Initial Assessment

  • Kindergarten students enter school with a wide variety of skills and at various stages of development. During the first few days and weeks of the school year, all kindergarten students are assessed to learn about their strengths and needs to help teachers plan instruction.

    One tool is the Kindergarten Initial Assessment, which measures skills in literacy, math, physical, personal, and social skills.

    The Kindergarten Initial Assessment is not a “test.” It’s a way to measure a child’s skills at the start of kindergarten so that teachers can get to know each individual student. 

    Some of the skills measured in the Kindergarten Initial Assessment:

    • Literacy - Students complete tasks related to understanding a story and identifying a few words.
    • Letter identification and sounds - Students are asked to identify upper- and lower-case letters. If they identify all the letters, they are asked to identify letter sounds.
    • Oral language checklist - Conversational skills are measured during the initial assessment and first two weeks of school.
    • Math and other areas - Students count and match objects as they count. They copy patterns, extend patterns, and create their own patterns. They also do physical tasks, such as catching and throwing a ball.

    Some students cannot be assessed via the Kindergarten Initial Assessment because of disabilities; teachers assess these students in other ways. Spanish-speaking students with limited English proficiency can sometimes be assessed in Spanish.

    Teachers at traditional-calendar schools and with Tracks 1, 2, and 3 at year-round schools are asked to enter assessment results for all students by the first week in October (Track 4 schools have a later schedule).

    Your child’s teacher should meet with you to review your kindergartner’s initial assessment, perhaps at a fall conference.