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Assessment Choices and School Readiness Plans

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School Readiness Assessment Menu


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.

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. In 2012, the State Board of Education voted to offer districts a menu of school readiness assessments and the first kindergarten school readiness assessment review was conducted. 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 2014 meeting, the State Board voted to add three additional assessments to the menu: the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP-K), Riverside Early Assessment of Learning (REAL), and allow use of the Survey version of Teaching Strategies GOLD®.

In the spring of 2017, CDE solicited Requests for Information (RFIs) for both kindergarten school readiness assessment systems and additional assessment tools for Colorado’s menu of Results Matter Early Childhood Assessments. Assessment systems were reviewed by teams of stakeholders including teachers and administrators from various regions and programs in the state. Review teams used the assessment evaluation and the criteria established in CAP4K and included in the Request for Information to review and score each assessment. Recommendations for additions to the School Readiness Assessment Menu were presented to the State Board of Education on May 11, 2017. The State Board of Education voted to add HighScope Child Observation Record (COR) to the department’s kindergarten school readiness assessment menu and remove the Riverside Early Assessment of Learning (REAL) because REAL is no longer being published.

The list also includes the Desired Results Developmental Profile Kindergarten (DRDP-K) and Teaching Strategies GOLD.

Read a summary of the reviewed assessments

2018 - 2019 Assessment Subscriptions

Due to the end of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant, CDE will not be able to reimburse kindergarten school readiness assessment subscriptions for the 2018-19 school year.

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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 district developed template.

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School Readiness Data Collection

Information about this collection has moved to the Kindergarten School Readiness Data Collection page

Assessment Tool Details

Desired Results Developmental Profile for Kindergarten (DRDP-K)

Visit the Desired Results Developmental Profile for Kindergarten website.

HighScope COR for Kindergarten

Visit the HighScope COR for Kindergarten website to learn more about HighScope Educational Research Foundation and their mission.

North Carolina Kindergarten Entry Assessment

A 2 year pilot study for JeffCo Public Schools was approved by the State Board.

Riverside Early Assessment of Learning- REAL

The Riverside Early Assessment of Learning is no longer being published and has been removed from the kindergarten school readiness assessment menu.

Teaching Strategies GOLD®

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

 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.

As the new school year approaches, districts are reminded to obtain explicit, individual written parental/guardian consent if planning to use photos and videos in Teaching Strategies GOLD® in kindergarten. Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, opt-in to the documentation functionality will expanded to allow for child level opt-in to be made in one of the following ways: By district, by school, by teacher, by classroom, or by individual student.

The default setting for pictures and videos will be set to off and only administrators will be allowed to change the opt-in status to on. A student’s opt-in status is tracked by individual student, even if the opt-in is made using one of the bulk methods described above. Each district may use locally determined systems to house and track parental or guardian permission when using one of the bulk methods described above.

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