The Austin Independent School District offers a free full-day kindergarten program for all children who turn five on or before September 1st of the current school year. Kindergarten serves as the introduction into the public school system for most children. Austin ISD considers kindergarten to be an integral part of the elementary school program with a curriculum that is aligned to the state’s Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Instead of being a version of first grade, kindergarten expands the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills typical of preschool classrooms, focusing on deeper, more rigorous academic content integrated within a developmentally appropriate framework that guides children in becoming more intentional, self-directed learners ready for first grade. Kindergarten is an exciting time for both the child and his or her parents. During this important year, the child builds a strong base for continuing academic success.
Kindergarten teachers incorporate the district’s Literacy Framework, which includes a K-12 balanced literacy approach to the teaching of reading and writing using Reader's and Writer's Workshop. Balanced literacy provides structures and support systems that enable all students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and habits needed to meet or exceed the standards in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In science and mathematics, kindergarten teachers integrate inquiry and hands-on learning through the use of experiments, investigations, and manipulative materials and tools. Additionally, just like their first through sixth grade peers, all AISD kindergarteners participate in enrichment activities, rotating on a daily basis between art, music, and physical education classes.