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Ector County ISD sees big gains in Kindergarten Readiness

Kindergarten readiness statistic shows 13% increase for the 2020-2021 school year
Updated: Apr. 8, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -

A typical morning in Ms. Kira Boen’s Pre-K classroom at Reagan Magnet School in Odessa is full of children laughing, listening, and most importantly learning.

Whether it be through singing, games, or collaborative activities, there is rhyme and reason for it all.

“Being Kindergarten ready is not just knowing your ABCs and your 123s,” Ms. Boen explains.

Boen’s nearly two dozen students are part of Ector County ISD’s roughly 1800 students enrolled in their Pre-k program for three and four-year-olds on 19 campuses across the district.

For the four-year-olds in the class, they are getting the benefit of an all-day learning experience.

Something that is crucial for these emerging scholars.

“We’re able to do more of those hands-on activities. The more they explore, the more they think about it. The more they start imagining and creating and doing their own stuff with it,” said Boen.

Kindergarten readiness has been something ECISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri has been wanting to address since he’s been with the district.

“Upon arrival in Ector County, [I] realized that our Kindergartens, the vast majority of them, are not ready to be successful in kindergarten. That means we, as a school system, have an opportunity to invest in Pre-K,” Dr. Muri explains.

For Dr. Muri the answer to this problem was clear:

“The solution itself is investing in early childhood education. From birth all the way to the age of five. The piece that we can tackle as a school system is Pre-K,” said Dr. Muri.

Now, more than a year and a half into the full-day Pre-k program, the results speak for themselves.

“Just from last year to this year alone, we saw a 13-percentage point increase in the level of readiness of our kindergarten students. So, this group of Kindergarteners this year, [is] the most prepared group of kindergarteners we’ve seen in many years,” Muri explains.

For Ms. Boen, she was happy to see her hard work pay off.

“That’s awesome, look what we did! That’s so cool! We are doing great things here at ECISD and that was huge for me. I was proud to be a part of that,” Boen exclaimed.

“Thank you to our teachers for investing deeply into our students. The data indicates that the work they did paid dividends for our kids and will pay dividends for years to come for those students,” said Muri.

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