Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA)
Kindergarten entry assessment (KEA) is a one-time assessment designed to measure a child's skills and behaviors within the first few weeks of entering kindergarten. Using KEA data can help inform teachers and leaders of the number of children who are ready for school overall, as well as support instruction by meeting students where they are when they enter kindergarten.
KEAs should -
- Be reliable and valid;
- Be administered within the first few months of kindergarten;
- Administered by Kindergarten teacher;
- Align with state’s early learning and development standards;
- Use results to support instruction and inform families; and
- Cover the five Essential Domains of School Readiness.(Language and Literacy Development, Cognition and General Knowledge, Social and Emotional Development, Approaches to Learning, and Physical Well-Being and Motor Development)
- To inform instruction;
- To inform families about their child’s skills and behaviors; and
- To inform policy at the district and school levels.
Recommended Kindergarten Entry Assessment Tools
- Kindergarten Observation Form (KOF) Pilot and Training
2023 KOF Training Information - Coming Soon!
The Office of Childhood will offer a training for the 2023-2024 school year at no cost to local education agencies (LEAs). For convenience, the training will be in an online / on-demand format to allow teachers the opportunity to take the training during a time that works best for them. More information on how to sign up for this training will be coming soon!
KOF Pilot Information
- School Readiness
Children entering school for the first time bring with them a unique set of skills and behaviors based on personal characteristics and experiences. Thus, school readiness is different for every child. Although school readiness is often viewed from the Ready Child perspective, school readiness is much more complex and is affected by the interplay of multiple factors during the child’s early years.
- Screening versus KEA
A Developmental Screening is a formal process using a tool to see if a child is meeting developmental milestones. It is completed by a healthcare provider, parent educator, or early childhood professional in collaboration with parents/legal guardians. Developmental screenings provide an opportunity for parents to understand their child’s development and learning which can significantly reduce the possibility that the child will have an undetected developmental delay.
A Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) is an assessment tool that serves as an indicator of a child’s skills and behaviors that can set a baseline of school readiness. Teachers and education professionals administer a KEA within the first few weeks of kindergarten. Using this data can help inform teachers and leaders of the number of children who are ready for school overall, as well as support instruction by meeting students where they are when they enter kindergarten.
Check out these resources for more information about the link between developmental screenings and preparing a child for school readiness:
The Link Between Developmental Milestones and Kindergarten Readiness Diagram
Developmental Screening versus KEA Presentation
Developmental Screening versus KEA Presentation Slides
- Required Reporting
The LEA is required to report results of the KEA in the DESE MOSIS student data system in the October Cycle.
- Item 329 - Kindergarten Readiness - districts report yes, no, or unknown as to whether the child has overall age-appropriate skills and behaviors that indicates the child is ready for kindergarten.
- Item 348 - KG Physical Well-being and Motor - districts report yes, no, or unknown as to whether the child has age-appropriate physical abilities, including gross and fine motor skills.
- Item 349 - KG Social and Emotional - districts report yes, no, or unknown as to whether the child has age-appropriate behaviors, including the ability to express emotions, build relationships with adults and peers, develop a sense of personal identity, and work cooperatively with others.
- Item 350 - KG Cognition and General Knowledge - districts report yes, no, or unknown as to whether the child has age-appropriate thinking and problem-solving skills as well as knowledge about particular objects and the way the world works, including mathematical knowledge, abstract thought, and imagination.
- Item 351 - KG Approaches Toward Learning - districts report yes, no, or unknown as to whether the child has age-appropriate use of skills and knowledge, including curiosity, creativity, confidence, persistence, and initiative.
- Item 352 - KG Language and Literacy - districts report yes, no, or unknown as to whether the child has age-appropriate communication skills such as listening, speaking, and phonological awareness as well as early literacy skills for print awareness, story sense, early writing, and the connection of letters to sounds.
The LEA is required to report the KEA tool used to collect student entry information in the DESE Core Data system in the October Cycle.
- Screen 36 – Kindergarten Readiness
Reporting Changes to Core Data and MOSIS - School Readiness Presentation