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June 15, 2019
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New fire station gets final direction Cotati fills Planning Commission Grand Jury report on SoCo jail system Illegal robocalls and spoofing Llamadas ilegales y spoofing Enroll in Transportation Security Administration Cotati’s code of conduct RP moves to curb false alarms Boards approve plan to offset proposed groundwater fee SSU named one of the best universities SSI and SSP recipients eligible for CalFresh benefits Cotati honors and appreciates CRPUSD district’s good news in May Promotions in the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Homelessness spikes in RP Home delivery changes SMART to offer free rides... 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Cotati considers $15 min. wage No criminal charges filed against PG&E in northern Ca. wildfires  RP decides on west side Vintage race cars on Sonoma raceway track May CalFresh month celebration Rancho Cotate Band fundraiser BBQ Jessica Holman: Thirty-five years of Rancho Spirit Titans crush Mustangs Station Avenue gets final approval Cotati Council reviews trash plan Baseball League receives donation from local motorcycle club Cotati Police Chief Parish swears in new officer Garber A Sunday afternoon with retired football players Injury collision closes Golf Course Dr. Giving Kids Smiles in Rohnert Park Neighborhood watch meeting scheduled New Executive Director at SSU New interim superintendent Krispy Kreme Doughnuts comes to Rohnert Park  Cougars blow past Gauchos  Rohnert Park honors its Veterans and Servicemen CHP reminds all of increased crimes Cougars beat Bulldogs More than 276,000 Dreamers have renewed DACA White receives Matt Walsh Memorial RP and Sunday festivities SSU fraternity banned for five years Name correction: Cotati Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Rancho crushes Analy CA Homemaker Association needs volunteers Active duty honorees at the RP Veterans Day program Santa now knows her secret CPI receives funding to offer counseling in schools Caltrans works toward decarbonizing California transportation The Rancho Cotati Rotary Club hosts Humanitarian Award dinner SSU and SCOE offer high school internship RP’s new interim police chief Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park A possibility for Snyder Lane to have four lanes soon Rohnert Park road updates Sheriff’s Detectives arrest SR man after controlled delivery of ecstasy pills. Cotati comes out against CASA Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Cotati approves tree lighting City of Cotati has apartment housing parking problems Operators ordered to pay for false advertising violations Becerra urges Ca. businesses resources to help prevent human trafficking Possible change to parking rules Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth Rohnert Park City Council Candidates NHTSA reminds motorists to drive sober this season R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty Summit State Bank annual report FEMA awards Sonoma Water grant March for the blind highlights need for more accessible sidewalks Cougar to Bear — Simmons’ new pelt SRJC picks up local quarterback The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming New laws take effect Jan. 1 Kids and firefighters compete in RP RP local, Petri Alva, 14, a nationally recognized athlete SweetPea celebrates 31 years Seawolves serve up a victory Cardinals rout Cougars How to help victims of wildfires Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival Fire storm anniversary Plan approved for Station Ave. park Football in full swing, 3rd win Arrests and charges target Apple stores Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery SMART celebrates a year of service RP Public Safety report card Penngrove native set for amazing voyage Cotati votes opposition to oil leases SC neighborhood sues illegal pot grower Penngrove grassfire destroys buildings Cotati Accordion Festival still a hit after 28 years RP residents provide input in police chief search Forum hosted by WLV for RP City Council candidates Supply giveaways lend a hand to families Police officers inspect inside of car Lowerys help with campaign Yes on Measure W will keep fire stations open RP to host community forum for public safety director search Emergency Alert System Test Sept. 10 & 12 Spreckels and Alchemia connects community It wasn’t an easy fight but Rancho wins again RP Safety Dept. climbs in remembrance of 9/11/18 Back to school for Rohnert Park and Cotati Another tough break for roller derby RP waits to make update to emergency alert system Cougars slay Dragons Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Enjoying ribs Little ones with big Polynesian dancing spirit Sidewalk repair gets big break from City of RP RP Health Center celebrates anniversary Imitating major leaguers Rohnert Park waiting for approval for canine program

Students almost ready for kindergarten

May 31, 2019

Attendance at preschool, parental income and education levels and the language spoken at home affect Sonoma County children’s readiness for learning when they enter kindergarten, according to the 2018-19 survey by the Road to Early Achievement and Development for Youth (READY) program. Of the 1,505 children in this year’s study, seven out of 10 local kindergartners were ready or almost ready to start school. They had the social, developmental and academic skills needed for readiness.

READY’s annual survey uses the Kindergarten Student Entrance Profile, a universal screening measure used to assess children’s readiness for school. Sonoma County outcomes and top ranking factors in readiness are similar to those found in national school readiness research.

While this is good news about a majority of Sonoma County children, those that enter kindergarten unprepared often fall behind at school as they progress through the grades. Research shows that successful entry into kindergarten lays the foundation for long-term school success.

“What we think of as an ‘achievement gap’ is actually often an opportunity gap,” says Executive Director of First 5 Sonoma County Angie Dillon-Shore. “Children who have greater opportunities that support optimal cognitive and social emotional development from birth are far more likely to be ready to succeed when they start kindergarten.”

Both positive and negative factors affect children’s school readiness. “Supports for school readiness include quality early learning programs, rich interactions with parents and caregivers, lessons in literacy and language development at home and in the community, and having all their basic human needs, such as food and medical care, met. There’s work to do to ensure that every Sonoma County child has all of these opportunities so they can succeed in school and in life,” adds Dillon-Shore. The READY report for 2018-19 is available online at upstreaminvestments.org/Learn/Reports-and-Publications/.

Research also shows the positive effects that families, schools, early learning environments and the community support has in children’s school success. Without those supports, a large achievement gap appears between low-income minority children and children from moderate- to high-income families.

The difference in readiness made by the language spoken at home was shown in this year’s study.  It found that top readiness criteria were met by 39 percent of children from English-speaking households and 25 percent of children from Spanish-speaking households. Last year, 44 percent of children from English-speaking households and 29 percent of children from Spanish-speaking households met top readiness criteria.

 “The study suggests that more programs for Spanish-speaking families that include activities involving reading, storytelling and music would make a positive impact on local children. In addition, both children and parents would benefit if the adults had more access to quality educational opportunities throughout their lives,” says Human Services Department Assistant Director Oscar Chavez.

Research shows that positive factors affecting readiness include quality early care and education, and early literacy activities, such as frequent reading at home, especially among low-income children whose first language is not English.

Attendance at preschool or transitional kindergarten helped children get ready to perform well at school. Of the children in the READY survey, 87 percent had been in preschool, transitional kindergarten and/or licensed home-based childcare before entering kindergarten. Children that attended one of these early learning programs were twice as likely to meet readiness standards when starting kindergarten. Transitional kindergarten programs enroll children who have their fifth birthday between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2, so the children are age four when the kindergarten semester begins.

The effect of family income on readiness was also important. Children whose annual family income was $100,000 or more were more than two times more likely to enter kindergarten with the skills needed when compared to children whose annual family income is $34,999 or less. In addition, 43 percent of English-speaking families earn $100,000 or more while only 4 percent of Spanish-speaking families earn the same.

The READY program is funded by First 5 Sonoma County and managed by the Sonoma County Human Services Department Upstream Investments Initiative. The 2018-19 study assessed 1,505 kindergarten students in partnership with 10 Sonoma County school districts and more than 78 kindergarten teachers. An additional parent survey also gathered information on the early learning experiences of 970 of these children.  Since 2013, the READY project has conducted research to support the pilot and adoption of a common kindergarten readiness assessment throughout Sonoma County school districts.