|For Immediate Release
September 12, 2006
New Early Learning Standards for Kindergarten unveiled Sept.
12 is Kindergarten Day in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Educators and administrators
across the state will celebrate Kindergarten Day on
Sept. 12, with the unveiling of the newly developed
Illinois Early Learning Standards for Kindergarten.
The Illinois Early Learning Standards for Kindergarten
were created collaboratively between the Illinois State
Board of Education and kindergarten teachers throughout
the state. This will be the first opportunity for kindergarten
teachers and administrators to access the new standards
specifically designed for kindergarten.
The new Kindergarten Standards align with the Illinois
Learning Standards and the Illinois Early Learning
Standards and help to put kindergarten on the map in
curriculum alignment and school improvement planning.
The Illinois Learning Standards are statements which
define a core of essential knowledge and skills that
all Illinois students enrolled in public schools are
expected to know and be able to do.
“These standards being unveiled today have been
well-researched and are well-supported by front-line
early childhood educators,” said State Superintendent
Randy Dunn. “This is another major step forward
as we continue to emphasize our long-term investment
in early childhood education.”
In 2004-2005, there were 145,797 Illinois children
attending kindergarten – 80,303 attended full
day, while 65,494 went half-a-day. Kindergarten is
optional is Illinois.
“Chicago teachers have long had a concern that
kindergarten was the only grade level that did not
have standards,” said Joyce Davidson, coordinator
for Kindergarten programs for Chicago Public Schools. “With
the new Illinois Learning Standards for Kindergarten,
we now have continuity of instruction, so that any
teacher in any school across the state has the same
learning goals. And the standards are targets to achieve
The new standards are a result of countless hours
of research and testing, culminating in more than four
years of work. Over 500 teachers and administrators
statewide participated in field testing of these standards.
“The Early Learning Standards were developed
with all children in mind. Development happens along
and all children fall within a range of having certain
strengths and needs,” said Lisa Cipriano, a special
education teacher with Valley View Unit District 365. “With
the help of support personnel in the school environment,
you are able to meet the needs of all children using
the kindergarten standards.”
In addition to releasing the standards on Kindergarten
Day, training sessions on the standards are being provided
at various locations throughout the state in collaboration
with ISBE Education and Regional Offices of Education.
A complete training schedule can be found at: http://www.isbe.net/earlychi/pdf/training_schedule.pdf
Kindergarten quick facts:
- Kindergarten may be half day or full day.
- In 2004-2005, 1,287 schools offered all day kindergarten,
while 712 schools offered half day.
- About 57% of the kindergarten classes in Illinois are
all day everyday.
- If a district establishes a full day program, it must
also provide a half day program for those families
who want it.
- Four clock hours may be counted as a day of attendance
- Two clock hours may be counted as a half-day of attendance.
- One clock hour may be counted as a half day of attendance
for handicapped children below the age of six.
- Kindergarten attendance is optional in Illinois. A
child does not have to attend school until his
- Any child who will be five on or before September 1
may attend school at the beginning of the school term.
For more information about the new Early Learning
Standards for Kindergarten, visit the ISBE Kindergarten
Corner at: http://www.isbe.net/earlychi/html/kindergarten_corner.htm.