East Hancock Elementary
East Hancock Elementary School (Hancock County School District) with Hancock County Resource Agency-Stars East Pre-K. The overall goal of the partnership is to support positive academic outcomes and foster the development of social and emotional skills prior to entering kindergarten.
East Hancock Elementary partners with the community-based, Hancock County Human Recourse Center Stars Pre-K program. The overall goal of the partnership is to support positive academic outcomes and foster the development of social and emotional skills prior to entering kindergarten. Student participation in quality pre-kindergarten programs provides a solid foundation for kindergarten by building pre-literacy skills and early mathematical skills. Students who attend the Stars East Pre-K Program are better prepared for
school and experience substantial learning gains in comparison to other students.
There is now a growing collection of studies evaluating pre-k programs in numerous states. These studies support the overall conclusion that effective pre-k programs can have a lasting, positive impact on academic and social-emotional outcomes for students, including improved kindergarten readiness, third grade reading and math scores, graduation rates and higher educational attainment. They can also save taxpayer dollars through reduced spending on special education and grade retention.
According to the Mississippi Department of Education, “The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment provides parents, teachers, and early childhood providers with a common understanding of what children know and are able to do upon entering school. The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is also used to measure how
well Pre-K programs prepare four-year-old children to be ready for kindergarten based upon the Mississippi Early Learning Standards for Classrooms Serving Four-Year-Old Children. The primary purpose of the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is to improve the quality of classroom instruction and other services provided to students from birth to 3rd grade.” STAR Early Literacy scaled scores relate directly to the Literacy Classifications and allow educators to monitor student progress.
The benefits of this school-based partnership between East Hancock Elementary and the Stars East Pre-K program includes improving academic outcomes as well as exposing younger students to a more structured learning environment. Based on data analysis, students who attended the Stars East program scored higher on the 2021-2022 Kindergarten Readiness Pre-Assessment than those students who had not attended the Stars East Pre-K program. The results for the 2021-2022 Kindergarten Readiness Pre-Assessment indicated 50% of our total kindergarten student population were classified as Early Emergent Readers, 45% classified as Late Emergent Readers, and 4.5% classified as Transitional Readers. The results for our students who attended the Stars East Pre-K program indicated only 23% were classified as Early Emergent Readers, 54% classified as Late Emergent Readers, and 23% classified as Transitional Readers.
According to MDE, “The Kindergarten Readiness Benchmark of 530 is the scale score associated with 70% mastery of the assessed early literacy skills. Based on a four year study, 84% of students at the beginning of Kindergarten with a scale score of 530 or above on STAR Early Literacy meet or exceed the criterion for proficient reading at the end of third grade, which was set by a national standard setting committee.” The Average Scale Score of 492 was reported for the entire Kindergarten student population on the 2021-2022 Kindergarten Readiness Pre-Assessment. The Average Scale Score of 581 was reported for students who attended the Stars East Pre-K program.
The partnership has benefited the students of East Hancock Elementary and Stars East Pre-K program.
East Hancock Elementary shares resources with the Stars East Pre-K program. The Stars East Pre-K
program participates in all fun day activities, pep rallies, and HOUSE activities. The school has provided the
Stars East Pre-K program a smart board for their classroom needs and the teacher has full access to our
workroom and materials. Another advantage of the Stars East Pre-K program being housed on our campus
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is the opportunity to attend a kindergarten class for a week at the end of the school year. Throughout the school year, the pre-k students also participate during arrival with the East Hancock Elementary carline which allows the students to feel a connection with the school and learn procedures which allow them to be successful when entering Kindergarten. In an effort to include parents of Stars East Pre-K program in our school community, parents are welcome members of the East Hancock Elementary PTO and are included as volunteers at our school.