Report: Three in four kindergarten students unprepared

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Catlin Bogard
Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Preliminary data presented to the Kentucky Board of Education shows just one in four children in the state are prepared for kindergarten.
   
Education commissioner Terry Holliday told the board during a meeting in Frankfort on Tuesday that he expects that number to go up next year when all 174 school districts undertake kindergarten screening.
   
This year, between 107 and 109 districts participated in the screening, representing 34,500 children, said associate commissioner Felicia Smith. All school districts will be required to use the screening next year.
   
Officials said the tests developed with a company called Brigance look at the whole child, including assessing their social and emotional development.
   
Holliday told the board that the screenings are crucial to the state's reform efforts because they will identify students who need additional help.

Posted below is a checklist from the state website on behaviors and skills used to determine child readiness.

Health and Physical Well-Being

My child:

·         Eats a balanced diet

·         Gets plenty of rest

·         Receives regular medical and dental care

·         Has had all necessary immunizations

·         Can run, jump, climb, and does other activities that help develop large muscles and provide exercise

·         Uses pencils, crayons, scissors, and paints and does other activities that help develop • small muscles

Emotional and Social Preparation

My child:

·         Follows simple rules and routines

·         Is able to express his or her own needs and wants

·         Is curious and motivated to learn

·         Is learning to explore and try new things

·         Has opportunities to be with other children and is learning to play/share with others

·         Is able to be away from parents/family without being upset

·         Is able to work well alone

·         Has the ability to focus and listen

Language, Math and General Knowledge

My child:

·         Uses 5-6 word sentences

·         Sings simple songs

·         Recognizes and says simple rhymes

·         Is learning to write her name and address

·         Is learning to count and plays counting games

·         Is learning to identify and name shapes and colors

·         Has opportunities to listen to and make music and to dance

·         Knows the difference between print and pictures

·         Listens to stories read to them

·         Has opportunities to notice similarities and differences

·         Is encouraged to ask questions

·         Has his television viewing monitored by an adult

·         Understands simple concepts of time (night and day, today, yesterday, tomorrow)

·         Is learning to sort and classify objects

For more information about school readiness, click here to go to the Kentucky Department of Transportation website. There, you'll find more information about how the state defines school readiness.

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