Partnership for Kindergarten Success (PKS)

Based on Research Conducted at OSLC

This project was a researcher–practitioner partnership involving three organizations: South Lane School District (SLSD), Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC), and United Way of Lane County (UWLC). The three organizations developed a formalized partnership to help South Lane School District collect information about the early childhood education and care experiences of incoming kindergarteners.
IES: (#R305H140081)

Project Overview

This project involved 3 organizations with a history of working together: South Lane School District (SLSD), United Way of Lance County and Oregon Social Learning Center in Lane County, Oregon. The organizations developed a formalized partnership to help SLSD to collect information about the early childhood education (ECE) and care experiences of incoming kindergartners. They also examined associations between such experiences and the children’s school readiness, and academic and social emotional adjustment across the kindergarten year. Information was also collected from local ECE and care providers on their school readiness goals, needs, and perspectives on alignment with the K-12 system. Findings from these research activities helped the district to plan future research and intervention development to further their long-term goals of better school readiness, and subsequent achievement, for all of their students.

Year Project Began: 2014
Year Project Completed: 2016
Funder: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

Principal Investigator

Katherine C. Pears, Ph.D.

Science Director
Oregon Social Learning Center

Active Research Projects

Primary Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Pears studies a number of early childhood predictors of behavioral and social problems with the goal of developing preventive interventions. Specifically, she is interested in the effects of early adverse circumstances (including maltreatment and poverty) on children’s social and academic development. She has studied the school readiness skills and early school adjustment of high-risk children with a particular focus on self-regulatory skills. Additionally, Dr. Pears has examined longer term indicators of school adjustment in children at risk for poor school outcomes, including how school adjustment is transmitted from one generation to the next. She has translated this research into an intervention to improve the school readiness skills of children at high risk for poor academic and social adjustment: the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) Program ( She is the principal investigator on three randomized efficacy trials of the KITS Program including maltreated children in foster care, children with developmental disabilities and co-occurring behavioral or social problems, and children from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.