The transition tips will help parents of 3 and 4 year olds, who are starting their journey with M-DCPS.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ (M-DCPS) Department of Early Childhood Programs (DECP) is offering tips for a smooth start to the 2017-2018 school year. The first day of school is Monday, August 21, 2017.
In order to ensure a smooth summer-to-school transition, parents are encouraged to try out the following tips and strategies:
• Read books about preschool. – Share books with your child about going to preschool. Talk about the story and how the characters are feeling. Ask your child how he/she is feeling about going to school.
• Describe what will happen at school. – Talk about interesting things that your child will learn at school. Discuss the daily routines they should expect at school, for example, explain how there will be set times to play and eat lunch.
• Visit the school prior to the first day. – Drive or walk by the new school and talk to your child about what is going to happen there -- story times, learning new things, making new friends.
• Plan your goodbye for the first week of school. – Remind yourself to keep goodbyes short and sweet. It is perfectly natural for children to experience separation anxiety during the first few weeks when they're dropped off at school. Be prepared for a few tears, but stay positive so that your child doesn't pick up on any anxious feelings that you may have about leaving them.
• Establish a bedtime routine. – Establish a bedtime routine that you and your child both understand. Provide your child with activities, sounds, or objects that help him/her feel calm and restful during the hour before bedtime. Reassure your child that the next day will be filled with more fun and special times.
• Practice self-help skills. – Help your child practice skills such as buttoning and unbuttoning pants, putting on shoes, opening food wrappers, etc.
Parents who are still looking for an early childhood or voluntary prekindergarten program can contact their neighborhood school or DECP at 305-995-7632. Space is still available for the following programs:
· Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program (VPK): VPK, a free program that prepares 4 year olds for kindergarten and beyond, is available in more than 180 schools countywide. Children must be 4 years old on or before September 1, to enroll. Parents should inquire at their home/neighborhood school or call 305-995-7632 for more information.
· Head Start Program: This federally-funded, comprehensive, child development program serves children from low-income families who will be 3 to 5 years old by September 1, 2017. Children with disabilities are included in the program and receive a full range of developmental services.
Families can apply by visiting any of the 34 Miami-Dade County Public Schools Head Start sites across the county and completing an application. A list of the participating schools is available by visiting the Head Start website at .
Inclusion/Reverse Mainstream Program: Role model students make up part of the PreK special education inclusion and reverse mainstream programs across the district. This program offers a free, full-day opportunity for qualifying students. Role models must be 3 - 4 years old by September 1, 2017. These typically developing students will serve as role models for children with disabilities. Parents should inquire at their home/neighborhood school or call the PreK Special Education office at 305-271-5701 to identify programs near their home.
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