Rogers Adventist School Pre-first FAQ:
Q. What is Pre-first grade?
A. Pre-first at RAS is a unique, hands-on program designed for the child who requires a challenge beyond traditional Kindergarten programs. It is a distinctive option for children who are ready for more than Kindergarten.
Every child develops differently. There are all types of intelligence: academic, social, emotional, physical. Respecting that each form of intelligence develops differently means sometimes you slow down to allow one facet of the child to catch-up.
The Rogers Adventist School Pre-first program offers a blend of kindergarten and first-grade elements. It is designed for students who:
- Will benefit from an extra year of development prior to entering first grade.
- Need more time to mature, even though he/she are academically capable of going to first grade.
- Are not academically ready to go to first grade.
- Are academically capable of going to first grade, but are not old enough to enroll in first grade.
Q. What does Pre-first look like at Rogers?
A. Kindergarten and Pre-first grade will be in a combination classroom. Both Mrs. Schafer and Mrs. Castleman will teach a K/Pre-first combo. All students will have the opportunity to progress at their own speed.
Q. How will I know if my child is a candidate for Pre-first or Kindergarten?
A. All new and current 6 and 7 year olds will be tested for both academics and social readiness. These results, in conjunction with parents, teachers, and administration will inform the decision.
Q. If my student is 5, will they automatically be placed in Kindergarten? If my student is 6, will they automatically be placed in Pre-first?
A. All students who are 5 years old will start in our traditional Kindergarten program. Depending on their academic growth, they may have the opportunity to work with some of the Pre-first curriculum pieces.
Students who are 6+ will be tested for appropriate placement.
Q. How is the Kindergarten curriculum different from the Pre-first curriculum?
A. An integral portion of each school day is developed to individualized reading instruction. An individualized, phonetics-based reading program helps each child develop oral language, reading, and listening skills in a preparatory educational atmosphere. Experienced teachers guide and encourage each child to develop critical and creative thinking skills. A superior reading, math, science, and social studies curriculum provides a cumulative educational experience for every kindergarten and Pre-first student. For specifics, see the attached curriculum sheet.
Q. What are the benefits of Pre-first?
A. The opportunity for both kindergarten and Pre-first grade programs ensures that each child is placed in the appropriate learning environment. One of the advantages of Pre-first is that it offers a specific curriculum and pace geared to the child’s development. Curriculum is tailored to each student’s individual level of comprehension. Students who need a challenge are offered accelerated activities in reading, writing and math.
Q. If my student attends Kindergarten, are they required to go to Pre-first before they go to 1st Grade?
A. The Pre-first option at RAS offers a myriad of opportunities for students. Kindergarteners who would benefit from our Pre-first program will have the blessing of another foundational year before 1st grade.
Kindergarteners who are socially, emotionally, and academically prepared for 1st grade will not attend Pre-first, but go straight to 1st grade.
Q. What if my child accelerates throughout Pre-first and is ready for First Grade mid-year? Can they switch?
A. No. Students enrolled in Pre-first will complete the program with continued accelerated curriculum opportunities.
Q. What are the class sizes?
A. All RAS classes cap at 25, but our K-2 classes aim for 22 or less.
Q. Will my child receive a report card?
A. Yes. All students at RAS receive a quarterly report card.
Q. Why have a Kindergarten/Pre-first combo? Why not just have one Kindergarten classroom and one Pre-first classroom?
A. RAS has had longstanding success with multi-grade classrooms. We intentionally combine grades from 1st-8th grade and see benefits in:
- Relationship building
- Leadership skills