School Readiness Tool

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Kindergarten Entry Assessment 

Kindergarten entry assessment (KEA) is a broad term for an assessment tool that serves as an indicator of a child’s skills and behaviors that can set a baseline of school readiness.

KEAs should:

  • Be reliable and valid;
  • Be administered within the first 6-8 weeks of kindergarten;
  • 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);
  • Align with state’s early learning and development standards; and
  • Use results to support instruction and inform families.
Frequently Asked Questions

Domains of School Readiness

Q: Would I use (U) if my assessment tool does not align with the listed domains on lines 348-352?

A: Districts and programs should strive to use assessment tools that cover the five essential domains of school readiness. Examples of assessment tools can be found in the Screening versus Assessment Chart. However, it is acceptable to use (U) if a specific domain is not covered.

Screening Tools

Q: Can our program use the DIAL-4?

A: No, although it is a screening tool widely used by Parents As Teachers (PAT), the data collected using this developmental screening tool should not be reported as a Kindergarten Entry Assessment in the October Cycle.

Dual Language Learners

Q: How do we assess our Kindergarteners who may not have the skills because of learning English as a second language?

A: If a child has limited English proficiency, consider specific accommodations to help the child demonstrate his or her knowledge and refer to specific guidelines provided from the assessment publisher.

Recommended Time Frame of Data Collection

Q: Can information collected during Kindergarten Round-up or Summer School be reported?

A: No, assessments should be administered by a Kindergarten teacher in the first 6-8 weeks of school.

DRDP Information

The State Board of Education adopted (June 2013) an instrument for early childhood readiness in Missouri after reviewing the results of a year-long pilot. The recommended voluntary early childhood readiness tool is the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) instrument developed by the California Department of Education. The instrument will provide useful information to parents, child care providers, teachers and administrators about the learning and development of each student.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (the Department’s) strategic priority call for ensuring all children enter kindergarten prepared for school success. The State Board approved (June 2013) a revision to the existing Early Learning Goals, setting a clear path for guiding growth and development of children prior to kindergarten entry.

The adoption of the DRDP will continue to support the Department’s initiative to:

Close the school readiness gap and inform decisions about policies and practices. Align programs for children birth to third grade.


The benefits of using the DRDP are as follows:

Alignment to the existing Missouri Early Learning Standards. Inclusive of all young children, including children with disabilities or varied abilities and children of various backgrounds and cultures. To inform, support, and monitor learning over time for an individual child or groups of children participating in an early learning program. Use of a variety of methods to inform the assessment such as observations, interviews and a collection of children’s work.
  • Improve young children’s learning experiences, including informing instruction and services.
  • Inform professional development processes for parents, caregivers, and teachers of young children.


Training Information

Teachers, teacher assistants, paraprofessionals and administrators are encouraged to register for day one training (Desired Results Developmental Profile) and day two training (Meaningful Observation for the DRDP). Training opportunities can be found on the Missouri Workshop Calendar.