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Transition to Kindergarten

Definition of School Readiness:

School Readiness means that children are ready for school, families are ready to support their child's learning, and schools are ready for children.

Whether a child attends a center-based preschool setting, a home-based preschool setting, a Head Start, or parent-driven teachings, early "school" experiences can provide stability and consistency between settings for children.

What makes for a successful transition?

When collaboration and connections are strong, transitions can be effective for children and families as they make the move to kindergarten. When these transitions are successful, children and families are more likely to experience better long-term school success.


For Parents

Your Child is Going to Kindergarten: Making the Move Together

Transition to Kindergarten: Activity Calendar for Families

Kindergarten Transition Fam Jam Podcast: SD Statewide Family Engagement Center - Episode 07 (26:13)

For Educators

Early Childhood Transitions: Supporting Children and Families

Transition to Kindergarten: Activity Calendar for Educators

Leadership Practices for Successful Transitions to Kindergarten

South Dakota Kindergarten Standards

English Language Arts

English Language Arts Standards are divided by Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language.


Mathematics Standards are divided by Counting and Cardinality, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Numbers and Operations by Ten, Measurement and Data, and Geometry.


The Core Ideas of the Kindergarten standards include:

  • Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  • Energy
  • From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • Earth's Systems
  • Earth and Human Activity

Science Standards are divided by Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth and Space Science and fall under the Core Ideas above.

Fine Arts

Fine Arts Standards are divided by Dance (creating, performing, responding, connecting), Media Arts (creating, producing, responding, connecting), Music (creating, performing, responding, connecting), Theatre Arts (creating, performing, responding, connecting), and Visual Arts (creating, presenting, responding, connecting).

Social Studies

Social Studies Standards are divided by History, Civics/Government, Geography, and Economics.

Educational Technology

Educational Technology Standards are divided by Empowered Learner, Computational Thinker, Digital Citizen, Innovative Designer, Creative Communicator, Global Collaborator, and Knowledge Constructor.

Health Education

Health Education Standards are divided by Comprehending Concepts, Analyzing Influences, Accessing Information, Interpersonal Communication, Decision Making, Goal-Setting, Self-Management, and Advocacy revolving around health knowledge, behavior, and health norms.

Physical Education

Physical Education Standards are divided by Locomotor, Non-Locomotor, Manipulative, Movement Concepts/Motor Planning, Effort Concepts, Relationship Concepts, Fitness Principles, Overarching Principles, Physical Activity Knowledge, Engages in Physical Activity, Fitness Knowledge, Nutrition, Personal Responsibility, Accepting Feedback, Working with Others, Rules and Etiquette, Safety, Health, Challenge, Self-Expression/Enjoyment, and Social Interaction.

School Library

School Library Standards are divided by Textual Literacy, Information Literacy, and Civic & Ethical Literacy.

World Language

World Language Standards are divided by Communications, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.

Want it all in one place? Get your copy of the South Dakota Crosswalk between SD Early Learning Guidelines and SD Kindergarten Content Standards.

SD ELG and SD Kindergarten Standards Crosswalk

Download now


Prepare your child for kindergarten with this Kindergarten Transition Calendar. This calendar will provide for simple activities that can be done at home, in the community, and wherever there are learning opportunities.

Kindergarten Transition Calendar