2007). School districts and communities need a transition-to-
kindergarten plan to help children and parents enter kindergar-
ten (Ramey and Ramey 1999). This plan needs to be based on
current research and should be simple enough for busy staff to
• A good transition to kindergarten benefits children, families,
Families with children who are in early childhood special
education tend to receive the most comprehensive transition-
to-kindergarten planning. Staff from both the preschool and the
elementary school write and implement the Individual Education
Plan (IEP) with parents. This intense level of coordination may
not be practical or necessary for all children; however, all chil-
dren adapt faster and more easily when specific activities are
designed to help them enter school. Parents who feel welcome
and understand what is expected of them can support their
children with more confidence. Teachers who get to know their
children and families well are more likely to have high expecta-
tions of student performance (Melton, Limber, and Teague 1999).
The long-term benefits of a strong family-school partnership are
invaluable: stronger academic achievement, positive behavior,
better attendance, fewer placements in special education, and
higher post-secondary enrollment (Ramey and Ramey 1999).
• Kindergarten is the first step on the way to college.
Education is valuable for all, but not everyone knows
how to navigate its system. Currently only about one-third of
adults in the United States have completed a bachelor’s degree.
Another one-third has some college education or a two-year
degree (Olson 2007). These numbers are much lower for mi-
nority groups. If school districts across the country are design-
ing plans that promise to prepare all students for a secondary
education, what do we need to do to help our children go from