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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

CAP4K does not provide funding for school readiness assessments. Colorado’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Fund grant will cover the initial cost of school readiness assessment subscriptions. If you missed the application for school year 2015-2016, you can complete the Online Application (Survey Monkey), then print the Assurances pages 6-8 from the the Paper Application, complete, and submit to Mandy Christensen, christensen_a@cde.state.co.us.

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Flexibility with Implementation of the School Readiness Initiative

CDE has been guiding districts to implement school readiness provisions of CAP4K in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years with full implementation scheduled for the 2015-16 school year. In response to requests from district leaders and kindergarten teachers, CDE has determined that there are options to increase local flexibility for implementation of school readiness assessments. As districts implement school readiness assessments for the 2015-2016 school year, districts may:

  1. Use the full school readiness assessment system according to the publisher’s guidelines.
  2. Use a reduced item version of the school readiness assessment system assessing only the domains required in legislation (Social Emotional, Physical, Coognitive, Language, Literacy, Math).
  3. Use the full school readiness assessment system for all children only for the first checkpoint of the year.
  4. Use the full school readiness assessment for all children for first checkpoint of the year and only continuing use with children who do not meet expectations, for the purpose progress monitoring.
  5. For districts that use the Teaching Strategies GOLD system, use the KEA survey version for the first checkpoint.  The entire tool will be available after the first checkpoint if the district decides to assess through the winter and spring checkpoints. 

HB 15-1323 provides a 60 day window at the beginning of the school year for districts to complete the first checkpoint of the school readiness assessment.

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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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