Wisconsin Sees Increase in Four-Year-Old Kindergarten

December 23, 2011 by  

In the Wisconsin Dells School District, enrollment in four-year-old kindergarten programs has grown by 10 students, from 96 to 106, in the past two years. Superintendent Terrance Slack says this is a sign of success:

“I think it’s a level of customer satisfaction, if you will, that families are willing to trust us with their young children and believe we’re doing a number of things right,” he said.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, more and more Wisconsin school districts are adding four-year-old kindergarten programs, and statistics suggest it might not be a bad idea at all. According to a news release, children who enroll in quality early-education programs have lower retention rates, perform better in school, need fewer extra services and are less likely to be identified as “special needs” students. Flyer and poster printing might help more parents see the value of Wisconsin’s 4k programs.

State Superintendent Tony Evers couldn’t agree more:

“Early kindergarten, known in Wisconsin as 4k, makes so much sense,” he said. “Communities know, and research supports, the importance of making this educational investment, which pays huge dividends for students.”

Due in part to the influence of Wisconsin’s German immigrants, the state is largely in support of early education. In fact, Watertown, Wis. was home to the first kindergarten opened within the United States. The school was opened by Margarethe Meyer Shurz in 1856, which was only 19 years after Friedrich Froebel opened the first kindergarten in Germany.