Percent of Vermont Kindergarten Students ‘Ready’ for Kindergarten by Student Characteristics
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The Ready for Kindergarten! Survey (R4K!S) gathers information on the ‘readiness’ of students entering kindergarten by surveying kindergarten teachers about their students’ knowledge and skills within the first six to ten weeks of school. There are many interpretations of what constitutes “readiness”. Vermont’s concept of student readiness is multidimensional; it includes social and emotional development, communication, physical health, as well as cognitive development, knowledge, and approaches to learning (e.g., enthusiasm for learning, persistence, curiosity). Vermont’s concept also reflects the belief that “school readiness” is interactional: students need to be ready for schools, and schools need to be ready to accommodate the diverse needs of each and every child. This report examines the percent of kindergarten students ‘ready’ for kindergarten by student characteristics.
For a full background on R4K!S, go to https://education.vermont.gov/student-support/early-education/assessment and scroll to the section on the Ready for Kindergarten! Survey.
The effort to measure school readiness is a collaborative project of the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE), the Department for Students and Families, and the Department of Health. The R4K!S is not a direct assessment of students; rather it relies on the teacher’s accumulated observational knowledge of the child developed during the first few weeks of kindergarten. The R4K!S, along with its scoring on readiness identification methods, is based on recommendations made as a result of an independent validity review conducted by American Institutes for Research (AIR) in spring of 2015.
The full R4K!S scoring method can be found in each year’s report from https://education.vermont.gov/student-support/early-education/assessment.
to determine readiness is as follows:
A three-point scale 1-“beginning”, 2-“practicing”, and 3-“performing independently” is used for item (question) scoring for all questions except the six in the Physical Development and Health domain. These Physical Development and Health domain questions are reported as 1-“disagree”, 2-“somewhat agree”, and 3-“strongly agree”.
The “Total Score” refers to the total 3-point score, based on question responses across 32 items. The total score excludes two out of the six Physical Development and Health questions. Question 11, “…missing school due to illness or lack of physical health” and question 12, “…begins…well nourished”, are collected for descriptive information only.
R4K!S uses a four level scale to calculate overall readiness. Students whose Total Scores fall into categories three and four (“ready and practicing” and “ready and performing independently”) are identified as ready.
Table 1. Readiness Level Score Ranges and Descriptions
Table 2. Statewide Percentages by School Year for Each Readiness Level
Comparisons between the 2015-2016 school year data and future data collection points data are considered valid. It is important to note that readiness results prior to the 2015-2016 school year are not recommended for use nor should comparisons be made using those results to ones presented in this report.
While Vermont has collected a kindergarten readiness measure since 2000. The R4K!S marks changes in scoring methods and criteria used for identification of students as “ready”. It is important to note that readiness results prior to the 2015-2016 school year are not recommended for use nor should comparisons be made using those results to ones presented in this report.
The R4K!S is not a direct assessment of students; rather it relies on the teacher’s accumulated observational knowledge of the child developed during the first few weeks of kindergarten.
The category “Did Not Attend Prequalified Publically Funded Pre-K” includes both students who attended preschool or childcare that was not publically funded and those who did not attend preschool or childcare. Because this statistic includes both groups, definitive conclusions cannot be made concerning the effect of Pre-K attendance on readiness on the basis of this data.
Results are based on the number of students for whom teachers submitted scores. Teachers did not submit scores for all students in all districts, so in many cases the data do not reflect the entire student population or all of the schools in the state or a district.
Ready for Kindergarten! Survey (R4KS)
Vermont Agency of Education (AOE)
Early Childhood Special Education / 619 Coordinator; Early MTSS Co-Coordinator
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