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How To Use

The Ready School Assessment is a planning tool designed to provide school improvement teams with a developmental profile of the strength of readiness features in their school setting. To use the Ready School Assessment, you will need to obtain a copy of the Ready School Assessment Kit. The kit contains copies of the Ready School Assessment Questionnaire, for recording responses to the assessment items; the Team Handbook, containing explanations of the items and examples of the evidence needed to complete them; and the Administration Manual, containing instructions for using the instrument.

The assessment centers on eight dimensions of school readiness. These are derived from the work of the Ready Schools Resource Group of the National Education Goals Panel and a careful review of the literature pertaining to transitions, school readiness, and effective schools. Each dimension provides a different array of ready school elements – those policies and practices supportive of and critical to the success of children as they enter and begin their elementary school careers. They are:

  1. Leaders and Leadership
  2. Transitions
  3. Teacher Supports
  4. Engaging Environments
  5. Effective Curricula
  6. Family, School, and Community Partnerships
  7. Respecting Diversity
  8. Assessing Progress

For each of these dimensions, the Ready School Assessment identifies from 11 to 21 indicators which further describe school readiness within a dimension. Each indicator is defined by an anchoring statement and followed by a frequency scale (Yes, No; or Never, Seldom, Sometimes, Often, Always). To complete an indicator, select and mark the frequency that best describes conditions or activities in your school setting.

Ready School Team

The Ready School Assessment is a consensus tool that works best when it bring together a variety of perspectives on the school’s readiness. Teachers, school administrators, parents, and staff from feeder early childhood programs can contribute important perspectives to the readiness assessment. A group using the Ready School Assessment should try to represent as many of these perspectives as possible.

A minimum ready school team might consist of a single individual gathering school readiness information from others and completing the assessment with the evidence at hand. A more representative group might consist of a team of teachers, administrators, parents, and the local early childhood community working together to develop consensus assessments of the school’s readiness.

Results of Ready School Assessment

The result of a Ready School Assessment is a profile of the school’s relative strength in each of the eight dimensions of school readiness. The profile provides a starting point for further discussions of how the school is meeting the needs of new additions to its learning community and how components of the school’s readiness can be improved.