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Assessment Choices and School Readiness Plans


Kindergarten School Readiness Guide: The purpose of this guide is to support the implementation of kindergarten school readiness as it pertains to statutory requirements in Colorado. Specifically, this guide is intended for those who are new to school readiness or new to school readiness in Colorado. This guide addresses the essential requirements and some best practices but is not intended to be the sole resource to implementing school readiness.

Kindergarten School Readiness Guide

School Readiness Assessment

As a part of an aligned system of public education, the school readiness assessment was recognized by the General Assembly as a critical element of aligned assessments continuing from preschool to elementary (§22-7-1002).  The State Board of Education has approved four assessment tools determined to be valid, reliable and research-based instruments for assessing kindergarten school readiness and informing individual readiness plans (§22-7-1014). Each tool assesses physical well-being and motor development, social and emotional development, language and comprehension development, cognition and general knowledge, including literacy and mathematics (§22-7-1004). Beginning in the 2021-2022 academic year, the kindergarten school readiness collection format changed to reflect the State Board of Education's decision to include named domains to the reporting requirements.

Learn more on the history of school readiness assessments

2022-2023 Kindergarten School Readiness Assessment Review
Colorado's Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K) requires the State Board of Education to review and adopt kindergarten school readiness assessments every six years. In support, the department is beginning a two part process for vendors to submit assessments to be reviewed for the Kindergarten School Readiness Colorado State Board of Education Approved List of Assessments. For more information, please visit 2022-2023 Kindergarten School Readiness Assessment Review Process.

School Readiness Approved Assessments

Desired Results Developmental Profile for Kindergarten (DRDP-K)

HighScope COR for Kindergarten

North Carolina Kindergarten Entry Assessment

Teaching Strategies GOLD®

Implementation of the School Readiness Assessments

The school readiness assessment is administered to each student enrolled in a publicly funded kindergarten within the first sixty days of the school year and assesses each child’s physical well-being and motor development, social and emotional development, language and comprehension development, and cognition and general knowledge, including literacy and mathematics (§22-7-1014). Districts determine the initial 60-day assessment window in accordance with their individual student start dates. School readiness assessments are not to be used to deny a student admission or progression to kindergarten or first grade (§22-7-1004 2(a)).

Flexibility in Implementation

The following flexibilities are provided (§22-7-1014 2(a)):

  • If a reading assessment pursuant to §22-7-1205 (1)(a.5)) is administered within the first sixty days of the school year, the district is not required to administer the literacy component of the school readiness assessment.
  • Districts may choose to assess additional areas and/or items of learning and development.
  • Districts may choose to continue to monitor a student's progress toward demonstrating school readiness by administering an approved school readiness assessment multiple times over the course of the school year.

Data Privacy and Security

In December 2015, the Colorado State Board of Education approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Teaching Strategies regarding the use of the GOLD® assessment for kindergarten school readiness. As part of the MOU, additional privacy safeguards when implementing the assessment tool are in place to ensure even greater levels of student data privacy.

As the new school year approaches, districts are reminded to obtain explicit, individual written parental/guardian consent if planning to use photos and videos in Teaching Strategies GOLD® in kindergarten. Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, opt-in to the documentation functionality will expand to allow for child-level opt-in to be made in one of the following ways: By district, by school, by teacher, by classroom, or by an individual student.

The default setting for pictures and videos will be set to off and only administrators will be allowed to change the opt-in status to on. A student’s opt-in status is tracked by individual student, even if the opt-in is made using one of the bulk methods described above. Each district may use locally determined systems to house and track parental or guardian permission when using one of the bulk methods described above.

CDE Data Privacy and Security Policies webpage is a resource for early childhood assessment.

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School Readiness Plans

Individual learning plans are required for every publicly funded kindergartner (§22-7-1014). Additionally, if a student is identified as having a significant reading deficiency, the student's READ plan is to be created as a component of the student's individualized readiness plan (§22-7-1014(1)(a)). For additional information on READ plan requirements, visit the READ plan webpage.

Individual learning plans are:

  • Based on standards
  • Used to monitor progress toward school readiness
  • Informed by a State Board of Education approved school readiness assessment tool

The format may include:

  • District designed template 
  • Vendor created template 
  • Integrated READ and individual learning plan template

Plan Resources

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