New Kindergarten Readiness Assessment FAQs - For Teachers

Components of the New Kindergarten Readiness Assessment

The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment and Other Early Learning Educational Requirements

Administering the New Kindergarten Readiness Assessment

Professional Development, Trainings and Qualifications


Components of the New Kindergarten Readiness Assessment

    What are the areas being assessed?

    The new assessment covers six areas: language and literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, physical well-being and motor development, and social foundations which includes social and emotional development and approaches toward learning.  

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    How are students assessed?

    Students are assessed the following ways:

    • Observation - Teachers will use a rubric with three description levels for the skill(s) being measured. 
    • Selected response questions – Teachers have a scripted prompt that could include a story or pictures and a question with answer choices.
    • Performance tasks- These require an action or verbal response from the child in response to a scripted prompt, such as producing a rhyming word.

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    How does the new assessment compare with the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment – Literacy (KRA-L)?

    The KRA-L only assessed language and literacy, while the new assessment assesses students in six areas: social foundations (including social emotional development and approaches toward learning), language and literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, physical well-being and motor development. Also, the KRA-L involved a teacher prompting a student to respond to direct questions. The new measure includes both a teacher prompting a student to respond to direct questions and a teacher completing observations of students during classroom activities. 

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The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment and Other Early Learning Educational Requirements

    How does the new assessment relate to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee?

    The language and literacy portion of the new assessment can be used to meet the Kindergarten diagnostic requirement for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee if given by Sept. 30

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    Does the new assessment replace the Kindergarten Screening Requirement?

    No. The new assessment does not meet the screening requirement stated in law.

    Districts are still required to screen students for hearing, vision, speech and communications, and health or medical problems and for any developmental disorders in addition to completing the New Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.   

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Administering the New Kindergarten Readiness Assessment

    What is the administration timeline?

    The administration window is from the first day of school through Nov.1. The new assessment is designed to be administered during and within regular classroom activities, such as center time. For the 2014-2015 school year, the assessment will not be available until Aug. 18. 

    For districts choosing to use the new assessment to meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, the language and literacy items must be given by Sept. 30. 

    For students who transfer to a school after Nov. 1, the district must choose another approved tool to meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee requirement. The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment cannot be administered after Nov. 1.

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    Can we use a staggered start date model to administer the assessment?

    As long as districts meet the minimum instructional time requirement for the academic year (for all-day Kindergarten, 910 hours, or 455 hours for half-day), they may begin to give the new assessment during the staggered start time. However, districts should not expect teachers to complete the entire assessment for any one student during the staggered start window. The assessment should be completed in small increments of time over several weeks.

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    Who can administer the new assessment?

    Educators administer the assessment but must (1) be employed by the student’s school or district, (2) hold a valid Ohio Department of Education-issued permit, license or certificate, and (3) have successfully completed the required Kindergarten Readiness Assessment training. The department strongly recommends that each student’s primary classroom teacher or another teacher who has regular contact with the student(s) (e.g., an intervention specialist or reading specialist) administer the assessment.

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    How can others provide support to teachers with assessment administration?

    All test administrators must be employees of the school district, hold an Ohio Department of Education-issued license, certificate or permit, AND successfully complete the teacher training.

    Literacy specialists, intervention specialists, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) teachers and other related services personnel who regularly work with a specific child, would be appropriate test administrators for some or all assessment items. 

    • Example 1: A literacy specialist, who regularly works with Kindergarten students in the classroom and successfully completed the teacher training, could administer the direct assessment language and literacy domain items to all kindergarten students in that building. The teacher of record would need to print the necessary score recording forms for the literacy specialist and input the student scores into the online system. 
    • Example 2: A literacy specialist may assist with scoring observational language and literacy domain items by either leading the class in interactive literacy activities while the regular classroom teacher rates the students on the observational rubrics or vice versa.

    Individuals who do not work regularly with Kindergarten students, such as retired teachers employed by districts as contractors or substitutes may administer the assessment if they meet the requirements above, but it is not recommended. The most appropriate use of these individuals as test administrators would be to have them administer only direct assessment items to students who have not been identified as students with disabilities or English language learners.

    District employees who hold an Ohio Department of Education-issued license, permit or certificate who have not completed the teacher training can support teachers with completing the assessments in several other ways:

    • Preparing manipulatives;
    • Teaching the class while the primary classroom teacher administers direct assessment items; and
    • Monitoring children completing technology-administered assessment items.

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    How long does the assessment take to administer?

    The amount of time it will take to administer, score and input assessment item data will vary from teacher-to-teacher and class-to-class. The assessment is designed to be flexible so that teachers can incorporate assessment activities into everyday classroom routines and activities. Assessment administration is the most efficient when teachers take advantage of all of the technology features. For example, the most efficient administration will occur when a teacher is comfortable with technology and uses a tablet device with a wireless internet connection to administer and score items simultaneously. 

    There are three item types on the assessment and each item type will vary in length of administration. For selected response and performance task assessment items, it may take an average of 20-30 minutes per student to complete these items one-on-one. However, many performance task assessment items can be administered in small groups of children. For observational items, it may take an average of 20-30 minutes to rate a small group of children during regular classroom activities. 

    The least efficient administration will occur in classes that use exclusively the printed versions of all assessment items. In this case, performance task and selected response items may take an average of 45-60 minutes per student to complete.

    Teachers are not restricted to an all-or-nothing approach to using the technology. Any combination of using technology or hard copy versions of some items is possible.  

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    Is there a specific sequence for assessing students?

    There will be a recommended sequence to follow, but teachers will be able to administer the items in any order.

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    What technological components are required?

    There are three technology components: two for teachers and one for students. Only the technology components for teachers are required. The technology component for students is optional. Detailed technology guidelines will be posted on the Ohio Department of Education’s website.

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    Does the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment requirement apply to all types of schools or only public schools?

    By law, only public and community schools are required to administer the new assessment. 

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    Does the assessment have to be administered face-to-face at e-schools?

    Yes. Computer-based schools must provide a physical location for statewide tests.  Each internet- or computer-based community school shall provide its students a location within a 50-mile radius of the student's residence at which to complete the statewide achievement and diagnostic assessments.

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Professional Development, Trainings and Qualifications

    What training is required for teachers?

    Teachers have three options to obtain training:

    • All online (six-10 hours of training);
    • All in-person (two days); or
    • Hybrid (one day in person and three hours online).

    Teachers should contact their administrators to find out whether they will receive their training through a State Support Team or the district.

    The hybrid training is recommended for most teachers. 

    The all online training is the best choice for teachers who completed the Field Test training in October or November 2013 and who are very comfortable with new technologies.

    The all in-person training is recommended for teachers who would like click-by-click instruction on using the technology components of the new assessment system.

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    When will the trainings be offered through the State Support Teams?

    Returning Kindergarten teachers should complete training between April 1 and June 30. Additional trainings will be available between July 1 and Sept. 12, primarily to train new Kindergarten teachers.

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    How can I register for a State Support Team training?

    Teachers must register through STARS. It is extremely important that your contact information is correct in STARS and your primary email address is your work email.

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    What training is required to become a district trainer?

    To become a district trainer, qualified staff must register through STARS and successfully complete four days of training. Based on need, the Ohio Department of Education will provide additional trainings for trainers.

    Individuals who register will be waitlisted and approved based on priority status after the registration closes.  

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    What qualifications are required to be a district trainer?
    • A bachelor’s degree or higher in Early Childhood Education or an approved, related field (e.g., Child Development, Family Studies, Human Ecology, Child and Family Community Studies, Elementary Education);
    • Minimum five years of experience as a trainer;
    • Organized, responsible and prepared;
    • Effective communication skills;
    • Successful experience delivering high-quality professional development/training for adult learners;
    • Demonstrated ability to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of different adult learners while maintaining high standards;
    • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with diverse populations, including colleagues, administrators, families and other stakeholders;
    • Demonstrated ability to translate assessment data into classroom instruction;
    • Knowledge of child development and early childhood-level (preschool and Kindergarten) curricula, standards and assessment;
    • Knowledge and ability to differentiate instruction for young children who require specialized supports, including children with disabilities and English language learners;
    • Successful completion of the Kindergarten Entry Assessment Train-the-Trainer. 

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Last Modified: 3/6/2014 3:51:00 PM