Madison County Schools agreed to pilot a common screening initiative for the state of Kentucky. The pilot began at the beginning of this school year and all children entering kindergarten were given the BRIGANCE Kindergarten Screen to determine each child’s developmental abilities at the beginning of school. The BRIGANCE screening is designed to help kindergarten teachers plan individual instruction based on what children know and are able to do.
“Early success is important to helping our students build a strong academic foundation so they can go on to graduate from high school and beyond,” said Waco Elementary Principal Marsha VanHook. “It starts from day one in elementary school. The sooner we have a starting point identified for each student, the better we can be as teachers.
During the first 30 instructional days of the 2012-13 school year, Madison County Schools screened 789 kindergarten students. The data indicated that 20 percent of incoming kindergarten students were ready for kindergarten, 74 percent were ready with supports, and 6 percent were ready with enrichments.
“The Brigance Kindergarten Screen yields valuable information to us as a school from the beginning of the year,” VanHook said. “It allows us to be proactive in planning to meet the unique needs of our students and serves as a jump start for getting our resources aligned with those needs.”
The BRIGANCE Kindergarten Screen is aligned to Kentucky’s definition of school readiness adopted in 2011. The screener measures children’s skills across key areas of school readiness that include five developmental areas: approaches to learning, social and emotional development, health and physical well-being, cognitive and general knowledge, and language and communication development.
“In Madison County, this data is a valuable resource for teachers of preschool, Head State and our Early Childhood Alliance partners as we work together to make plans to improve kindergarten readiness,” said District Instructional Supervisor Mendy Mills. “The kindergarten screener data allows schools and communities to plan for improving school readiness.”