BEEMS kindergarteners show gains, despite pandemic setbacks
Mississippi’s statewide assessments measure students’ academic aptitude from pre-K through high school. Pre-K students and kindergarteners are evaluated at the beginning and end of the school year.
The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) recently released the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Update for the 2021-22 school year, which showed the majority of pre-K and kindergarten students made gains over the course of the school year but fell short of pre-pandemic achievement levels.
Pre-K and kindergarteners take a Kindergarten Readiness Assessment in the fall and spring of each school year. At Bolton-Edwards Elementary/Middle School, in fall 2021, the scaled score average on the test was 515. When the students were retested in the spring of 2022, the scaled score average was 680. A score of 681 is considered kindergarten-ready, and 63.33% of the students who were tested at BEEMS in the spring met or exceeded that score.
“Despite the learning disruptions caused by COVID-19, Mississippi kindergarteners still showed significant growth during the 2021-22 school year, thanks to the hard work and dedication of their teachers to accelerate learning,” said Dr. Kim Benton, interim state superintendent of education. “Teachers will be able to use these results to inform instruction in the early grades. Schools may also implement tutorial services and extended learning services this fall.”
The MDE has outlined specific guidance for school districts on ways to improve outcomes. At the agency level, the MDE will implement various strategies, such as Science of Reading and Regional Literacy Trainings statewide for paraprofessionals and K-5 teachers, offer intervention coaching to kindergarten and first-grade teachers, and provide professional development on Kindergarten Readiness reports to inform targeted small group instruction.
The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment provides parents, teachers, and early childhood providers with a common understanding of what children know and are able to do upon entering school. Teachers use the results as an instructional baseline to tailor classroom instruction and other services for pre-K and kindergarten students. The assessment also measures how well pre-K programs prepare 4-year-old children to be ready for kindergarten.
To view the full assessment results, visit www.MDEK12.org/OPR/Reporting/Assessment/2021-22.