BES, LES testing results in

Published 12:00 pm Monday, December 21, 2015

The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment test scores are in for Bramlett Elementary School and Lafayette Elementary School.

The main purpose of the test is to improve the quality of classroom instruction and services provided to students from birth to third grade.

Mississippi Department of Education Communications Director Patrice Guilfoyle said the tests are not pass or fail, but rather an indication of what to expect of students.

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The minimum scale score of 530 is associated with 70 percent mastery or the cut score, which is the Kindergarten Readiness benchmark.

LES and BES fell just below the cut score in the Late Emergent Reader category. Out of 201 students, the average scale score for LES students was 504. BES had an average scale score of 525 out of 348 students. However, both elementary schools are currently above state average.

This is the second year MDE has mandated the statewide test. Since fall 2014, the average scale score out of the 144 districts tested has only increased by one point from 501 to 502.

Quality pre-k needed

BES Principal Suzanne Ryals said, “The information we receive from this assessment further supports the need for quality preschool experiences for young children.”

Ryals said BES educators observe school’s average score and each individual student’s score to determine where to begin providing learning experiences.

“We hope to use this information to help build more support for preschool education in our state and community,” Ryals said.

LES Principal Paula Gibbs said the she thought the students were ahead of the curve as far as foundational skills.

The scores are graded within four categories ranging from early emergent to probable reader.

Early Emergent Reader means the student has begun to associate words and sentences to have meaning, similar to the way young children begin to recognize shapes and colors.

Late Emergent Readers have a strong understanding of the alphabet and have also begun to “sight read” familiar words and words associated with pictures.

In the Transitional Reader category, the students have mastered the alphabet and can identify most consonant sounds. They also may use various strategies to figure out words, such as pictures, story patterns and phonetic techniques.

The highest testing range and the last category is the Probable Reader. These students are becoming proficient at recognizing many words, both in and out of context. They are also able to read quicker and more independently.

“These scores directly impact instruction,” Ryals said. “The scores give us a starting point for our students’ educational experience. We want to take them from where they are at the beginning of the school year and help them grow into young readers ready for the first grade with the foundation skills they need for success.”

Measuring point

Gibbs said the information gathered through the testing would allow educators to have measured checkpoints for each student.

“We will have checkpoint throughout the year whereby we measure progress and adjust learning paths along the way,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs said the test gives the school an extra dose of data set to inform instructors at the beginning and end of the school year.   

Ryals said the test would be taken again at the end of the school year to measure the amount of learning growth the students have achieved.

“We will analyze the results to help us improve in all areas of early childhood education at Bramlett and in our community,” Ryals said.