Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program
The Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program was commissioned in Fall 2013, created and piloted in 2014-15 and began statewide roll-out in Fall 2015.
Phase 1 examined the concurrent validity of Teaching Strategies GOLD (an observation-based assessment) when used by teachers to assess children’s school readiness skills in the fall of the 2013 kindergarten year. Based upon the results from Phase 1, UVa recommended piloting an alternative assessment battery in Phase 2. The executive summary and full report from the validity study can be found at www.e3va.org
Phase 2 piloted an expanded assessment intended to complement the PALS and to create a “snapshot” of readiness skills across a range of learning domains for children entering kindergarten and more clearly define the readiness gap in the Commonwealth. The results of this pilot have been used to inform public policy and funding decisions in early childhood education as well the implementation of a full-scale, statewide comprehensive readiness assessment.
Phase 3 marked the beginning of a state-wide roll-out of the additional assessments. Twenty-one diverse school divisions implemented an expanded battery of readiness assessments including measures of students’ math, self-regulation, and social skills. Teachers and division leaders engaged with the Curry researchers to provide insights and ideas for improving the online experience and the overall implementation of the VKRP. The fall 2015 results indicated that thirty-six percent of students entered kindergarten lacking readiness skills in one or more learning domains of literacy, math, self-regulation and social skills.
For the 2016-17 School Year, VKRP has more than doubled the number of participating divisions to forty-five. This continued voluntary rollout will allow for further input from stakeholders to enhance feasibility and usefulness of the assessment system. In addition to skill assessments, VKRP provides teachers with integrated performance reports of kindergarten entry skills and links data directly to recommended instructional resources at the student and classroom levels.
Status: Fall 2013 – Spring 2018
- Phase I: Elevate Early Education (E3)
- Phase II: E3, Virginia Department of Social Services, and the Batten Educational Achievement Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation
- Phase III, 2016-18: Virginia General Assembly
- VKRP Launches New Website, Plans to Expands Assessment Program In Coming Year
- Innovative Norfolk School Aims to Prepare All Children for Kindergarten
- Williford Writes Article for UVA Magazine Entitled ‘Getting Your Child Ready for Kindergarten’
- Va. Legislature Awards Researchers $1M to Assess Kindergarten Readiness
- Amanda Williford to guest on ‘HearSay With Cathy Lewis’
- VKRP Gets Statewide Coverage
- Williford is Briefing Lawmakers on the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Project
- Virginia Business Journal Highlights Curry Faculty’s Kindergarten Readiness Research
- CASTL Researchers Examine a Comprehensive Kindergarten Readiness Assessment in Virginia