Roseville Community Schools will be implementing Young Fives classes at the start of the 2020-21 school year. This class  is meant to help bridge the gap between preschool and  kindergarten, seen here, and better prepare students  for learning in a school environment.

Roseville Community Schools will be implementing Young Fives classes at the start of the 2020-21 school year. This class is meant to help bridge the gap between preschool and kindergarten, seen here, and better prepare students for learning in a school environment.

Photo provided by Joe Genest


Roseville school district to implement Young Fives classes

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published February 3, 2020

 The Young Fives classes in the Roseville school district  will help students with the social and cooperative skills they  will need as they progress in their education. Pictured are  students in one of Roseville’s kindergarten classes.

The Young Fives classes in the Roseville school district will help students with the social and cooperative skills they will need as they progress in their education. Pictured are students in one of Roseville’s kindergarten classes.

Photo provided by Joe Genest

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ROSEVILLE — Roseville Community Schools announced that it will be starting Young Fives classes at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

The Young Fives classes will be offered to students who turn 5 years old before Dec. 1. This program is designed to help students get ready for kindergarten by helping to improve their academic proficiencies, social skills and maturity.

“It’s kind of an in-between place of preschool and kindergarten,” said Roseville Assistant Superintendent Dave Rice. “It’s more about preparing them for being in school and how to act in school and how to learn. It’s more advanced than a typical preschool program. It’s more like a kindergarten program for kids not ready for kindergarten.”

Erin O’Keefe is a Roseville Community Schools kindergarten teacher who expressed interest in moving over to the Young Fives program, saying it would be a useful addition to the district.

“This will be a fantastic addition to the district because kids are coming into the kindergarten curriculum right now unprepared for the rigors of school, and Young Fives will give them the tools to succeed when they move to that level,” she said.

“Only 15% of our incoming kindergarten students come in having attended preschool, and nearly 80% of our students come to us below grade level in reading,” Rice stated in a press release. “It is evident now more than ever that many of our students are coming to us lacking the skill sets needed to successfully navigate a full year of kindergarten and be fully prepared for the first grade. We need to have that early intervention program in place for students who may need that jump-start to kindergarten.”

O’Keefe said there are distinct differences in the curriculum and educational environment when it comes to preschool, Young Fives, and kindergarten.

“Preschool is more about getting students acclimated to schools; Young Fives is getting those not meeting the age requirement for kindergarten prepared; and kindergarten is more learning-based, where you are learning your letters, learning your first math and so forth,” she explained.

The classes are scheduled to begin in the fall of 2020 and will consist of full-day classes. Busing will be available for all students in the Young Fives program. Interested families can get more information by calling the district’s curriculum office at (586) 445-5510.  

The program will begin at Steenland Elementary School and is then planned to extend to the other Roseville elementary schools in the district.

“We’re starting it as a pilot program with just two classrooms next year,” Rice said. “We have been looking at the numbers of kids whose parents are waivering their kids in over the last three years, so we are hoping to grow this into all or most of our buildings in the district. Right now, it’s only going into Steenland Elementary next year, but it will still be open to the whole district. After Young Fives, they would go to whichever elementary school is their home school.”

Rice said this has been something the district has been hoping to move toward for several years. He said several factors at both the state level and local level helped convince administrators of the necessity of the Young Fives program.

“We’ve been thinking about it for a few years now,” he said. “Young Fives is something that has been cropping up in districts around us. About three years ago, the state brought about the read-by-grade-three law, and in that same year they allowed parents to waiver in younger kids into kindergarten. We saw a lot of kids who weren’t ready to be in kindergarten at their age. They weren’t kids going to preschool and coming to us, and we have a limit on kids we can get into preschool, so we wanted to develop a plan to give those families a new option for preparing these kids for kindergarten in Roseville.”

O’Keefe said she saw the need for such a program firsthand as she taught students in kindergarten.

“There’s a definite need in the district. I’ve seen students not prepared and struggling at the beginning of kindergarten. If we have a Young Fives program, they would develop those skills, like learning their name and learning those first things that most kids in kindergarten know or learn right off the bat,” she said.

Roseville administrators believe the Young Fives program will greatly improve the education experience for their younger students.

“We’re really excited about getting to have this option,” remarked Rice. “It will benefit kids, and with working families today and for the big push for increasing what kids have to know at a younger age, it will give students a better-paced start if they need it.”

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