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**Impressive Recovery: Washington County Schools Show Strong Kindergarten Readiness Post-COVID, Ranking Among Maryland’s Top Performers**

20 March 2024 – The latest findings from the state’s Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) conducted earlier this autumn reveal that 55% of students enrolled in kindergarten for the 2023–2024 academic year in WCPS were deemed prepared for school. This achievement positions WCPS as the fourth-highest ranking district in the state based on the proportion of young learners considered ready for kindergarten.

Superintendent of Schools, David Sovine, remarked, “WCPS has made significant strides in recent years in ensuring that our community’s youngest learners are equipped for kindergarten. Just six years ago, only 37% of WCPS kindergarten students exhibited readiness, placing us 23rd out of 24 school districts in Maryland. Through the implementation of our universal pre-K program, partnerships with private pre-K providers, and the provision of robust professional development opportunities for our pre-K educators and paraprofessionals, we have observed substantial improvements in the percentage of students prepared to embark on their kindergarten journey.”

It is noteworthy that more students from Washington County are prepared for kindergarten compared to the statewide average. Statewide statistics indicate that 44% of kindergarten students demonstrated readiness through the KRA this year, whereas the corresponding figure for WCPS students stood higher at 55%. WCPS has consistently widened this gap, particularly following the resumption of in-person learning after the COVID-19-related school closures.

Furthermore, the data underscores that students who have participated in WCPS pre-K exhibit higher readiness levels for kindergarten. Specifically, 66% of students who completed pre-K within WCPS were prepared for kindergarten in the current year. In contrast, only 34% of students who did not undergo WCPS pre-K demonstrated readiness for kindergarten. These readiness metrics exhibit an upward trend annually.

Sovine emphasized, “I express my sincere gratitude to our teachers, support staff, school administrators, families, and community members who have extended their unwavering support to our pre-K students. The pre-K and kindergarten stages play a pivotal role in the developmental journey of our students, laying a strong foundation for a successful academic path and propelling them towards a lifelong pursuit of learning.”