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The ABCs of Early Learning: Pre-K at IDEA Public Schools

Reading Fluency | Writing Readiness | Math Mastery

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CONTRIBUTORS IDEA is a family of tuition-free, Pre-K – 12 public charter schools open to serving all students and committed to ensuring every scholar is prepared for success in college and life. That journey begins in Pre-K.

Editor in Chief: Vanessa Barry Editor At Large: Irma Muñoz Deputy Editor: Sharise Johnson Editorial Editor: Matthew Dougherty Creative Director: Phil Chairez ON THE COVER: Obinna Oparaocha, IDEA Pre-K scholar at IDEA Harvey E. Najim Academy, is on the road to success in college and in life.

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Table of Contents

Why Pre-K Matters

Results

Starting Strong

What Makes Pre-K at IDEA Unique

The IDEA Pre-K Classroom

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Half-Day?

How I Excelled on the IDEA Journey

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ll About Why Pre-K Matters My name is Elle Bergen. My son, Jackson, is a four-year-old fountain of knowledge. Since he started Pre-K at IDEA Harvey E. Najim Academy, he has learned so much. Here are just a few things he loves to show me when he comes home from school:

His numbers: 1-20 (a nd counting) Adding numbers toge ther Subtracting numbers Decoding words usin letter sounds he’s le g all of the arned Vocabulary (he’s a wa lking dictionary!) Blending, the founda tion of learning how to read

How to reference th e calendar How to work together as a team Cutting, gluing, and all of those fine mot skills or 4

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Equally important, Jackson loves school. He loves his teachers, Ms. Green and Ms. Valenzuela, and he’s making friends. Just the other day, I told him we needed to go to the doctor for a check-up, and he responded, “Okay, Mom, but can we make sure it’s before or after school? I don’t want to miss it.” Jackson is starting strong at IDEA, and nothing makes me happier, because my son’s education is a marathon. It’s a journey that builds upon itself for years and years. Think about it—we learn letters and sounds to build words. We learn how to count, add, and subtract so that someday we can solve equations or balance finances. There is nothing more important than foundational knowledge. Don’t just take my word for it. Did you know that The Harvard Graduate School of Education, among other leading universities, just released a study that concludes students who attend Pre-K are 11.4% more likely to graduate from high school than those who do not attend Pre-K1? Once a child falls behind, the chances that they will never catch up skyrockets. But I don’t have to worry about that at IDEA. I know Jackson is in good hands, because 99.85% of IDEA Pre-K students leave Pre-K completing kindergarten work. Jackson, and his classmates, are taking the first important step on the road to success in school, and down the road, in college and in life. Read on to learn why IDEA’s Pre-K program is the right choice for your child.

Advantages of Pre-K – By The Numbers

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Students who enter school in Pre-K, as opposed to Kindergarten, are • Less likely (by 8.1%) to be placed in special education • Less likely (by 8.3%) to be retained in a grade • More likely (by 11.4%) to graduate from high school 1

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2017/11/21/can-finally-quit-re-debating-pre-k-really-help IDEA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

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IDEA Brackenridge Pre-K scholar Geovany Soriano practices good penmanship during independent practice. 6

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As your child starts strong on the road to success in college and in life, this is the typical schedule he or she will follow. Keep in mind, IDEA’s Pre-K program is a half-day session, and that our program tailors the schedule to meet a student’s individual academic needs. For more information on why we offer half-day Pre-K, and options for before or after school care, please reference page 28.

AM Session

7:30-7:45 Breakfast 7:45-8:05 Morning Meeting 8:05-9:05 Language Arts: Small Gr oups 9:05-9:15 Brain Break: Small Groups (song and movement) 9:15-10:15 Math: Small Groups 10:15-10:45 Science 10:45-11:15 Lunch 11:15 Dismissal

PM Session

12:15-12:45 Lunch 12:45-1:00 Afternoon Meeting 1:00-2:00 Language Arts: Small Gr oups 2:00-2:10 Brain Break: Small Groups (song and movement) 2:10-3:10 Math: Small Groups 3:10-3:40 Science 3:45 Dismissal *Please note: This is a gen eral schedule that most schools follow by mid-year, once essential systems, proced ures, and good student habits hav e been mastered.

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right Beginnings: IDEA Students Achieve

My name is Kristina Vasquez, Pre-K Master Teacher at IDEA Academy Edinburg. I believe that a quality Pre-K program eliminates learning gaps and provides children with the tools they need to succeed in every year of school. Each year, our Pre-K program continues to grow and improve, and I’m so happy to be a part of teaching our youngest scholars the building blocks of literacy and mathematics. Last year, 99% of IDEA Pre-K students finished the year on or above grade level in their language skills. Additionally, 98% of IDEA Pre-K students finished the year on or above grade level in mathematics.

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99% ON GRADE LEVEL LANGUAGE We want to ensure all of our Pre-K scholars end the year on or above grade level. This includes making sure they know and understand certain concepts. What does “on grade level� mean for language? On grade level means that your child will end the year having completed and passed, at a minimum, 40 lessons in the Pre-K language curriculum.

Subject-verb agreement

I am going to school. You are going to the market. She is studying for her test. Essential vocabulary

Can you name these animals?

Sentence structure

I walk to school every day. I am always excited for lunch. Comparatives

The school was bigger than the house.

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98% ON GRADE LEVEL MATHEMATICS What does “on grade level” mean in math? On grade level means that your child will end the year having completed and passed, at a minimum, 45 lessons in the Pre-K mathematics curriculum:

Essential math voca

bu

Knowing what “add”andlary mean and geometric sh “subtract” circle, rectangle, and sq apes, such as uare. Counting from at lea

st 1-20

Identifying Tens an

d hundreds

Sequencing

First, second, third… Recognition of num

be

There are five marblesrs in this bag. 1:1 correspondence

My left and right hand same number of crackeboth have the rs. Adding and subtra

4 + 7 = 11 3–2=1

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cting


“I am very excited because my daughter, Madelyn, is learning how to write. At home, if something is written on a bag, a tag, or a book, she sits down with a pencil and paper and writes it on her own. She is coming home and applying the knowledge she learned at school every day in front of my eyes. These kind of results are why I choose IDEA.” SAMANTHA SANCHEZ PRE-K PARENT AT IDEA SOUTH FLORES ACADEMY

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“Before IDEA, my son, Gerardo, had a really hard time counting to ten, and would often skip numbers, or count out of order. Now, he can count perfectly all the way to 30. He has taken three math tests so far, and on every single one, he has earned a 100%. Math is his favorite subject. He comes home and gets to his homework right away, which is typically practice with counting pictures and matching them to the right number.” MARISSA VALLEJO PRE-K PARENT AT IDEA TRES LAGOS ACADEMY

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Additionally, our Pre-K students build phonemic (letter sound) awareness, and practice blending letters and sounds—the foundation to reading!

“We really love the curriculum IDEA offers because it’s about repetition and focuses on important aspects of language, math, and reading. This helps my son, Azariah, understand the value of reading, and it sticks with him. Azariah is becoming a very successful reader at IDEA Public Schools.” ROMEO ROSALES PRE-K PARENT AT IDEA SOUTH FLORES ACADEMY

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atching Up? No Way! Starting Strong for a Bright Future. My name is Cery Chavez, and I live in Brownsville, Texas. My children, Allison and Jonathan, both attend IDEA Riverview Academy, and they both started in the Pre-K program there. Jonathan, a current Pre-K scholar, enjoys every day at school. He learned how to write his name within the first week, and little by little, he is becoming an independent scholar. Before IDEA, he had been having trouble with his fine motor skills, but now, he’s a whizz with scissors and glue, and loves to make things and be creative. He’s also learning all of his sounds and numbers. I’m really proud of Jonathan, but I’m even more excited for what his future holds. You see, my daughter Allison is in kindergarten now, and words cannot express how glad I am that I enrolled her in Pre-K last year at IDEA. As a kindergartner, she’s above grade level in her subjects and ahead of the game. She’s counting backward and by 2s. She’s also reading whole books by herself, unless she wants to show off her skills to her proud mother. In that case, we’ll read together. Starting my children in Pre-K was one of the best decisions I’ve made, because my kids, and all kids, are capable of really learning at four years old. Pre-K is not a day care, it’s school. I saw it first-hand with Allison, and now, I’m seeing it with Jonathan. They may only be four and six, but both of my children are on the road to success in college and in life. I can’t wait to see what they learn next.

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“My daughter Allison is in kindergarten now, and words cannot express how glad I am that I enrolled her in Pre-K last year at IDEA. As a kindergartner, she’s above grade level in her subjects and ahead of the game.” IDEA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

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edicated Teachers, Diligent Students: What Makes Pre-K at IDEA Unique GREAT READERS = GREAT LEARNERS

Reading is a central focus of our Pre-K program. Our philosophy is: if students can’t read, they certainly can’t solve a math word problem and will have difficulty grasping science concepts. Students learn the sound each letter makes through game-and-activity orientated lessons.

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Practice tracing cross-out marks.

First, trace with a pencil. Then, retrace with crayon.

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Math Mastery Students learn their numbers, their shapes, how to count, add, subtract, and more in our math Pre-K curriculum. Our math lessons provide the practice needed to achieve mastery and understanding.

Building Language Foundation Students learn basic vocabulary, sentence forms, and more in our English language Pre-K curriculum. For non-native English speakers, our EspaĂąol to English program teaches the skills Spanish-speaking students need to gradually transition fully into our English language program.

Expert Teachers Our teachers help Pre-K scholars identify their goals and track their progress. Our educators also adjust instruction as needed to ensure each student masters every subject and achieves success.

Citizenship, Science and Social Skills Beyond reading, language, and math, our teachers guide Pre-K students through science lessons, field trips, and activities that promote academic, social and emotional growth.

Family Partnership Through community events, parent-teacher conferences, and progress trackers, we work together with families to ensure there is no limit to what our Pre-K scholars can achieve.

Personalized Learning Small learning groups and tailored reading, language, and math programs ensure each and every Pre-K student is learning at a level just right for them. IDEA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

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IDEA McAllen Pre-K scholar Cody Aguilera loves to be creative and work on writing in school.

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ducational Environment: The IDEA Pre-K Classroom

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The IDEA classroom is an important factor in your child’s success. Our classroom is a safe, comfortable space, large enough to support learning centers, activities, and small groups of instruction. Here you can see what a typical Pre-K classroom looks like. Students rotate, taking turns working with both teachers and practicing what they’ve learned independently. At the beginning of the year, IDEA campuses focus on systems and procedures and quickly work toward 30-minute long rotations.

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READING & MATH ROTATIONS

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TEACHER 1: SMALL GROUP Groups vary from 4-12 students. Instruction is done primarily through oral teaching, and total-physical-response movement. For example, a teacher models by making the “S” sound, pointing to a picture of a snake, and then wiggling like she’s slithering along. Then it’s the student’s turn! The teacher does not move on until all students in the group have grasped the concept.

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STUDENT INDEPENDENT WORK ZONE: Students build on the lessons with the teacher during independent work time by engaging in hands-on activities that reinforce knowledge learned. For example, students count their numbers using blocks and place them in the appropriate bags, or students match the “K� sound to the correct images in the puzzle. TEACHER 2: SMALL GROUP Groups vary from 4-12 students. A teacher counts how many monkeys are hanging in a tree, ensuring students are following along. Then, students count along together.

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requently Asked Questions About IDEA’s Pre-K Program Do Pre-K students need school supplies? Yes, a supply list is designed by each campus principal and is distributed over the summer for incoming students. How are Pre-K students graded at IDEA? Students receive grades for their classwork, homework, and mastery tests every 5 to 10 lessons. Grades are recorded in the gradebook and reports are sent home to parents on the same schedule as report card distribution for our K-12 students. How do children get selected for a morning or afternoon program? Students are grouped based on their ability which is determined during placement testing. The goal is to group students with others at their same instructional level to ensure progress for all. Does IDEA test students coming into Pre-K? Yes, IDEA tests students to be able to place them in a group of students with similar abilities. We believe in teaching students at their individual level and testing gives us the information to be most impactful. We test them on following directions, letter recognition, number recognition, and the ability to repeat back a sentence. Testing takes about five minutes per student. It is a very basic-level assessment. After the test, we ensure parents understand and are able to support and monitor their child’s academic progress with results from the test. Testing results do not impact admission to IDEA. We simply use the results to cater to each student’s level and learning needs. What do rotations look like in Pre-K? Every Pre-K classroom has two adults - a teacher and a co-teacher. Rotations occur between the two adults and students at an independent work station. For more information on rotations, reference our classroom rotation guide on page 24.

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IDEA Harvey E. Najim Pre-K scholar Rayanna Rice engages in total physical response learning.

Can a parent choose/ pick a morning or afternoon session? Students are grouped based on ability. If a parent makes a request for a particular time, we will try to accommodate but cannot guarantee the requested time due to student groupings. How many students do we have in each class? We try to maintain an average of 28-30 students in each class with two adults. Do Pre-K students have recess? Yes, recess is at least a few times a week, if not every day. Who is eligible for free public school Pre-K (including IDEA and other public school districts)? To be eligible for free enrollment in a Pre-K class, a child must be at least four years of age and: • considered low income • receives Medicaid Free or Medicaid Reduced Benefits • receives SNAP/TANF (food stamps) • has a primary language is not English • has a parent who is an active-duty member of the US Armed Forces (including active member, activated member, MIA or KIA) • is currently in foster care, or has previously been a foster child in the custody of DFPS • has a parent who has received the Star of Texas Award Who can participate in the IDEA Pre-K Tuition Program? Students who do not meet any of the requirements listed above may be eligible for the IDEA Pre-K Tuition Program. In addition, tuition students must live within the geographical boundaries (50 mile radius from school) and be four years old on or before September. Please contact your campus directly for additional information about the Pre-K Tuition Program.

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rowing Into Full-day Scholars: Why is IDEA Pre-K a Half-Day? At four years old, students are just learning how to be a student—asking questions, absorbing instruction, and cooperating with others. IDEA’s Pre-K program is half-day and gradually increases the needed length of attention-span, so that, little-by-little, your child develops the tools to engage with the material they’re exposed to, apply the knowledge they’ve acquired, and learn to work independently so that they can become ready for a full day of instruction as a kindergartener. IDEA’s half-day Pre-K program also allows you, the parent, to be an equal partner in your child’s education. Parent communication is a top priority for all IDEA educators. Campuses hold quarterly meetings with parents to update them on teaching practices, and new content being introduced to students.

“My son, Max, never went to daycare, so for his first experience in school to be half-day is a great steppingstone,” says Stephanie Mancha, Pre-K parent. “Communication with teachers has been great, so I am always aware of my son’s progress and what steps I need to take at home. Max will be prepared for a full day in kindergarten next year.”

Stephanie Mancha believes a half-day program is the perfect steppingstone to a fullday of school next year for her son, Max. 28

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You might be wondering: does IDEA provide before school or after school care? Rest assured, most IDEA campuses do offer before and/or after school options. Please reference pages 34-35 for campus contact information so you can call the campus directly for more information. Have you heard of our event called Orientation? After accepting your seat, the next step in our enrollment process for all new-to-IDEA families is to attend Orientation. Here, we will celebrate your acceptance to IDEA, orient you to the IDEA Team & Family, and register your scholar for the upcoming school year. This event is a time for students and families to meet principals, teachers, and staff and learn about our academic program and culture of high expectations. Kristina Vazquez, IDEA Pre-K master teacher, educates her scholars in small group.

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IDEA Alamo Pre-K scholars are starting early on the road to and through college. IDEA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

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Patricio Oliva utilizes the skills he learned at IDEA every day in college at The University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley.

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ow I Excelled on the IDEA Journey My name is Patricio Oliva, and I attended IDEA Public Schools from grades K-12. Becoming an excellent reader early on at IDEA helped me thrive in my other classes, and I developed a love for learning at an early age. At IDEA Donna, I also completed the International Baccalaureate program. Starting and continuing through IDEA’s entire curriculum ensured I was college-ready by the time I graduated as a senior and enrolled as a freshman at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. I’m currently majoring in computer science, and am considering a second major in music. Securing your child’s spot in Pre-K at IDEA can ensure that he or she is part of our Team & Family as they start and continue their educational journey here in preparation for the future and college. Join our Team & Family in Pre-K, so that your child goes on the full journey at IDEA, just like I did! You can learn more about our Pre-K program at www.ideapublicschools.org/pre-k

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DEA Schools Offering Pre-K for 2019 - 20 RIO GRANDE VALLEY IDEA Alamo 325 E. FM 495 Alamo, Texas 78516 (956) 588-4005 IDEA Donna 401 S. 1st St. Donna, Texas 78537 (956) 464-0203 IDEA Edinburg 2553 N. Roegiers Rd. Edinburg, Texas 78541 (956) 287-6100 IDEA Elsa 431 South Fannin Elsa, Texas 78543 (956) 567-4700 IDEA Los Encinos 5400 S. Ware Rd. McAllen TX 78503 (956) 429-4150 IDEA Frontier 2800 S. Dakota Ave. Brownsville, Texas 78521 (956) 541-2002 IDEA McAllen 201 N. Bentsen Rd., McAllen, Texas 78501 (956) 429-4100 IDEA Mission 1600 S. Schuerbach Rd. Mission, Texas 78572 (956) 583-8315 IDEA North Mission 2706 N. Holland Ave. Mission, Texas 78572 (956) 424-4300

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IDEA Owassa 1000 Owassa Rd. Pharr, Texas 78577 (956) 588-4300 IDEA Pharr 600 E. Las Milpas Rd. Pharr, Texas 78577 (956) 283-1515 IDEA Quest 14001 N Rooth Rd. Edinburg, Texas 78541 (956) 287-1003 IDEA Rio Grande City 2803 West Monarch Ln. Rio Grande City, Texas 78582 (956) 263-4900 IDEA Riverview 30 Palm Blvd. Brownsville, Texas 78520 (956) 832-5900 IDEA San Benito 2151 Russell Ln. San Benito, Texas 78586 (956) 399-5252 IDEA San Juan 200 N. Nebraska Ave. San Juan, Texas 78589 (956) 702-5150 IDEA Tres Lagos 5200 Tres Lagos Blvd. McAllen, Texas 78504 (956) 287-6900 IDEA Weslaco Pike 1000 E Pike Blvd. Weslaco, Texas 78596 (956) 351-4850

SAN ANTONIO IDEA Brackenridge 5555 Old Pearsall Rd. San Antonio, Texas 78242 (210) 239-4300 IDEA Burke 10434 Marbach Rd. San Antonio TX 78245 (210) 239-4650 IDEA Ewing Halsell 2523 W Ansley Blvd. San Antonio, Texas 78224 (210) 239-4850 IDEA Harvey E. Najim 926 S WW White Rd. San Antonio, Texas 78220 (210) 239-4900 IDEA Ingram Hills 3115 Majestic Dr. San Antonio, Texas 78228 (210) 529-3700 IDEA South Flores 6919 S Flores St. San Antonio, Texas 78221 (210) 239-4150


EL PASO

TARRANT COUNTY

IDEA Edgemere 15101 Edgemere Blvd. El Paso, Texas 79938 (915) 444-0200

IDEA Achieve 1900 Thomas Rd. Haltom City, Texas 76117 (817) 885-4150

IDEA Mesa Hills 405 Wallenberg El Paso, Texas 79912 (915) 888-4050

IDEA Rise 3000 S. Cherry Ln. Fort Worth, Texas 76116 (817) 885-4700

IDEA Riverview Pre-K teacher Diamantina Sanchez does not move on in her lesson until she receives 100% accuracy from her group.

IDEA Rio Vista 210 N. Rio Vista Rd. Socorro, Texas 79927 (915) 259-4109

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Naven Bulahan, Pre-K scholar at IDEA Quest Academy, is learning how to be a conscientious and diligent student in his first year at school.

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Profile for IDEA Public Schools

IDEA Public Schools Pre-K Booklet  

IDEA Public Schools Pre-K Booklet