Introduction to Pre-K at KIPP Texas
We help our littlest KIPPsters love learning from day one - building joyful learning experiences that set the foundation for fun curriculum and higher language, math, and reading levels.
Our students build knowledge by participating in enrichment courses throughout the week. These courses vary by school and can include art, music, dance, technology, etc.
Unique small-group learning time and exploratory active play help students grow social-emotional skills and build relationships with peers and teachers.
Why Attend Pre-K?
Research shows that high-quality early learning is connected to school readiness and later life outcomes. Students in high-quality early education programs are more likely to be promoted to the next grade and graduate high school. Choosing a high-quality Pre-K program for your child now makes a difference for their future!
Foundation for Future Success
Becoming a KIPPster
We teach your child what it means to be a KIPPster! We are here to teach students how to love learning, interact with teachers and peers, and build their confidence for future success.
We believe in personalized learning approaches that address each child’s individual needs. As children become students for the first time, we emphasize important lessons on social-emotional awareness and reflection that support the growth of the whole child.
Enhanced Academic Performance
Researchers found attending high-quality Pre-K has the strongest effect on literacy. In a 2015 Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, Kindergarten students who attended KIPP Pre-K scored nearly six points higher (19% difference) in reading and nearly four points higher in math (12% difference) than students who did not attend KIPP Pre-K.
A 2017 research study found that “after five years, KIPP Pre-K combined with KIPP early elementary had ‘positive, statistically significant impacts on reading and math achievement’.”
Our Joyful Pre-K Programs
KIPP Texas offers high-quality Pre-K programming in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas-Fort Worth. Review frequently asked questions and the offerings in your region below.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Pre-K programs does KIPP Texas offer?
We currently offer Pre-K programming in all four regions:
- KIPP Texas – Austin offers half-day Pre-K3 (AM / PM) and Full-Day Pre-K4.
- KIPP Texas – Dallas-Fort Worth offers a full-day Pre-K4 program.
- KIPP Texas – Houston offers half-day Pre-K3 (AM / PM) and Full-Day Pre-K4.
- KIPP Texas – San Antonio offers a full-day Pre-K4 program. (Pre-K4 is only available at KIPP Somos Primary starting in the 2023-24 school year)
Are KIPP Texas Pre-K programs tuition free?
There are certain eligibility requirements to qualify for free Pre-K.
|Free Pre-K||Tuition-Based Pre-K|
|To be eligible in a free Pre-K class, a child must be 3 (Pre-K3) or 4 (Pre-K4) years old by September 1 of the current school year AND:||To be eligible in a tuition-based Pre-K class, a child must be 3 (Pre-K3) or 4(Pre-K4) years old by September 1 of the current school year AND:|
*Please note that under Senate Bill 1679, any KIPP Texas Pre-K3 student who qualifies for free Pre-K3 will automatically be eligible for free Pre-K4. This automatic qualification does not apply to New-to-KIPP (NTK) Pre-K4 students.
*For military duty, families will need to provide a military ID or letter from the VA stating a service-connected disability for those injured while on active duty.
Schools will verify a student’s eligibility during the enrollment (NTK students) and re-enrollment process (returning students) for Pre-K. This process begins on April 1.
For half-day Pre-K programs, how is AM or PM selected?
For half-day Pre-K3 programs, students are scheduled at the campus level for either a morning or afternoon program based on availability and family schedule. Currently, KIPP Texas – Dallas-Fort Worth and KIPP Texas – San Antonio does not offer Pre-K3.
Once I enroll my child in Pre-K at KIPP Texas, do we have to attend school?
The expectation is that once you enroll in school, you are required to attend school. Texas Compulsory Attendance: Children ages 6-18 (up to the student’s 19th birthday) are required to attend school. Compulsory attendance also applies to students below the age of 6 if the student voluntarily enrolled in Prekindergarten or Kindergarten. Learn more in the KIPP Texas Student/Parent Handbook.
What makes the Pre-K and Kindergarten experiences unique at KIPP Texas?
Our primary elementary academic model is designed to ensure our Little KIPPsters develop a love of learning from the very start. We do this by creating a safe and joyful learning environment for each student. Students spend time daily engaging in Social-Emotional Learning starting in Pre-K. Our programs also teach academics through collaboration and play such that students are in centers and guided learning throughout the school day. Additionally, our warm and friendly teachers ensure our students build knowledge by participating in enrichment courses throughout the day. These enrichment courses vary by campus and can include art, music, dance, technology, etc.
Are there before or after-school care programs available?
Please contact your school directly for more information on before and after-school programs based on grade level.
Do we test Pre-K or Kindergarten students before they are admitted? If so, what’s that process and why?
We do not have any academic requirements for Pre-K or Kindergarten students at KIPP Texas. Campuses administer a language screening for incoming Pre-K and Kindergarten students in order to provide the necessary support for emergent bilingual students. Students are tested after they register and before the first day of school to determine learning style and groups.
How are Pre-K and Kindergarten students graded?
Our teachers use a variety of assessments to share progress and evaluate learning for our Little KIPPsters. In Pre-K3, teachers use observations and performance tasks to gauge student learning. Starting in Pre-K4, students are assessed individually using the CIRCLE assessment, a state-mandated tool specific for PreKindergarten students. In Kindergarten, students demonstrate their learning on assessments aligned to our K-4 curriculum in literacy, math, science, and social studies.
What are the curriculum highlights within KIPP Texas Pre-K programs?
We believe that KIPPsters learn by doing! As such, we proudly use project-based learning to promote confidence and critical thinking for all of our Little KIPPsters. Our curriculum is focused on oral language, vocabulary and storytelling, including sounds and patterns, that set the foundation for strong fluency and comprehension.
Our curriculum is a comprehensive, research-based curriculum that features exploration and discovery as a way of learning, enabling children to develop confidence, creativity, and lifelong critical thinking skills. It is designed to help educators at all levels of experience plan and implement a developmentally appropriate, content-rich program for children with diverse backgrounds and skill levels.
Are there extracurricular or enrichment opportunities at school?
Yes, extracurricular and enrichment opportunities are available. Students in Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 participate in electives for at least 30 minutes each day, such as music, art, dance, or Spanish language. These specific offerings will vary by school.
How does the curriculum at KIPP Texas address the social-emotional needs of students?
We believe in personalized learning approaches that address each child’s individual needs. KIPP Pre-K and Kindergarten students participate in social-emotional learning (SEL) time daily – 20 minutes for Pre-K3 and 30 minutes for Pre-K4 and Kindergarten per day. These lessons cover the different ways to express emotions, self-awareness and reflection on emotional needs.
Pre-K students spend at least 70% of their learning playtime in small group activities with a maximum of five students. These important interactions with others help our students make connections and foster relationships with peers that bring joy and confidence.
What is the average Pre-K teacher-to-student ratio?
The average KIPP Texas class size is 22 Pre-K students to two adults in the classroom and 25 Kindergarten students to one adult.
How will KIPP Texas keep my student safe while at school?
We have heightened our security at each one of our campuses.
- Doors are to remain locked during each class period.
- Photo ID’s are required for any visitors arriving on campus.
- Security guards are in place at each of our schools.
- Campus perimeter checks are required 3x per week.
- All front entrance doors are locked at all times.
Does KIPP Texas offer meals to Pre-K students?
All Pre-K students receive free breakfast, and all KIPP Texas primary schools offer free lunch. This is subject to school eligibility, and families must still return a household income application for schools to continue receiving funding.
Is transportation provided for Pre-K students?
Transportation services are not provided for Pre-K3 students. Pre-K4 students may use transportation services, but only if riding the bus with an older sibling.
KIPP Texas partners with Hop, Skip, Drive, exclusively for students whose IEPs (Individualized Education Program) include a transportation element not met with our yellow bus services and/or students who qualify for McKinney-Vento. The minimum age to ride is five years old, and the family would need to provide a car seat that must be (un)installed by a parent and/or school staff member.
What are the arrival and dismissal procedures for Pre-K students?
Every school will provide specific arrival and dismissal procedures based on the demands, layout, and access of the entry ways.
In support of the procedures to prepare all students for a safe dismissal, there will be a cut-off time for early pickup prior to dismissal time. For questions about arrival and dismissal procedures, please contact your school directly.
Family Engagement Plan
Pre-Kindergarten Family Engagement Plan
KIPP Texas Public Schools Pre-Kindergarten (“PK”) classrooms shall provide meaningful opportunities for families to be engaged in their child’s education. Each KIPP Texas Public School shall develop a comprehensive plan for family engagement to implement strategies in all PK classrooms. Strategies should be designed to develop partnerships with families and build reciprocal relationships that promote shared decision making. The following are examples of meaningful opportunities for families to be engaged in their child’s education:
- Formal and informal parent/teacher conferences;
- Classroom visits and options for parents and families to participate in classroom activities
- Parent education
- Allowing family members, the opportunity for involvement in decision making about their own child and about their child’s early childhood program; and
- Opportunities to engage families outside of the regular school day.
A log of activities, opportunities or communications made for family engagement must be on file at each KIPP Texas Public School campus.
Guidance for Teachers
- Provide ongoing opportunities for families to be engaged in their child’s learning.
- Schedule events outside of the regular school day to meet the needs of working families.
- Provide times for families to be involved in planning events for the class (e.g., field day, parties, make-n-take activities, workshops).
- Locate outside resources to support families (e.g., community agencies, incorporate appropriate take-home activities into your newsletter or monthly calendars – use https://cliengagefamily.org for ideas.
Facilitate Family to Family Support
- Shows respect in communications with families (e.g., by monitoring body language and tone of voice and addressing parents in respectful terms)
- Builds relationships with families by connecting informally (e.g., relates a positive story via phone call).
- Ensure classroom environment and communication with families are free from biases (e.g., classroom and communication are welcoming to multiple cultures, backgrounds, and home languages).
- Works with families to minimize language, cultural, emotional, and logistical barriers to partnership (e.g., provides translated materials; asks families about convenient forms of communication).
- Use a strengths-based approach by focusing on parents’ strengths and empowering them to use those strengths as part of their child’s education team (e.g., expresses positive attitudes about families, involves parents who are good communicators to help disseminate information)
- Reach out to former Pre-K parents to become parent ambassadors for incoming Pre-K Parents in order to share strategies that have worked to bridge home/ school partnerships.
Establish a Network of Community Resources
- Link families with support systems, peer to peer groups, bilingual translators, and various resources depending on family needs.
- Make sure that families are aware of services and know about their rights under federal and state laws.
- Build strategic partnerships with community-based organizations.
- Maintain a relationship with city wide organizations to enhance adult and child learning.
- Provide families with community resources and brochures they may need such as: the food bank/pantry, boys and girls club, county health dept, state insurance programs, counseling, library activities and programs, and immunizations.
- Provide monthly newsletters that include community events/meetings.
Increase Family Participation in Decision Making
- Develop, adopt and implement goals within the annual campus improvement plan targeting family engagement.
- Provide opportunities for families to provide input on programs, policies, communications and events through daily communication forms, and during parent/teacher conferences.
- Partner with families to set clear goals and create action plans for supporting children at school and at home (e.g., creates an action plan with aligned school and home activities to support skills below benchmark).
- Use parents as equal partners with staff in reviewing family engagement survey results and making decisions regarding plans for continuous improvement.
- Identify a parent on each campus to develop a parent advisory committee.
- Share strategies with parents on how to advocate for themselves and their children appropriately.
Equip Families with Tools to Enhance and Extend Learning
- Engages families in playful events to build understanding of key developmental or academic skills or concepts (e.g., events are content focused and in alignment with age-related learning goals).
- Models and explains activities using family friendly language and materials (e.g., uses visuals and simple instructions).
- Provides families with ideas or resources that extend family event content to the home (e.g., ends event by modeling a home extension activity)
- Aligns play-based home activities to curriculum and instructional plans (e.g., selects home activities that reinforce concepts and skills practiced in class and incorporates activities into lesson plans).
- Uses data to select individualized play-based home activities to share with families (e.g., selects activities that support skills below benchmark).
- Sharing technology tips/resources that are family-friendly to enhance parents’ knowledge on child development (Accessible Downloadable Apps) such as Ready Rosie, Vroom, etc.
Develop Staff Skills in Evidence-based Practices that Support Families in Meeting Their Children’s Learning Benchmarks
- Ongoing professional development in the areas- early literacy, math development, and the cognitive stages of children.
- Provide essential professional development for educators in understanding communication and engagement with families, including training on communicating with families in crisis.
- Develop staff skills to support and use culturally diverse, culturally relevant, and culturally responsive family engagement strategies.
- Provide curriculum based professional development for teachers and assistants.
- Professional development on the CIRCLE assessment and appropriate progress monitoring of kindergarten readiness skills.
- Provide professional learning opportunities to understand the alignment of PK learning outcomes to the KTX K-2 Literacy Vision.
Evaluate Family Engagement Efforts and Use Evaluations for Continuous Improvement
- Ensure that parents’ voices are heard and acknowledged during the improvement cycle.
- Craft end of year surveys available in multiple forms to collect feedback from families.
- Provide families with the opportunity to review and provide input on programming to ensure the program is responsive to family needs.
- Utilize the “High Quality Pre-Kindergarten Self-Assessment” instrument created by the TEA to include results indicating strengths, opportunities to grow, and next steps for continuous improvement.
- Participation in family involvement activities will be quantitatively documented and monitored at the campus/district levels.
- Monitor CIRCLE data regional reports and provide implications to staff.
Questions about the Pre-K program in your region? Contact your regional Student Recruitment and Enrollment manager for more information or fill out the form below.