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Kindergarten Essential Skills Assessment

by Raymond E. Webster & Angela H. Matthews

Item: 8972-8

Age Range: 4 - 5
Testing Time: 25-30 minutes
Administration: Individual

The KESA supports early identification and intervention for children who are at risk for kindergarten retention and special education referral. It can help providers determine the need for additional classroom support and/or further evaluation. The KESA works well as a global screener and can provide the teacher with a snapshot of the range of skills and challenges in a class, or specifically for children who are at known risk or present with early struggles and may need special education referral.

The KESA can be used in the last year of preschool and also at the start of kindergarten. It covers the major factors that have been identified as predictive of school success:

  • Motor skills
  • Ability to comprehend and follow oral directions
  • Visual memory and visual attention
  • Academic skills
  • Phonemic awareness
  • Vocabulary
  • Behavioural regulation

The KESA fulfills the following purposes:

  • Provides objective data on a child’s kindergarten readiness and risk for poor kindergarten achievement
  • Assesses skills in all five student readiness domains identified by the National School Readiness Indicators Initiative
  • Complements curriculum-based and observational measures
  • Can be used as an RTI Tier 1 universal screener
  • Can assist schools in making kindergarten entry decisions for underage children

Data was collected from a nationally representative sample of 486 children ages 4-0 through 5-11 years. Results of reliability and validity studies are provided in the Manual, including predictive validity to end-of-school-year-outcomes.

The KESA takes 25-30 minutes to administer. Scoring can be completed in only 5-10 minutes. The raw score is quickly converted to one overall standard score and percentile rank.

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