Kindergarten students in Rockford Public Schools are doing better than some area school districts on a state measure for kindergarten readiness, according to data released this week. The Illinois State Board of Education released a statewide snapshot today of kindergarten readiness called the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey – or KIDS. The survey, released for the first time last year, paints a preliminary picture of children's early development when they enter kindergarten.
How students are measured: Teachers across the state use the survey to observe and document students' skills, knowledge and behavior in the first 40 days of kindergarten. The information released today is from fall 2018. Teachers consider three developmental areas that are key to long-term success: Social-emotional development, language and literacy, and math.
How RPS 205 compares: The survey provides a comparison to other districts both locally and across the state. According to the survey, RPS 205 students are aligned with the state in social-emotional development, and students are slightly behind the state average in language and literacy, and math. The readiness percentages in RPS 205 are higher in each developmental area than some districts in the region:
Language & literacy
The survey also illustrates the percentage of students who are ready in all three developmental areas:
Roughly 60 percent of RPS 205 kindergarten students attended the district's award-winning Early Childhood program. The KIDS data show district leaders how the Early Childhood program is preparing students for school. "This data provides us with an opportunity to look at the impact the Early Childhood program is having and offers additional insight on continuous quality improvement efforts," said Kim Nelson, executive director of Early Childhood.
Students have a wide range of prior childcare and education experiences before they come to kindergarten – such as in-home care, childcare center, family care, Head Start, pre-kindergarten and privately run programs. In Rockford Public Schools, the Early Childhood program has the capacity to serve 2,600 students ages 3, 4 and 5.
The KIDS survey is not a complete picture. It looks at 14 of the most important strengths and developmental areas. It identifies a percentage of children who may need additional support. It doesn't say with certainty which students will need additional support. Research shows that children with higher levels of readiness at age 5 – when students start kindergarten – are generally more successful in grade school, less likely to drop out of high school, and have more earning power as adults.
For more information, visit the Illinois State Board of Education.
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