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Kindergarten readiness screener to be implemented

Starting in the 2013-14 school year, kindergarten classrooms in Kentucky’s public schools will use a readiness screener to ensure that all children receive the support they need to be successful in school.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has contracted with Curriculum Associates, LLC and will be using the BRIGANCE® Kindergarten Screen as the common kindergarten readiness screener.

The screener will be used in all Kentucky kindergarten classrooms to provide information and support children’s learning. Schools and districts also may use this data to collaborate with families and communities to ensure all children are receiving developmentally appropriate educational instruction leading to success.

The kindergarten screener will not be used to determine eligibility for kindergarten. State law provides that all children who are age 5 by October 1 of the school year are eligible to attend kindergarten. (NOTE: Senate Bill 24, passed in the 2012 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly, revises the October 1 date to August 1, beginning in the 2017-18 school year.)

Educators will use the screener to observe students as they complete specific tasks. Data collected from the kindergarten readiness screener will inform teachers of each child’s readiness to learn.

There is no cost to school districts for materials to implement the screener; those are paid for by state funds. The initial contract period is May 23 to June 30, 2012, with options to renew through June 30, 2016. The cost to the state for the first year of implementation will be $8.95 per student, then $3.95 per student in future years for materials replacement.

Approximately 53,000 students are enrolled in kindergarten in Kentucky’s public schools each year.

School districts may use the kindergarten entry screener data in the following ways:

  • to inform educators, parents and communities about early learning in order to close the school readiness gap
  • to inform policy decisions at the local level to support early learning experiences prior to school entry
  • to establish local goals for program improvement in order to achieve early learning outcomes
  • to include data as evidence in the kindergarten through grade 3 Program Review

 The BRIGANCE® Kindergarten Screen is aligned to both Kentucky’s School Readiness Definition and Kentucky’s Early Childhood Standards. Five areas are covered by this kindergarten entry screener: adaptive, cognitive, communication, motor and social-emotional.

In its final report, the 2010 Governor’s Early Childhood Taskforce recommended that KDE and the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) jointly establish the use of a common readiness screener for kindergarten. The proposed state regulation 704 KAR 5:070 will guide the implementation of the kindergarten readiness screener, and data collected through the screener will comply with the regulation’s mandates.

Data collected through the use of a kindergarten readiness screener will ensure that all children receive educational instruction to meet individual needs. The kindergarten readiness screener will not be used in isolation, but will be an important step in an ongoing assessment process. The proposed regulation indicates that children be screened no more than 15 calendar days prior to school starting and no later than the 30th instructional day of the school year.

It is anticipated that the kindergarten readiness screener will be mandatory and fully implemented in all kindergarten classrooms in the 2013-14 school year.

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