Gearing Up for Kindergarten


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For North Dakota Administrators

What is Gearing Up for Kindergarten?

The 2015 Legislature's funding included the Gearing Up for Kindergarten program in North Dakota. The Gearing Up for Kindergarten program was developed by NDSU Extension Service specialists and Parent Resource Center coordinators to assist parents and their children in preparing for the transition to kindergarten.

Entering kindergarten is a major transition in the life of a child and his or her parents. Kids need to be ready for school, and schools need to be ready for kids. That’s why Gearing Up for Kindergarten offers educational classes that prepare parents and their children for success in school.

How is the Class Organized?

  • Parents and their child attend the year prior to entering kindergarten.
  • Parents receive the maximum benefit by attending a total of 16 weekly sessions. Some schools offer eight sessions in the fall and eight sessions in the spring. Others run 16 sessions consecutively. A second approach with good quality results is offering 10 weekly sessions. Fewer than 10 sessions did not produce maximum benefits.

Child Adding Sticker to Chart

How Does the Legislated Reimbursement Program Work?

To qualify for reimbursement, your school district must:

  1. Have a representative (kindergarten teacher, school principal, program coordinator, etc.) trained in the Gearing Up for Kindergarten program.
  2. Offer the 10- or 16-week program
  3. Complete the evaluation form at the end of the program. Submission for payment for reimbursement must be made no later than June 15, 2016 (if your school will not complete Gearing Up for Kindergarten by June 15, 2016 please contact Judith Konerza at 701-787-4216 or  

Reimbursement for Schools for 2015-2016

  • New approved schools will receive $3,500
  • Returning schools will receive $3,300

Research results recommends 12 to 15 students per class.  Click here for additional funding options.

How Does Our School District Get Involved?

Parent - Child Activities
  • Complete the enrollment form.
  • Schedule a training session with the Gearing Up for Kindergarten coordinator (
  • Plan the number of classes based on 10 to 15 students/parents per class.
  • Reimbursement is intended to cover teacher/facilitator costs. School districts should plan to cover the remaining costs. Explore additional options for funding by clicking here.
  • Smaller school districts with fewer than 10 incoming kindergartners should contact the Gearing Up for Kindergarten state coordinator to discuss methods to adapt to your school size.
  • School districts will be selected based on the order of applications received until funds are expended. Notification of successfully funded applicants will be made within two weeks of submission to the designated contact person.

Who Should Be Trained?

Kindergarten teachers, program coordinators and parent educators are all recommended to attend the training.

Why Should Our District Offer Gearing Up for Kindergarten?

Control group studies indicate that:

  • On both social skills and pre-academic skills, children in the Gearing Up group had an increase in ability three times higher than children who did not participate.
  • Participants rated Gearing Up as a significantly more valuable source of information on parenting and school readiness than any other source.
  • 96 percent of parents indicated the program was very or extremely useful to them in their parenting.
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