Kindergarten Through Third Grade

The Foundational Years: Kindergarten through Third Grade   

You have just experienced a phase of your child’s life (birth – 4) where development occurred very rapidly and in spurts.  Now, during the early years of school, development is more gradual and consistent.  The period between 5 and 8 years of age is a time of increased vigor and energy.  It is also a time where the child learns to master that energy and put it into productive action.  By the time he/she reaches the 8th birthday, most children engage in activities such as sewing, painting, dance, sports, building, and yard work. A child in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade typically has come to understand emotions, relationships, and the value of collaboration.  He/she also enjoys new experiences outside of the home and demonstrates the ability to figure out things on their own.  

Did you know?

  • Children who fall behind early in their education are unlikely to ever catch up. Research shows that if a child does not attain a solid educational foundation in reading by the end of Third Grade, he or she may struggle for the rest of their lives. Many will drop out of school; some will end up in prison; and most will not enjoy a solid financial future. . 
  • Two-thirds of America’s children living in poverty have no books at home.  Children who do not have access to books and do not read regularly are among the most vulnerable Americans.
  • Children are captivated with technology.  Research shows that being constantly plugged in not only impacts social skills, relationship development, and use of children’s time, it also impacts the developing brain.
  • Something is waiting for many children every summer, and their parents don’t even know it’s out there. It's called the "summer slide," and it describes what happens when young minds sit idle for three months. Children who do not read over the summer will lose more than two months of reading achievement. Summer reading loss is cumulative. By the end of 6th grade, children who consistently lose reading skills over the summers will be two years behind their classmates.
  • Giving children their own 'must-do' chores is great for self-discipline and for building their confidence. Chores can also teach children how to plan their own time, taking into consideration others' needs, limits and responsibilities. Unfortunately, schoolwork is the only real responsibility given to the modern child.  When children do shoulder more onerous chores, there are often bribes, payment or points to be "cashed in" for toys, games or outings. Children of the past did not expect to be bribed because parents taught them to take pride in a job well done.

Spartanburg County School Districts

Spartanburg School District One – (864) 472-4117
Inman/Landrum/Campobello and Northwest County

Spartanburg School District Two – (864) 578-0128  
Boiling Springs/Chesnee and Northeast County

Spartanburg School District Three – (864) 279-6000
Cowpens/Pacolet and East Central County

Spartanburg School District Four – (864) 476-3186
Woodruff and Southwest County 

Spartanburg School District Five – (864) 949-2350
Lyman/Duncan/Wellford and Central West County

Spartanburg School District Six – (864) 576-4212
Westside Spartanburg City and Central County

Spartanburg School District Seven – (864) 594-4400
 Central and Eastside Spartanburg City

If you have Educational Concerns

How to obtain information and/or assistance

  • Teachers are in contact with students for at least 7 hours of the day. Your collaboration and partnership in the education of your child is paramount to your child reaching their full potential in the classroom. Keeping the lines of communication open will assist parents in supplementing what is being taught in the classroom or identifying problems a student may encounter. Your child’s teacher can assist in making sure the accelerated student is challenged or provide remedial help for the student who struggles.
  • Who to contact if problems exist:
    • Your child’s teacher. Many teachers will provide their contact information at the beginning of the year. Please keep that information handy. You can always call the school directly should you need to speak with a teacher or set up a conference.
    • The school counselor is a great resource for parents. Counselors are knowledgeable about resources in the community that can assist with academic, social, or familial concerns. Counselors are also trained to do school related one-on-one or group counseling.
    • Your healthcare provider is another great resource if problems arise in the school setting. Physiological or psychological problems that are best diagnosed by a physician may be the cause of difficulty in a classroom setting.

Out of School Time

Today, most parents work outside the home, many because of economic necessity.  They struggle with the constant pressure of being valuable employees and responsible parents.  Experts estimate that at least 8 million “latchkey” children come home to empty houses.  Potentially children are left unsupervised before/after school and during days out of school.

The hours from 2 to 8p.m. are the peak time for juvenile crime and victimization, and the time period when teens ages 16-17 are most likely to be involved in a car crash. Also, youth left unsupervised for a certain number of hours per week are more likely to be sexually active, and at risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Participation in after school programs gets children and youth off the streets, under supervision, and potentially prevents some risky behaviors. But beyond offering a safe haven, research and evaluation studies have demonstrated that the programs can have a positive effect on a range of prevention outcomes, such as avoidance of drug and alcohol use, decreases in delinquency and violent behavior, increased knowledge of safe sex, avoidance of sexual activity, and reduction in juvenile crime.

There are generally three types of after-school programs: day-care, after-school, and extended-school day programs.  All of which are available in Spartanburg County.  

Many after school programs focus less on academics and more on improving young people’s social and developmental challenges, such as social skills, self-esteem and self-concept issues, initiative, and leadership skills. Research has shown that participation in these programs is associated with decreased behavioral problems, improved social and communication skills, better relationships with peers and teachers, increased self-confidence, self-esteem and self-efficiency, lower levels of depression and anxiety, development of initiative, and improved feelings and attitudes toward self and school.

The National Dropout Prevention Center suggests the following key components of effective school age programs:

  • Academic offerings:  homework assistance, tutoring, hands-on learning, reading and writing enrichment;
  • Enrichment and accelerated learning:  exposure to visual and performing arts, field trips, character education, critical thinking skills, foreign languages, and technology;
  • Supervised recreation:  organized sports and sports education; and
  • Community service:  connects students to the community.

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