While we were happy that Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow earlier this month, this warmer weather reminds us that spring and SUMMER are approaching at an alarming pace! Our team’s current work focuses on preparing for the spring assessment term: ordering kit materials, updating all documents and reports for spring, creating new implementation checklists, and ensuring optimizations are made to further improve the online system. Your spring materials packet will contain details on assessment implementation.
Spring 2020 VKRP
- Webinars for VKRP Division Contacts – Division contacts/instructional leaders hear details about spring implementation and information to be shared with schools and staff
March 2 – 6
- Spring materials arrive in divisions – K teachers receive a shrink-wrapped packet and small set of manipulatives to add to their VKRP box. A spring manual containing highlights and supplemental information are included.
- VKRP web portal moves to spring term – Spring versions of the EMAS video demonstrations, practice assessments, manual, and other documents available.
- NOTE: Teachers are unable to assess students until the assessment period begins in April.
March 30 – April 5
- VKRP site will be offline for coding and testing of spring features –Practice assessments cannot be accessed at this time, so please plan accordingly.
- VKRP assessments open for 2020 spring term –At this point, divisions/schools should have communicated their specific two-three week assessment window with teachers/assessors.
- VKRP assessments officially close – All data must be entered by 5pm.
May – June
- Use your data to respond to student needs, share student progress with families and with prekindergarten and first grade teachers.
- Reach out to VKRP if you need help interpreting reports.
July – August
- VKRP Train the Trainer sessions held in each of the eight Superintendent’s Regions and at UVA.
Checking in with the Chatline
We have enjoyed chatting with so many of you – administrators from Winchester to Chesapeake, teachers from Ashburn to Valentines, coaches from Roanoke to Norfolk, and beyond! We are grateful for the opportunity to share some of your frequently asked questions for the benefit of everyone across the Commonwealth using VKRP.
Q: Is there a mid-year VKRP?
A: We do not have assessments programmed for mid-year at this point. A mid-year version of the Early Mathematics Assessment System (EMAS) doesn’t exist. For measuring self-regulation and social skills, teachers can use the Child Behavior Rating Scale (CBRS) on paper to gather mid-year data (see Appendix B of the fall or spring VKRP manual). Please contact us if you need help with scoring.
Q: I had several students showing “NT” on my fall VKRP list, but they arrived after our assessment window closed in the fall. What do I do if this happens in the spring?
A: The legislation requiring VKRP says every kindergartner should be assessed using these tools. As long as the VKRP assessments are open (i.e. Spring 4/6 – 5/22), students should be assessed. Consult the VKRP Manual – Spring supplement for guidance on exemptions.
Q: How do you recommend our team prepare for the Spring assessment window?
A: We are glad you asked! Your division/school leaders will be sharing your division’s specific VKRP two-three week assessment window. You’ll want to spend some time prior to your window opening to get ready for assessments.
- Once your spring kit materials arrive the week of March 2 – insert the “spring tab” into your easel and make sure all pages and manipulatives are complete (refer to the spring VKRP manual for the inventory). If anything is missing, let your building supervisor know.
- Read the VKRP Spring Manual – refer to Fall Manual if needed
- Review the VKRP online training modules on the VKRP web portal
- Watch the Spring EMAS video demonstration
- Review the items on the CBRS (Appendix B in manuals) and take observational notes to remind yourself when it is time to score online.
- Practice the assessments online (until comfortable with the script and manipulatives).
- Teachers from Augusta County recently shared that being familiar with the manipulatives and having them organized helps the assessment go faster.
- Create a plan (either alone or with your K team or building supervisor) for assessments, coverage for your classroom, quiet and undisturbed locations to assess, etc.
- Verify your class list is up-to-date in PALS (and in VKRP) and reach out to appropriate staff for help with changes.
Q: If I need to take a break during the math assessment, how do I save my student’s responses?
A: The EMAS is designed to continually save your data while you assess without any additional actions necessary. To exit out of the EMAS with one student, just click on your “HOME” button in the menu at the top of the VKRP page.
Q: Will the spring EMAS be the same as the fall version?
A: Common items exist between the fall and spring assessments; however, new skills not assessed in the fall will be covered in the spring EMAS. Be aware that you will notice some items that measure skills more aligned with first grade. Further explanation below.
Q: Why were there skills beyond the beginning of kindergarten included on the fall EMAS?
A: Combining teacher feedback and analyzing many years of data from the math assessment, we designed additional items that would help measure a broader range of skills because we saw a substantial number of students achieving a maximum score on the fall EMAS. We do not expect that a student will get all of the items correct on the EMAS – in fall or in spring. The EMAS is not intended to be a cumulative, outcome-based measure like an SOL-type test. The EMAS provides a snapshot of an individual student’s skills at a point in time to allow us to target instruction to meet that student’s needs, both scaffolding skill development and challenging skills for further growth.
More questions? VKRP provides support via the online chat feature when you are in the system, via email email@example.com, and via toll free 866-301-8278 ext. 1