Rogers Adventist School Opens Innovative Program

May 31, 2019 | Education | Holley Bryant

In a world in which it feels like our kids are pushed to grow up faster than ever before, teachers and administration at Rogers Adventist School (RAS) in College Place, Wash., are trying to give students the opportunity to progress at their own individualized level. Next year, RAS is starting a pre-first track for eligible students.

Pre-first at RAS is a unique, hands-on program designed for the child who requires a challenge beyond traditional kindergarten programs.

Every child develops differently. There are all types of intelligence: academic, social, emotional, physical. Respecting that each form of intelligence develops differently means sometimes you slow down to allow one facet of the child to catch up.

The RAS pre-first program offers a blend of kindergarten and first-grade elements. It is designed for students who:

  • Will benefit from an extra year of development prior to entering first grade;
  • Need more time to mature, even though they are academically capable of going to first grade;
  • Are not academically ready to go to first grade;
  • Are academically capable of going to first grade, but are not old enough to enroll in first grade.

The opportunity for both kindergarten and pre-first programs ensures each child is placed in the appropriate learning environment. One of the advantages of pre-first is how it offers a curriculum and pace geared to the individual child’s development. Students who need a challenge are offered accelerated activities in reading, writing and math.

Parents are on board too. “I love this option for my child to be challenged if he’s not quite ready for what is expected in first grade,” shares Shoshanna Ordelheide, kindergarten parent.

As more and more students come to our schools at varying levels of readiness, it’s so important schools be willing to meet the students where they are and provide individualized instruction to help them be as successful as possible.