School Readiness: Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  What does “School Readiness” mean?

Answer: The term “School Readiness” means that children are ready to and benefit from their experiences in kindergarten.

Question: How do I know if my child is ready for kindergarten?

Answer: Every child's development is unique and complex. Although children develop through a generally predictable sequence of steps and milestones, they may not proceed through these steps in the same way or at the same time. A child's development is also greatly influenced by factors in his or her environment and the experiences he or she has.  School staff will take your child where they are and provide them with educational experiences that are designed to move them to the next level.

Question: How is school readiness measured?

Answer: The Brigance Kindergarten Screener is a screening tool used statewide at kindergarten entry that assesses whether a child is ready to hit the ground running at the start of his or her education career.

Question: How are the results of the kindergarten screener used?

Answer: It provides teachers with an individual snapshot of each student’s current development and abilities, and collectively, the development of a class. The screener is aligned with both Kentucky’s school readiness definition and Kentucky’s Early Childhood Standards. (704 KAR 5:070)

Question: Can the kindergarten screener be used to hold my child back ?

Answer: This assessment is not an entrance exam, and it’s not used for any kind of placement. It will be used for two important purposes:

- To help teachers develop more effective lesson plans and meet individual student learning needs sooner than they might have been able to do without the screener.

- To help Kentucky assess the effectiveness of our early childhood programs and initiatives. This will allow us to know what we are doing well, and where we need a little bit of work, as well as to measure improvement from year to year.

Question: What does the kindergarten screener involve?

Answer: The Brigance Kindergarten Screener has two parts and is administered in the first few weeks of the school year.

- The first part is a 20-minute, one-on-one assessment conducted in the classroom by trained elementary school personnel (ex. teacher, counselor, aide). Students are asked to perform tasks designed to indicate the child’s awareness, motor skills, engagement, and other skills. These might be exercises like identifying body parts, counting, giving their ages and names, and standing on one foot.

- The second part is a form to be filled out by parents that explains their child’s habits and interests. Parents are also asked what type of setting (at home, preschool, child care, etc.) the child was in during the 12 months prior to starting Kindergarten.