Elementary School Principals Resoundingly Support Pre-K Investments

Posted by Pre-K for PA on October 23, 2017

Tells a story. Demonstrates self-confidence. Counts to 10. Completes a puzzle. Listens to directions. Recognizes colors and shapes. Demonstrates self-help skills. Aware of weather changes and seasons. Curious. Takes turns. Recognizes letters, some words and his or her name. Responds to other children’s need for help. These are just some of the many skills that a child who experienced high-quality pre-kindergarten will demonstrate when he or she enters kindergarten.

As children head back to school this fall, elementary principals across the commonwealth will be welcoming a very special group of new students – kindergarteners. Principals are on the frontline of delivering quality education and report they can easily distinguish between children who attended high-quality pre-k and children who missed this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, making their jobs more challenging as they work to level the playing field for all students.

The Pennsylvania Principals Association, in partnership with the Pre-K for PA Campaign, recently conducted a statewide survey to better understand elementary school principals’ perception of high-quality pre-k and its importance in building the foundation necessary for children to enter kindergarten ready to succeed.

The response was overwhelming – nearly 99 percent of elementary principals agree that publicly funded, high-quality pre-k is an important tool for preparing at-risk children for kindergarten. Responses were received from a diverse group of rural, suburban and urban school leaders who are responsible for educating nearly 60 percent of elementary students statewide. Children enter kindergarten with varying needs and experiences, and principals agree and research evidence
proves that access to high-quality pre-k is one of the best investments we can make to prepare children for school, if children are to achieve their full academic potential – particularly at-risk children.


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