Meadow Montessori School provides a year-round educational program with an individualized curriculum. As such, a child may enroll at any point during the year. Prior to enrollment, a prospective student will be introduced to a classroom and to the school by a staff member. The student will also be interviewed by a staff member before starting school.
Students ages three to six will also participate in a classroom observation. The child will visit the classroom for about half an hour while a staff member evaluates his or her school-readiness. Evaluating a child for school-readiness is important to do prior to the kindergarten year.
Why Early Childhood Programs Evaluate Students For School-Readiness
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) notes that there are several purposes for assessing students for school-readiness prior to kindergarten or early on within the Kindergarten year:
To Improve Teaching and Learning:
Screeners help teachers identify the strengths and needs of every child. Once identified, teachers can use that information to guide their instruction and adapt their teaching. This information allows teachers to teach to the individual child, rather than teaching every child by the same curriculum at the same rate.
To Help Recognize Students Who May Potentially Have Special Needs:
A screener is not a tool that that can positively identify a child with special needs. A screening, however, can give an indication of whether a child’s development is within the range of what is typically expected for children of the same age. A screener may indicate to parents, teachers, or specialists if the child should be referred for a detailed, in-depth evaluation.
To Provide an Assessment of Children in the Community as They Begin Kindergarten:
Some communities or states utilize the data from readiness assessments to monitor trends. For example, looking at a group of kindergarten students’ readiness assessments from 2012 and then from another group in 2015 might let a community know if students in 2015 are coming to school better prepared for kindergarten in 2015 than in 2012. This may help a community determine children’s programs, including quality educational daycare in Richmond, preschool in Richmond, and more programs in the area need to be strengthened or redesigned.