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Kindergarten Screening and Assessment Requirements
Kindergarten Assessment - General Info
Alabama Not specified in statute.
Alaska "The department shall develop a comprehensive system of student assessments, composed of multiple indicators of proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics [that includes] a developmental profile for students entering kindergarten or 1st grade" (AK ST § 14.07.020).

"A vision and hearing screening examination shall be given to each child attending school in the state. The examination shall be made when the child enters school or as soon thereafter as is practicable, and at regular intervals specified by regulation by the governing body of the district" (AK ST § 14.30.127).
Arizona "A child who enrolls in a kindergarten program or grades 1-12 after receiving instruction in a home school program shall be tested…in order to determine the appropriate grade level for the educational placement of the child"(AZ ST § 15-475).

Districts providing instruction in grades K-3 must select and administer "screening, ongoing diagnostic and classroom based instructional reading assessments" to monitor student progress (AZ ST § 15-704).
Arkansas Each school district in the state shall, using guidelines developed by the state department of education, conduct individual readiness testing on each child entering kindergarten. The results of such testing must be provided to the child's parents prior to the child's first day of school (AR ST § 6-16-203).

The department of education must require each public school serving students in grades K-4 to "develop, select and implement ongoing, informal assessments linked to the Arkansas frameworks." Any student in grades K-1 "failing to perform at the proficient level in reading and writing literacy or mathematics shall be evaluated as early as possible within each of the K-1 academic years" (AR ST § 6-15-420).
California All kindergarten students must be screened to determine which pupils have a potential for developing learning disability problems (CA EDUC § 49580).

Districts with early primary programs (an integrated, experiential and developmentally appropriate educational program for children in preschool, kindergarten and grades 1-3) must use observation over time and portfolio material as the primary sources of assessment information for making curricular decisions. Standardized assessment tests may be used for diagnostic purposes only and shall not be used to deny admission (CA EDUC § 8972).

Schools participating in the Early Intervention for School Success Program must use a collaborative school team approach to plan instruction based on an initial assessment of each student validated and supported by on-going multiple assessment techniques of the instructional learning needs of students in preschool and grades K-2 (CA EDUC § 56485.9).
Colorado Vision and hearing screenings must be provided to all children in grades K-3 and in grades 5, 7 and 9. (CO ST §22-1-116) Each school district shall annually assess the reading readiness or literacy reading comprehension level of each pupil enrolled in kindergarten or first, second or third grade. The state board must approve instruments for assessing the reading readiness of each kindergarten student and provide a list of approved instruments to each school district. (CO ST § 22-7-504)
Connecticut Hearing and vision screenings must be provided to each student in grades K-3 (CT ST § 10-214).

Each local and regional board of education must establish a process for assessing students in grades K-3 who are at risk of failing to learn to read by the end of 1st grade (CT ST § 10-221h ).

Full-day kindergarten programs receiving money from the early reading success grant program must provide for the assessment of a student's progress (CT ST § 10-265f).
Delaware Schools must annually assess students in grades K-10. "The assessment must be linked to the Delaware Student Testing Program in reading, writing and math" (DE ST TI 14 § 141 and § 1270).
Florida "All school districts [are required to] administer the kindergarten uniform screening to each kindergarten student. . .upon the student's entry into kindergarten" (FL ST § 229.567).

The department of education must develop the screening so that it provides objective data on the following expectations for school readiness:
(1) Immunizations and other health requirements including vision and hearing;
(2) The child's physical development;
(3) The child's compliance with rules, limitations and routines;
(4) The child's ability to perform tasks;
(5) The child's interactions with adults;
(6) The child's interactions with peers;
(7) The child's ability to cope with challenges;
(8) The child's self-help skills;
(9) The child's ability to express his or her needs;
(10) The child's verbal communication skills;
(11) The child's problem-solving skills;
(12) The child's ability to follow verbal directions;
(13) The child's demonstration of curiosity, persistence and exploratory behavior;
(14) The child's interest in books and other printed materials;
(15) The child's ability to pay attention to stories;
(16) The child's participation in art and music activities;
(17) The child's ability to identify colors, shapes, letters, numbers and spatial and temporal relationships (FL ST § 1008.21).
Georgia Children are assessed for 1st grade readiness at the end of kindergarten. "Readiness information. . .[is] used by local school systems in concert with teacher recommendations and other relevant information to make appropriate student grade placement decisions" (GA ST § 20-2-151).
Hawaii Not specified in statute.
Idaho All public school students in grades K-3 will have their reading skills assessed. "The kindergarten assessment shall include reading readiness and phonological awareness" (ID ST § 33-1614).
Illinois All children in kindergarten in any public, private, or parochial school shall have a dental examination. Each of these children shall present proof of having been examined by a dentist before May 15th of the school year (IL ST CH 105 § 5/27-8.1).
Indiana Children must have their vision tested upon enrollment in either kindergarten or 1st grade (IN ST § 20-8.1-7-16).
Iowa "The board of directors of each public school district shall incorporate, into the kindergarten admissions program, criteria and procedures for identification and integration of at-risk children and their developmental needs" (IA ST § 280.19).
Kansas Not specified in statute.
Kentucky Not specified in statute.
Louisiana "Developmental readiness student screening for placement and for planning instruction shall occur upon initial school entry into kindergarten" (LA R.S. 17:24.4).

"Every child in public school in grades K-3 shall be screened, at least once, for the existence of impediments to successful school experience" (LA R.S. 17:391.11). These impediments include dyslexia and related disorders, attention deficit disorder and social and environmental factors that put a child "at risk" (LA R.S. 17:392.1).
Maine The “Early Childhood Educational Plans for Children Ages 4 to 9” legislation states, “the initiatives local units may elect to develop may include, but not be limited to … establish[ing] or expand[ing] preschool or early childhood screening programs and the development of individualized educational prescription based on the findings of the screening” (ME ST 20A § 4252).
Maryland "Each local school system shall provide to the Department by December 1 of each year information about school readiness of students entering kindergarten as measured by a Department-approved kindergarten assessment system in the following areas:
A. Personal and social development;
B. Language and literacy;
C. Mathematical thinking;
D. Scientific thinking;
E. Social studies;
F. Arts; and
G. Physical development (MD ADC 13A.08.01.02-3)"
Massachusetts "Any child entering kindergarten must have a comprehensive health and developmental examination" (130 MA ADC 433.484).
Michigan Not specified in statute.
Minnesota There is a "mandatory program of early childhood developmental screening for children once before school entrance, targeting children who are between 3 and one-half and 4-years-old. . . .This screening examination is a mandatory requirement for a student to continue attending kindergarten or 1st grade in a public school. . . .A child must not be enrolled in kindergarten. . .unless the parent or guardian of the child submits. . .a record indicating. . .the child received developmental screening and the results of the screening" (MN ST § 121A.17).

The screening shall include developmental assessments, hearing and vision screening, immunization records, height and weight, identification of risk factors, an interview with the parent and referral for assessment, diagnosis and treatment when potential needs are identified. This screening must be performed within the preceding 365 days of a child's enrollment into kindergarten.
Mississippi Not specified in statute.
Missouri Not specified in statute.
Montana Not specified in statute.
Nebraska Not specified in statute.
Nevada Not specified in statute.
New Hampshire Not specified in statute.
New Jersey "A screening of hearing examination shall be conducted on each pupil during the school year" (NJ ST 18A:40-4).
New Mexico "The department of education shall involve local school district personnel, especially certified elementary reading specialists, in the development of methods on a statewide basis to measure student reading performance in order to assist school districts in the assessment of student problem areas in kindergarten through 3rd grade. The assessment shall provide a means of demonstrating continuous progress in reading and diagnostic information on phonics, phonemic awareness and comprehension" (NM ST § 22-2-8.5).

The Assessment and Accountability Act, signed into law in 2003, requires the state board of education to establish statewide assessment and performance standards that measure adequate yearly progress for each student, public school and district. Testing requirements include diagnostic and standards-based tests on reading for students in grades K-2. These assessments must include measures for phonemic awareness, phonics and comprehension and must be implemented by the 2003-04 school year.

"The department of education shall require schools with full-day kindergarten programs to conduct age-appropriate assessments to determine the placement of students at instructional level and the effectiveness of child-centered, developmentally appropriate kindergarten" (NM ST § 22-2-19).
New York Not specified in statute.
North Carolina "By January 1 of each year, every kindergarten child's health must be assessed" (NC SBE Policy Manual #HSP-J-000).
North Dakota Not specified in statute.
Ohio By July 1, 2007, the state board of education must adopt a diagnostic assessment aligned with state standards in reading, writing and mathematics for each of grades K-2. Districts will be required to administer the diagnostic assessments when they become available. Districts identified as "excellent" by the state department of education may use an alternative diagnostic assessment to assess students (OH ST § 3301.079(D2)).

All students enrolled for the first time in either kindergarten or 1st grade must be screened for hearing, vision, speech and communications, health or medical problems and for any developmental disorders (OH ST § 3313.673).
Oklahoma Statute requires the development and implementation of a readiness screening for all public kindergarten students prior to entry into 1st grade. Results of the screening must be made available to the child's parent or guardian, teacher and school district administration (OK ST T. 70 § 1210.282).

"A student's progress should be monitored throughout the kindergarten year by administering informal phonemic awareness assessments" (OK ADC 210:15-5-11).
Oregon Not specified in statute.
Pennsylvania Not specified in statute.
Rhode Island "Districts. . .are required to screen all children prior to, or upon, their first entry to school to determine their level of educational readiness" (RI ST § 16-67-2).
South Carolina The state board of education shall "establish a state basic skill assessment program that shall include the administration to all public school students at the beginning of grade 1 a readiness test that will be designed to measure a student's readiness to begin the formal school curriculum. The results of the readiness test shall be used to provide appropriate developmental activities in the 1st grade" (SC ST § 59-30-10).

All public school boards shall "adopt appropriate policies to ensure that continuous assessment is made of an individual student's progress in relation to the statewide minimum standards of student achievement for kindergarten through grades 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 and 11" (SC ST § 59-30-30).
South Dakota Not specified in statute.
Tennessee "Assessment of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children shall emphasize the use of observational data and other assessments that support the delivery of an individualized, developmentally appropriate program. Standardized or formalized testing may be administered to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children only for the purposes of diagnosing special education needs, developing services to support mainstreaming of children with disabilities, and/or for meeting any required federal program eligibility standards. Each local school system shall adopt and implement a comprehensive developmental assessment program for kindergarten children, to be used in developing instructional programs for kindergarten children (TN ADC 0520-1-3-.05).

"Every school district shall test and examine. . .each child attending the public and private schools within its boundaries in order to determine whether such child is disabled" (TN ST § 49-10-108).
Texas Not specified in statute.
Utah “Each kindergarten student. . .may participate in an assessment of the student’s reading and numeric skills. . . .The kindergarten student’s teacher may use the assessment in planning and developing an instructional program to meet the student’s identified needs. Based on the assessment. . .the school shall provide the student’s parent or guardian with appropriate resource materials to assist them at home in the student’s literacy development” (UT ST § 53A-3-402.9).
Vermont The state board shall "implement and continually update. . .methods of assessment to determine attainment of the standards for student performance" (VT ST T. 16 § 164).
Virginia Not specified in statute.
Washington State statute requires the Washington commission on student learning to make recommendations regarding a statewide accountability system for reading in grades K-4 by November 1, 1997. Recommendations for an accountability system in the other subject areas and grade levels are to be made no later than June 30, 1999 (WA ST § 28A.655.060).
West Virginia “All children entering public school for the first time. . .shall be given. . .screening tests to determine if they might have vision or hearing impairments or speech and language disabilities.” Upon the request of a parent, county boards must provide developmental screening for children under compulsory school entrance age (WV ST § 18-5-17).
Wisconsin Not specified in statute.
Wyoming Not specified in statute.

The information in this report was collected as part of ECS’ study, "Full-Day Kindergarten: An Exploratory Study of Finance and Access in the United States," which is funded by a grant from the Foundation for Child Development.

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