GEORGIA DECAL: THE STATE’S PRE-K 2022 SUMMER TRANSITION PROGRAM IS UNDERWAY

(Media release from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning – DECAL):

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) is offering a six-week intensive academic program again this summer for rising kindergarteners who meet the following criteria:

o  Child did not attend a Georgia’s Pre-K Program or Head Start program during the 2021 – 2022 school year OR

o  Child attended a Georgia’s Pre-K or Head Start program but did not attend the entire school year OR

o  Child attended a Georgia’s Pre-K or Head Start program the entire school year and falls into one of the priority groups listed below:

·        Child identified as needing additional academic support by their teacher

·        Dual language learner (Home language is a language other than English)

·        Foster care placement

·        Child’s family is without permanent housing (homeless as defined by McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act)

·        Child with an Individual Education Program (IEP)

“The goal of Georgia’s Pre-K Program is to help ensure Georgia’s four year olds are prepared academically and socially as they continue formal education,” said DECAL Commissioner Amy M. Jacobs. “We created the Summer Transition Program (STP) to support students who did not attend Georgia Pre-K or Head Start or who need additional help before entering kindergarten.”

Jacobs said this year there are 72 Rising Pre-K classes and 315 Rising Kindergarten classes located across Georgia. Summer 2022 is the twelfth year DECAL has offered the STP. According to independent researchers who have evaluated the STP, the program has significantly impacted the children served, especially in their crucial language and literacy skills.

“The Summer Transition Program is a wonderful opportunity for students who weren’t able to benefit from Pre-K or Head Start to build their skills and confidence before moving into kindergarten,” added Susan Adams, Deputy Commissioner for Georgia’s Pre-K Program and Instructional Supports. “The program is also an opportunity to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic by providing an in-person school experience prior to kindergarten. In 2021, additional classrooms were offered to help prepare over 4,000 students for kindergarten, which was a 110% increase from the Summer of 2020.”

For more information about the Summer Transition Program, visit the http://www.decal.ga.gov/Prek/SummerTransitionProgram.aspx or email questions about the program to summerschool@decal.ga.gov