Results from the kindergarten-readiness and pre-kindergarten assessments, released in July by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), track gains for the state’s younger students. These assessments help parents and teachers understand what students know and are able to do upon entering school.
For Aberdeen Elementary School’s 85 kindergartners from the 2018-2019 school year, there was a scale score gain of 188 points from the fall semester assessment. For the fall assessment, the school’s kindergartners scored an average of 528 and for the spring semester, the average score was 716.
West Amory Elementary School’s scale score gain was 232 points, from a 521 in the fall to a 753 in the spring. The school had 142 test takers.
For the Monroe County School District as a whole, 194 kindergartners averaged an increase of 206 points from 539 in the fall to 745 in the spring.
Hamilton’s 46 test takers scored 590 in the fall and 785 in the spring, resulting in a 195 point gain. For Hatley, there was a gain of 190 points from the 526 fall average to 716 in the spring. The school had 106 test takers. Rounding out the school district, Smithville’s 42 kindergartners scored 774 in the spring, which was an increase of 261 points from the fall assessment’s 513.
Nettleton Primary School’s 102 test takers showed a gain of 254 points, from 490 in the fall to 744 in the spring.
For the fall assessment, all of the public schools serving Monroe County students scored in the late emergent reader category, which is explained as a “student can identify most of the letters of the alphabet and can match most of the letters to their sounds. The student is also beginning to ‘read’ picture books and familiar words around the home. Through repeated reading of favorite books with an adult, students at this stage are building their vocabularies, listening skills and understandings of print,” according to a press release from the MDE.
Most of the schools were categorized into the transitional reader category, which the press release stated as meaning a “student has mastered alphabet skills and letter-sound relationships. The student can identify many beginning and ending consonant sounds and long and short vowel sounds, and is probably able to blend sounds and word parts to read simple words. The student is also likely using a variety of strategies to figure out words, such as pictures, story patterns and phonics.”
The high threshold for the transitional reader was 774, and the Monroe County School District surpassed it by one point to enter the probable reader category. Hamilton had the highest score in Monroe County with a score of 785.
Statewide, 35,491 kindergartners took the kindergarten-readiness assessment last school year and averaged a gain of 210 points. The fall assessment average was 501, and the average score for the spring assessment was 711 statewide.
The assessment’s purpose is to improve classroom instruction and other services provided to children from birth to the third-grade level.
The MDE’s pre-kindergarten assessment results included 4-year-old classrooms and 14 early learning collaboratives throughout the state, including the Monroe Early Learning Collaborative, which had an overall increase of 174 points from 425 in the fall to 599 in the spring through 205 test takers.
Included in the collaborative were Calvert’s ABC Pre-School and Nursery’s 28 test takers, who showed a 167 point gain from 432 to 599. Hamilton Elementary School’s 19 pre-K students had a gain of 191 points, from 473 to 664. Hatley Elementary School’s 20 test takers went from 424 to 640, showing a 216 point increase.
Aberdeen Head Start’s 38 students had a gain of 156 points, from 402 to 558. Lil’ Blessings Child Care and Learning Center’s 15 test takers increased 197 points, from 455 to 652. Amory Head Start’s 29 students went from 412 to 521 for a 109 point increase.
Smithville Elementary School’s 16 test takers had a 248 point increase, from 390 to 638. West Amory Elementary School’s 40 students rounded out the collaborative with an increase of 178 points, from 432 to 610.
For 4-year-old classrooms, Aberdeen Elementary School had the only pre-K program in the county included in the latest results, and its 20 test takers showed a gain of 155 points, from 398 to 553.
For the collaboratives, 2,065 test takers averaged an increase of 145 points, from 430 to 575. For the classrooms, 5,977 pre-K students had a gain of 139 points, from 420 to 559 across the state.