What is the evaluation process for determining student eligibility for early entrance to kindergarten?
Step 1: Individual testing
The individual testing takes approximately 40 to 60 minutes and takes place at a centralized
location within the district.
Step 2: Outcomes of individual testing
Families are notified of the testing results. There are two possible outcomes of the individual testing:
- The student did not demonstrate the needed readiness skills on the initial assessment
and is not eligible for early entrance into kindergarten
- The student did demonstrate the needed readiness skills on the initial assessment and will go on to participate in the required 10-hour classroom experience.
Step 3: Ten-hour classroom experience
Early entrance to kindergarten candidates who have met the initial assessment criteria will spend two-and-a-half hours each day in a kindergarten setting. During this time, children will work on basic kindergarten-readiness skills through a variety of activities with a certificated kindergarten teacher. The teacher will observe each child’s school-readiness behaviors based on a rubric of typical group and independent behaviors related to school success. Only those children who meet the predetermined rubric criteria will be placed into kindergarten for the following school year.
Parents will be notified of the final placement decision within 10 days of the conclusion of the
10-hour classroom experience.
What are the dates and times for this year’s testing?
Please see the initial assessment dates. Testing will occur on the second date only if needed to accommodate the applicants.
How do I talk to my child about testing so he or she won’t worry too much about it?
Putting pressure on children to do well on any test can be counterproductive. Children who feel great pressure to do well sometimes do less well because of the pressure. They may even become ill during the test! The best thing to tell children is that the test is a measurement, just like getting your foot measured for shoes. We are trying to find out if entering into kindergarten early is the best fit for your child.
How do I talk to my child about his or her assessment scores?
Be very careful not to use words like “pass” or “fail” when referring to the assessments. The assessments are measurements, and just as you can’t pass or fail a shoe-size measurement, these assessments do not indicate failure or success. Do praise your child for areas of strength and good effort!
How do I apply for an early entrance to kindergarten assessment for my child?
Step 1: Obtain an application, available at all elementary school offices in the spring.
Applications are also available at the VPS administrative offices (located next door to
Roosevelt Elementary School).
Step 2: Complete the application packet, which includes the following items:
- Application packet checklist
- Documentation of preschool experience
- Application form
- Teacher questionnaire
- Parent questionnaire
Step 3: Mail or hand-deliver the completed application packet, along with a copy of your child’s birth certificate
Mail or hand-deliver all completed application materials to the kindergarten early entrance office, ℅ the curriculum and instruction department. Please do not return a completed application to an elementary school office.
Applications must be received or postmarked by the deadline.
How will I know that you have received my application? How will I know when my child is scheduled for the assessment?
You will receive a letter, email or phone call within two weeks of receipt of your application. At this time, your child’s initial assessment will be scheduled. If you have not received confirmation within two weeks of turning in your application, please call the curriculum office.
What if my child doesn’t meet the minimum threshold score on the individual initial assessment administered by the early entrance to kindergarten team and I do not believe the scores represent my child’s kindergarten-readiness skills?
Parents who wish to appeal results from the initial assessment must submit a completed appeals packet. The appeal must be written and offer compelling evidence of your child’s above-average cognitive, gross/fine motor, visual-motor integration, communication and social-emotional development. A completed appeals packet should be mailed or hand-delievered to the kindergarten early entrance office, ℅ the curriculum and instruction department.
All appeals must be received by the deadline for appeals. These appeals will be considered and resolved in a timely manner. The Appeals Committee’s decision will be final.