Early Learning Pathways

The following pathways provide learning opportunities for our youngest Tigers, ages birth - Grade 5.

Junior Kindergarten

What is the program?

The program concentrates on basic skills that are the foundation for early learning. Learners are given opportunities through center-based play to develop early learning concepts through concrete experiences. The classroom environment will stimulate curiosity, a questioning attitude and an eagerness for learning. Positive social interactions and skills will be a critical focus embedded into daily lessons. Junior Kindergarten curriculum will focus on immersing learners in engaging rich oral language, literacy and numeracy skills.


  • Enrollment is based on highest need district wide
  • Specials will be the same as Kindergarten, except possibly an adjusted time for Art & Library
  • Students will transfer from Junior Kindergarten to Kindergarten to 1st, etc
  • If a learner qualifies for Junior Kindergarten, the decision of Junior Kindergarten vs Kindergarten is ultimately left up to the parents
  • Class sizes are equivalent to Kindergarten enrollments with a ½ time EA (2 spots per attendance center will be kept open for fall enrollments)

Who qualifies?

  • Children who are age 5 by Sept. 1
  • Students who have had no or limited preschool experiences
  • Students who have been referred through the district Kindergarten Assessment.


There will be three sites for the JrK program. The southern program will be located at Freedom Elementary in Harrisburg and the northern programs are at Explorer Elementary & Horizon Elementary in Sioux Falls.