Kindergarten Readiness

Why This Is Important

Kindergarten readiness is key, not only for Minneapolis Public Schools but as a measure of how we are doing as a community. When children have access to quality preschool experiences, they come to kindergarten ready for school and ready to learn. Students who are not ready for kindergarten struggle to learn to read and do math and stay on track for their grade levels.

What's Being Done

Key Minneapolis Public Schools initiatives to increase kindergarten readiness include:

  • Providing high-quality preschool programs for 4-year-olds. Preschoolers who have attended these programs perform better on the kindergarten assessment than the average 5-year-old entering the school district.
  • Educating parents of young children through Early Childhood and Family Education and Early Childhood Special Education.
  • Increasing screening for early childhood special needs in homeless shelters.
  • Providing professional development to providers of early childhood services in the community.
  • Working with early childhood service providers on the transition to kindergarten.
  • Educating parents about what they can do to ready their preschoolers for kindergarten.

About This Measure

Kindergarten readiness data are from the Minneapolis Public Schools Research Evaluation and Assessment Department. The Minneapolis Beginning of Kindergarten Assessment (BKA) is a standardized assessment of reading and numerical skills administered in the fall of each year by a group of retired teachers. During the 15-minute one-on-one assessment, children demonstrate their knowledge and skills in vocabulary, listening comprehension, phonological awareness, alphabetic understanding, print concepts, counting and number concepts. Proficiency has been determined by following cohorts of students from kindergarten through third grade and determining the score on the BKA sufficient to predict proficiency on the MCAII reading assessment with 75 percent to 80 percent accuracy.

Last updated Feb. 20, 2013

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