Idaho Policy Institute (IPI) Assistant Director, Vanessa Fry, presented the results of IPI’s evaluation of a free pre-kindergarten program at a press event at the Whitney Community Center. The program provides free, high quality, preschool education to 3-5 year olds at Whitney and Hawthorne elementary schools, both located in Boise’s Vista neighborhood.
The evaluation, authored by Ms. Fry, IPI Research Associate Sally Sargeant-Hu and IPI Graduate Research Assistant Lantz McGinnis-Brown, found that students who attended Vista Pre-K were more likely to achieve benchmark scores on the Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) than their peers who didn’t attend the program. In fall 2016, 86% of Vista Pre-K students attending kindergarten at Whitney and Hawthorne achieved benchmark or higher on the IRI while only 53% of their peers achieved benchmark. Across the entire Boise School District 64% of kindergarteners achieved benchmark on the fall 2016 IRI.