The Mission of VKRP
The Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) is an initiative focused on building a more comprehensive understanding of school readiness and success. As an assessment system, VKRP adds measures of math, self-regulation, and social skills to complement Virginia’s statewide assessment of literacy skills using the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS, www.pals.virginia.edu). Data from the assessments are beneficial for a wide range of stakeholders including state policy makers, division and school leaders, educators, and families to support young students' learning during the kindergarten school year and beyond.
Our most recent data shows that 40% of students in participating divisions entered kindergarten unprepared in at least one of the critical learning domains: Literacy (PALS), math, self-regulation, and social skills.
VKRP and PALS 2017 results from kindergarten students in 63 school divisions.
Addressing the Readiness Gap
Although, some children who enter kindergarten unprepared will catch up with their peers, readiness gaps present when children start school often persist and widen over time. Children falling below the benchmark are struggling to master foundational skills such as identifying letters, connecting letters to letter sounds, counting, naming basic shapes, following a teacher's instructions, persisting on a new task, and sharing with classmates. These results were shared with the Virginia State Legislature, and the gradual statewide implementation of VKRP began.
Using VKRP Readiness Data
VKRP provides key information about young students' skill development across key early learning areas and provides educators and policy makers with information and instructional resources to support students’ for school success.