne Elementary, a Missoula County Public School, will hold its annual Kindergarten Roundup from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 15.

The roundup, organized and directed by Principal Becky Sorenson, is a program that gives prospective kindergarteners and their parents and guardians an opportunity to meet with future teachers and learn about the school they will attend in the fall.

This year, the University of Montana teamed up with Hawthorne Elementary to offer an additional service to pre-kindergarteners and their families. As part of the SHAPE P-20 initiative, a comprehensive grant funded by The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, representatives from the University’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction will administer an early-literacy assessment of all incoming Hawthorne elementary kindergarteners.

“The comprehensive nature of SHAPE P-20 allows UM and MCPS to work collaboratively to improve the outcomes for students, to ensure students are actively engaged in their learning, and to graduate with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century,” said Trent Atkins, a UM professor with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. “This particular pre-kindergarten initiative is an effort to prepare children to be successful in school from the first day of kindergarten.”

Each student’s early literacy assessment results will be provided to their parents and Hawthorne Elementary kindergarten teaching staff. The results also will inform a new pre-kindergarten literacy program that MCPS and UM will roll out this summer.

“The initiative will provide families the tools and the specific information they need, in the most convenient forms possible, to take increased responsibility for ensuring children are ready to read when they begin school,” Atkins said.

The new program will provide electronic literacy resources to elementary students and their families, as well as targeted literacy interventions for students in need. Educators have future plans to expand the pre-kindergarten assessments to additional academic areas with the goal of targeting instruction to incoming kindergarteners in all Missoula County elementary schools.

For more information about the roundup or for a more detailed schedule, call Atkins at 406-243-4978.

SHAPE P-20 is a partnership between UM and MCPS that strive to transform the relationships among classrooms, schools, and student and teacher experiences from preschool to the doctorate level. 

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