Student Transitions: Part 3 of SRI Education’s 3-Part Newsletter Summer Series

Group of kindergarten kids friends holding hands playing at park

SRI Education’s research continues to focus on ways to strengthen critically important transitions so all students, from early childhood to college and careers, feel supported and ready to move forward. In this newsletter, we highlight some of our ongoing projects and recent findings and resources about early learning transitions.

This August newsletter is the third in a three-part series on student transitions. In case you missed the first two parts, be sure to read our June newsletter on transitions for students with disabilities and our July newsletter with resources for students transitioning to college and careers.

Early Learning Transitions

Young children experience many transitions. Infants who receive care from families in their homes often transition to a childcare setting, then to a preschool, and eventually to kindergarten.

Successful early learning transitions for children, with and without disabilities, require collaboration and discussion. Families, current providers or teachers, and new providers or teachers all come together to plan the support children need to move to the next stage of their learning and development.

SRI Education combines our research and technical assistance expertise to help state leaders, policymakers, and educators refine and implement transition practices and policies that support all children and their families in successful transitions.

Read about some of our projects focused on supporting positive early childhood transitions.

Home-based experiences

  • SRI Education researchers recently completed a study showing how mobile messaging can be a quick, efficient way to engage families and prepare them and their children for formal early education environments.
  • Parents and caregivers can also create opportunities for young children to explore science and engineering at home and build critical thinking, problem-solving, and other skills they need for school. Be sure to listen to a podcast with SRI Senior Education Researcher Claire Christensen about how STEM programming for children can influence more women and people of color to pursue STEM careers.

Child care and preschool experiences

  • Ensuring that child care supports the learning and development of all children, including children with disabilities, promotes children’s readiness and success with preschool and kindergarten entry. SRI Education researchers and two California state agencies are partnering on the Inclusion in California Early Learning and Care project to gather key information on how the state can improve the inclusion of children with disabilities in subsidized child care. The goal is equitable access, full participation, and available supports for all children as they move through their early learning years.
  • Promoting children’s social and emotional skills in preschool can help them build resilience and a positive outlook as they progress in their schooling. SRI Education researchers are studying the BEST in CLASS intervention to offer insights into how the workshops and practice-based coaching are helping teachers strengthen young children’s positive behavior and learning.
  • High-quality preschool such as the Virginia Preschool Initiative Plus (VPI+) has a positive impact on the kindergarten readiness of 4-year-old children from low-income households. An SRI-led study generated evidence that scaling a public preschool program can lead to improved early learning experiences for children.

Kindergarten experiences

  • Kindergarten teachers are key figures in promoting the skills young children need to transition. SRI Education researchers are studying how the Pyramid Model and practice-based coaching can be adapted and expanded to kindergarten classrooms to support children as they enter kindergarten and face the new expectations and demands of elementary classroom settings.

Systems building and data use to support positive experiences

  • Effective use of IDEA data for children birth to age 5 informs policies aimed at supporting the transitions of young children with disabilities and their families. The DaSy Center, in collaboration with its ECTA Center partners, is hosting the national Improving Data, Improving Outcomes (IDIO) Conference in Washington, DC, on August 21–26. Learn more about the conference at

Visit our DaSy Center and PDG B-5 TA Center websites to find technical assistance resources and webinars about best practices related to transition policies and procedures, and much more!

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