Local School Districts earn positive Kindergarten Readiness results

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Pearl River County, Picayune and Poplarville school districts shined in the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment for 2015-16, with one of the districts placing in the top ten of average scale scores and greatest scale score gains in the state.
According to a Mississippi Department of Education release, the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment “will provide parents, teachers and early childhood providers with a common understanding of what children know and are able to do upon entering school.”
The purpose of this assessment is to improve the quality of education for students by gathering information about each student’s individual strengths and weaknesses, according to the release.
The Kindergarten Readiness benchmark scores for each district were 530 points for the fall and 681 points for the spring. The scale score averages for the state as a whole were 502 for the fall and 703 for the spring.
Pearl River County School District had the sixth highest average scale scores in the state, with a fall scale score average of 502 points and spring scale score average of 757. According to the release, the score of 757 places the student’s performance level at “probable reader” meaning “students are becoming proficient at recognizing many words, both in and out of context. The student spends less time identifying and sounding out words, and more time understanding what was read.”
The district also had the seventh greatest scale score gains in the state, earning a 255-point increase from the previous assessment score of last year.
The assessments were taken from each school and gathered into a total average for that district. However, because there is only one elementary school in the PRC School District, PRC Lower Elementary, the scores were easily assessed from the 199 test-takers at that school.
Poplarville School District, like PRC School District, only had one elementary take the assessment, Poplarville Lower Elementary School. Although not in the top ten, their scores displayed a gain of 186 points with a fall scale score average of 515 and a spring scale score average of 701.
These scores place Poplarville School District in the “late emergent reader” performance level for the fall, meaning students at this stage are building their vocabularies, listening skills and understandings of print, according to the release, and the “transitional reader” level for the spring, meaning the students have mastered alphabet skills and letter-sound relationships, according to the release.
The Picayune School District had four elementary schools participate in the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, Nicholson Elementary School, Roseland Park Elementary, South Side Lower Elementary School and West Side Elementary.
Out of those schools, Roseland Park Elementary had the highest spring scale score average, 726, and the biggest increase in scores from last year, 225.
The total averages for the Picayune School District consist of a fall scale score average of 499 points, a spring scale score average of 689 points and a scale score gain of 190 points.
All of the schools in the district earned the “transitional reader” performance level for their spring averages and “late emergent reader” for the fall average.

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