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Readiness for school -- Oregon, Early childhood education, Kindergarten -- Oregon


Across the United States, there is a growing recognition that early education and K-12 systems require transformative changes to address racial, ethnic, linguistic and economic disparities in school readiness and success.

Prenatal-through-Grade-3 (P-3) initiatives address these disparities by coordinating, strengthening and aligning fragmented support systems for families and children from birth through third grade.

These increasingly popular initiatives:

  • Are based on accumulating evidence that standalone early childhood and school-based programs are not sufficient to sustain long-term success for children facing early childhood inequities
  • Take a collective impact approach that brings families, early childhood providers, K-12 staff and other partners together to work toward the shared goal of improving school readiness and success
  • Build on the strengths of diverse programs and partners, identifying and addressing gaps in the system of supports and working together — rather than in isolation — to foster school readiness and success Since 2010, Portland State University’s P-3 evaluation team has partnered with Oregon communities to collect information on the implementation and outcomes of P-3 initiatives. In reviewing this information and related national research, we have identified two sets of key elements for successful P-3 initiatives.
  • Foundations are the basic functional elements needed to establish a successful P-3 initiative.
  • Catalysts are elements that promote and sustain the initiative’s progress toward improving educational systems, programs and outcomes.

Using a school bus as an analogy, foundations are functional features such as the tires, seats, and engine and travel route. Catalysts are energizing factors that move the bus from point A to point B, such as fuel, a driver and a feedback system that provides information on course corrections and progress toward the destination.

This summary describes both types of elements and offers examples of their use in P-3 work. We believe this framework provides a useful set of organizing principles to maximize the effectiveness of P-3 initiatives.


The executive summary is the available in the Additional Files below.

Persistent Identifier

P3-foundations-report.pdf (1812 kB)
Executive Summary