Frankfort Independent Schools’ kindergarten readiness score went up 36 percentage points for the 2019-20 school year, according to preliminary data. 

The school district announced the scores at its Monday night board meeting. The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood will publicize kindergarten readiness test scores later this year. 

“This a community effort,” Brittany Howell, special education director\director of district student services, told The State Journal. 

According to the results, which come from the BRIGANCE kindergarten screening test, about 79% of 56 kindergartners tested as “ready” for school. Last year, 43% of 55 FIS kindergartners got the same result and the state average was 51.1%. 

The recent FIS results also mirror results from the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP, test, which showed that 70% of class members were above the 40th percentile for reading and 83% were above the 40th percentile for math. 

At the beginning of the school year, new Kentucky kindergartners take the BRIGANCE screening test to see how prepared they are for the year ahead. Students are then placed into one of three categories: ready, which is the highest group; ready with enrichments, the middle group; or ready with interventions, the lowest group.  

For the most recent scores out of FIS, 84% of the tested students had early childhood learning experiences before starting kindergarten, like going to a day care center, attending library programs or being part of another education program. 

Kindergarten readiness scores can be a predictor for future test scores, officials say. For example, FIS students who took the 2013-14 screening were 38% ready and then had a majority considered distinguished or proficient on their fifth grade K-PREP test, with 62% in reading and 55% in math. 

“Now that we have 79% of our kindergarten class ready, I think there’s bright things on the horizon for what our reading and math achievement scores will look like in years to come,” Howell told the school board Monday.

FIS has been laying the groundwork to improve kindergarten readiness. Students and families use Profile of a Kindergartner, which is based off of the district’s Profile of a Graduate program, to work on necessary skills for success. The school district held an early childhood education summit this summer with teachers, parents and community partners to discuss improving education for children ages birth to 5. Howell said the district will have another summit, but a date has not been set. 

“It’s pretty remarkable of the results that have come through,” Superintendent Houston Barber told board members before Howell’s presentation.

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