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Assessment Choices and School Readiness Plans

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School Readiness Assessment Menu

Request for Information:School Readiness Assessment Systems

The Office of Early Learning and School Readiness initiated a request for information (RFI) to solicit school readiness assessment systems for review. An RFI was open for kindergarten School Readiness Assessments Systems and Results Matter early childhood assessment systems. Additional information will be available after the review and recommendation process is complete.


CAP4K requires that all students in a publicly funded kindergarten be assessed using as state approved school readiness assessment. The purpose of school readiness assessment is to inform the development of an individual school readiness plan in order to provide a responsive learning environment for each child. Information gathered from school readiness assessments is to be used for supportive and instructional purposes and cannot be used to deny a student admission or progression to kindergarten or first grade.

In December 2012, the State Board of Education voted to offer districts a menu of school readiness assessments. Beginning in 2010, CDE engaged a school readiness assessment committee with early childhood educators and experts from across Colorado to advise the department on implementation of the school readiness initiative. The committee assisted in the review of assessments following the criteria established in CAP4K. To review the rubric, please read the Request for Information RFI School Readiness Assessment 2014 2

In 2012, the State Board approved Teaching Strategies GOLD® as the first assessment tool for the menu. At their October 2015 meeting, the State Board voted to add three additional assessments to the menu:

Read a summary of the reviewed assessments

Reimbursement Available for 2017-18

For the final year of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant, CDE will be able to reimburse district purchased kindergarten school readiness assessment subscriptions for the 2017-18 school year.

The reimbursement process will be different from years past due to the approaching end of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant. The grant funds will reimburse the full cost of the same number of student portfolios that were active for the 2016-17 school year at $9.95 per portfolio.  Also, due to final spend down timing requirements, districts are asked to make note of the shortened timeline for this final reimbursement.

In June, district fiscal managers and school readiness contacts will receive a Grant Award Notification (GAN), and Request for Funds from CDE’s Grants Fiscal Office. The award amount will be based on the number of kindergarten student portfolios from the 2016-17 school year.  Districts can submit their request for reimbursement after they have purchased portfolios for the 2017-18 school year.  Any kindergarten portfolios purchased beyond the number of portfolios from 2016-17 will not be reimbursed.   All requests for reimbursement for the 2017-18 school year must be received by the end of September to receive reimbursement.

Districts are reminded to include the charter schools they authorize in their request for reimbursement, as CDE can only reimburse school districts/LEAs for kindergarten assessment portfolios purchased and not individual schools.  

Reimbursement Information for 2016-17  

The CDE reimbursement process for kindergarten student portfolio purchases was streamlined for SY 2016-17. As a reminder, Colorado’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Fund (RTT: ELC) grant covered 100 percent of the cost of school readiness assessment subscriptions for SY 2016-17, regardless of the state board approved assessment tool chosen. Districts that purchased student portfolios on the Teaching Strategies GOLD® Birth-3rd grade platform in SY 2015-16 received a 100 percent subscription credit for 2016-17. Any Kindergarten portfolios purchased beyond the Teaching Strategies credit are eligible for reimbursment by the RTT: ELC fund grant at 100 percent, in alignment with the district’s October kindergarten student count.

Districts are also reminded to include authorized charter schools in their request for reimbursement, as CDE can only reimburse school districts/LEAs for kindergarten assessment portfolios purchased and not individual schools.

All requests for reimbursement for the 2016-17 school year are due by June 30, 2017

Please contact Emily Kielmeyer with any reimbursement questions at or 720-822-0640.

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Flexibility with Implementation of the School Readiness Initiative

HB 15-1323 provides a 60 calendar day window at the beginning of the school year for districts to assess and complete kindergarten entry information in the areas mandated by CAP4K legislation (Social-emotional, Physical, Cognitive, Language, Literacy, and Math). Districts determine and set the initial 60 day window in accordance with their individual student start dates. Districts also determine to what degree, if at all, they assess additional areas within the tool beyond the minimal legislative requirements. Finally, districts may choose to implement school readiness assessments after the first 60 days, in accordance with local needs and goals.

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School Readiness Plans

School readiness plans are individualized plans required for every kindergartner, and are to be informed by a State Board approved school readiness assessment tool; however, CAP4K does not have specific requirements for the content of school readiness plans. Districts have a high degree of flexibility for the design of the plans. CDE makes the following recommendations:

  • School Readiness Plans incorporate student strengths and goals in both developmental and academic areas, depending on the specific needs of the student.
  • Plans are developed in collaboration with families whenever possible.
  • School Readiness Plans are intended to be living documents, and updated periodically throughout the year to focus on the next steps and support and celebrate continuous growth of the student.
  • There is flexibility for districts to select reports generated by the assessment tool, or choose to use a template.

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School Readiness Data Collection

The purpose of the Kindergarten School Readiness data collection is to provide baseline data for measuring improvement in students' knowledge and skills over time and to collect data needed to fulfill statutory requirements for an annual legislative report.

Data reported to CDE will be from the initial fall assessment window. The initial assessment is to be completed within the first 60 calendar days of the school year as required by HB 15-1323. The collection will be open from mid October to mind December 2017.

File Layout

The file layout is available for the the Kindergarten School Readiness data collection.

Additional Resources

School Readiness Data Collection Webinar (Recorded 3/15/17)

An informational webinar was hosted to support school districts in preparing for the implementation of school readiness data reporting for the SY 2017-18. The webinar include an overview of the school readiness data reporting requirements and time for participants to ask questions. The slides from the webinar are also available.

Kindergarten School Readiness Data Reporting Fact Sheet

The kindergarten school readiness data reporting fact sheet highlights data reporting requirements by state law, and provides updates and guidance for kindergarten school readiness data reporting.

For questions about the kindergarten school readiness data collection please contact Tara Rhodes, Early Learning Business Analyst at 303-866-6243 or

Assessment Tool Details

Teaching Strategies GOLD®

REAL- Riverside Early Assessment of Learning

For information about REAL please contact the Kindergarten School Readiness Team

DRDP-K- Desired Results Developmental Profile for Kindergarten

For information about DRDP-K please contact the Kindergarten School Readiness Team

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Additional Information

Reminder: Parent Guardian Permissions for Videos and Pictures in Teaching Strategies GOLD

Districts are reminded to obtain explicit, individual written parental/guardian consent for the use of photos and videos in Teaching Strategies GOLD™ in kindergarten. In December 2015, the Colorado State Board of Education approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Teaching Strategies® regarding the use of the GOLD assessment for kindergarten school readiness. As part of the MOU, additional privacy safeguards when implementing the assessment tool are in place to ensure even greater levels of student data privacy.

Implementation of the documentation opt-in provision for this school year will not be managed by CDE or Teaching Strategies, but at the district level to allow for maximum local flexibility. Districts may manually opt-in, or turn on the Documentation functionality, at the classroom-level, but must limit the use of the feature to children whose parents have opted in to its use. Larger districts may submit a written request to Teaching Strategies to activate this feature for their entire system. However, these districts will still be responsible for limiting use to permissioned children. Please contact Kelly Cochrane at for assistance.

If you have questions about the MOU or its implementation, please contact Emily Kielmeyer at or 720-822-0640

New Teaching Strategies GOLD Town Hall Webinar

Watch the webinar, recorded on April 27th, that discusses the changes and updates made to the Birth-3rd grade platform for SY 2016-17.

SY 2016-2017 School Readiness Portfolio Reimbursement and Teaching Strategies® GOLD® Credit Information

Districts will receive information regarding their specific kindergarten student portfolio credit directly from Teaching Strategies® in May for budget planning purposes. Districts who wish to request reimbursement for kindergarten school readiness assessment portfolios or apply for first-time funds, please contact Emily Kielmeyer, Kindergarten and School Readiness Manager via email at

Teaching Strategies® Credit for Birth-3rd Grade Platform Subscribers

Teaching Strategies® will apply a 100% portfolio subscription credit to Colorado school districts and their charters currently on the B-3 platform for the SY 2016-17. The amount of credit will be based on the number of student portfolios purchased in SY 2015-16. Read the memo that was sent to District School Readiness Contacts and Fiscal Managers regarding this process.

Kindergarten School Readiness Weekly Town Hall Meetings for Users of New Birth-3rd Grade Platform in TS GOLD

In response to technical issues regarding Teaching Strategies GOLD Birth - 3rd Grade Platform (2.0), Teaching Strategies hosted weekly town hall meetings for Colorado subscribers. The meetings allowed Colorado subscribers an opportunity to communicate implementation challenges directly to Teaching Strategies, hear from Teaching Strategies about efforts to rectify issues and learn about ongoing product development timelines.

Note To All Users of the Expanded Birth-3rd Grade Platform In Kindergarten:

Please note the recently released communication from Teaching Strategies about the Kindergarten School Readiness Implementation timelines for users of the new Teaching Strategies GOLD Platform Birth- 3rd grade (2.0). While Teaching Strategies works to ensure a successful soft launch of the many features of this observation-based formative assessment and instructional tool for kindergarten classrooms, the Office of Early Learning and School Readiness continues to work on your behalf to support your successful implementation of kindergarten school readiness as outlined in legislation. View the communication provided by Teaching Strategies (7/31/2015.)

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