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Assessment Choices and School Readiness Plans

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School Readiness Assessment Menu

CAP4K requires that all students in a publicly funded kindergarten be assessed using as state approved school readiness assessment. The purpose of school readiness assessment is to inform the development of an individual school readiness plan in order to provide a responsive learning environment for each child. Information gathered from school readiness assessments is to be used for supportive and instructional purposes and cannot be used to deny a student admission or progression to kindergarten or first grade.

In December 2012, the State Board of Education voted to offer districts a menu of school readiness assessments. Beginning in 2010, CDE engaged a school readiness assessment committee with early childhood educators and experts from across Colorado to advise the department on implementation of the school readiness initiative. The committee assisted in the review of assessments following the criteria established in CAP4K. To review the rubric, please read the Request for Information RFI School Readiness Assessment 2014 2

In 2012, the State Board approved Teaching Strategies GOLD® as the first assessment tool for the menu. At their October 2015 meeting, the State Board voted to add three additional assessments to the menu:

Read a summary of the reviewed assessments

Reimbursement Information

The CDE reimbursement process for kindergarten student portfolio purchases has been streamlined for SY 2016-17.  As a reminder, Colorado’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Fund (RTT: ELC) grant will cover 100 percent of the cost of school readiness assessment subscriptions for SY 2016-17, regardless of the state board approved assessment tool chosen. Districts that purchased student portfolios on the Teaching Strategies GOLD® Birth-3rd grade platform in SY 2015-16 will receive a 100 percent subscription credit for 2016-17. Any Kindergarten portfolios purchased beyond the Teaching Strategies credit will be reimbursed by the RTT: ELC fund grant at 100 percent, in alignment with the district’s October kindergarten student count.

Districts are also reminded to include authorized charter schools in their CDE request for reimbursement, as CDE can only reimburse school districts/LEAs for kindergarten assessment portfolios purchased and not individual schools.

Please contact Emily Kielmeyer with any questions at or 720-822-0640.

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Flexibility with Implementation of the School Readiness Initiative

HB 15-1323 provides a 60 calendar day window at the beginning of the school year for districts to assess and complete kindergarten entry information in the areas mandated by CAP4K legislation (Social-emotional, Physical, Cognitive, Language, Literacy, and Math).  Districts determine and set the initial 60 day window in accordance with their individual student start dates.  Districts also determine to what degree, if at all, they assess additional areas within the tool beyond the minimal legislative requirements.  Finally, districts may choose to implement school readiness assessments after the first 60 days, in accordance with local needs and goals.

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School Readiness Plans

School readiness plans are individualized plans required for every kindergartner, and are to be informed by a State Board approved school readiness assessment tool; however, CAP4K does not have specific requirements for the content of school readiness plans.  Districts have a high degree of flexibility for the design of the plans. CDE makes the following recommendations:

  • School Readiness Plans incorporate student strengths and goals in both developmental and academic areas, depending on the specific needs of the student.
  • Plans are developed in collaboration with families whenever possible.
  • School Readiness Plans are intended to be living documents, and updated periodically throughout the year to focus on the next steps and support and celebrate continuous growth of the student.
  • There is flexibility for districts to select reports generated by the assessment tool, or choose to use a template.

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Assessment Tool Details

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