There are 42 VPK providers in IRC. 75% of all four year olds attend some form of 4-year old VPK (25% attend the SDIRC programs). Their academic outcomes are quantified by the Florida DOE by testing that is done when a child enters Kindergarten. 1,300 children in IRC are reviewed for Kindergarten readiness each year. This information is available to anyone on https://vpk.fldoe.org/InfoPages/ParentInfo.aspx
There is a wait-list for SD IRC VPK Classes:
The waitlist at Dodgertown for 4-year old VPK is 20. In fact there is a waiting list at each of the 9 SDIRC classroom locations. The present wait list totals 156 children – this is equal to the number that is currently served by the school district. This represents a need to open at least 9 classrooms (20 children per room). We know that 76% of all children on these wait lists come from poverty level homes and that most likely 50% of them are not in any Pre-K classrooms at all. The remaining 50% are most likely in low performing programs.
The SDIRC Runs 9 Successful Classrooms with Better Outcomes:
• The SDIRC average readiness rate was 91% for children that attended the school year program and 85% for those that attended the summer program (based on a maximum score of 100% and a minimum score of 70%).
• This compares to a state average of 68% and a IRC average of 66%.
SDIRC Does it Better Because it Utilizes Best Practices:
• Certified 4-year College Educated Teachers
• Home visits by Teachers – considered cutting edge in low income areas.
• 6 hours a day of classroom instruction (more time on task) and access to before/after school care for children of working parents.
• Being housed within a larger school gives students access to:
o Library, art room, music classes and physical education.
o Additional student services: Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, School Psychologist, and additional student services (vision and health screening).