Florida Senate - 2018                                    SB 1334
       By Senator Baxley
       12-01416-18                                           20181334__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to early childhood education; creating
    3         s. 1002.78, F.S.; requiring schools designated as one
    4         of the 300 lowest-performing elementary schools to
    5         include an Early Childhood Transition Team in their
    6         required school improvement plans; requiring the
    7         principal of each school, in consultation with a local
    8         early learning coalition, to appoint certain members
    9         to the team; requiring the team to develop a
   10         transition plan that contains certain elements;
   11         providing an effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Section 1002.78, Florida Statutes, is created to
   16  read:
   17         1002.78 Early Childhood Transition Team.—
   18         (1) Each school designated as one of the 300 lowest
   19  performing elementary schools shall include an Early Childhood
   20  Transition Team in its required school improvement plan to
   21  assist the school in implementing activities to improve
   22  students’ transition from prekindergarten to kindergarten.
   23         (2) The principal of each school shall, in consultation
   24  with its local early learning coalition, appoint all of the
   25  following to serve on an Early Childhood Transition Team:
   26         (a) A school-based administrator.
   27         (b) A kindergarten teacher.
   28         (c) The parent of a student in kindergarten.
   29         (d) A representative from a Voluntary Prekindergarten
   30  Program (VPK) provider recommended by the early learning
   31  coalition.
   32         (e) The parent of a child enrolled in VPK.
   33         (f) Other community partners recommended by the early
   34  learning coalition and the school district.
   35         (3) The Early Childhood Transition Team shall develop a
   36  transition plan that includes, at a minimum, all of the
   37  following:
   38         (a) A list of VPK, Head Start, and other early learning
   39  provider programs linked to the public school kindergarten
   40  programs students are likely to attend.
   41         (b) A prekindergarten questionnaire to be completed by a
   42  parent which provides the student’s name, Department of
   43  Education ID, address, parent’s name, contact information, and
   44  the public school kindergarten the child expects to attend. The
   45  providers shall share the list of prospective students with the
   46  receiving public schools by March 1 each year.
   47         (c) A requirement that the public school provide:
   48         1. An opportunity for VPK, Head Start, and other early
   49  learning providers, parents, and children to visit the public
   50  school and meet with kindergarten teachers;
   51         2. An open house for VPK, Head Start, and other early
   52  learning providers, parents, and children to participate in a
   53  public school activity with kindergarten students before the end
   54  of the school year;
   55         3. An early registration process for prekindergarten
   56  students at the school;
   57         4. A welcome packet for parents and incoming kindergarten
   58  students, including learning activities to prepare the students
   59  for kindergarten; and
   60         5. An implementation plan and schedule to share student
   61  data, attendance, assessment results, and records from the VPK,
   62  Head Start, and other early learning provider programs with the
   63  public school.
   64         (d) A plan for professional development which requires all
   65  administrators at public schools with prekindergarten or
   66  kindergarten programs to have certifications in early childhood
   67  education or be engaged in a professional development program,
   68  including a minimum of 15 hours of instruction within the first
   69  year of becoming an elementary administrator. The professional
   70  development instruction must include an emphasis on the social
   71  and emotional needs of children in prekindergarten to grade 3
   72  programs, and on the age-appropriate use of technology,
   73  instructional materials, and learning strategies. The school
   74  district and the local early learning coalition shall annually
   75  provide one joint professional development course for VPK, Head
   76  Start, and other early learning provider teachers and public
   77  school kindergarten teachers. The professional development:
   78         1. May focus on communication strategies between early
   79  learning providers and the public school kindergarten programs;
   80  developmentally appropriate teaching strategies; alignment of
   81  standards for the transition of children from prekindergarten to
   82  kindergarten activities; family and community involvement;
   83  emotional, social, and medical needs of children; attendance;
   84  data sharing; and other topics as determined by the district and
   85  coalition; and
   86         2. Must include a focus on the differentiation of standards
   87  for children 4 years of age and for children in kindergarten.
   88         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.