Act 35 of 2003 (2nd Extraordinary Session of the Arkansas 84th General Assembly) requires the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) to implement a developmentally appropriate uniform school readiness screening and establish a concise system of reporting the performance. Beginning with the 2004-2005 school year, the ADE shall require all school districts to administer a statewide uniform school readiness screening to each kindergarten student upon entry of school. The state mandated screening tool will be determined within the next few months, as well as the screening time frame. Schools will not be responsible to purchase the mandated screening nor screen children prior to the first day of school.
To adhere to Act 825 of 2003, ADE recommends schools disseminate copies of the Kindergarten Readiness Indicator Checklist (KRIC) to all parents of entering kindergarten students. The checklist is on the ADE web under What’s New. The new KRIC brochures have been mailed to all kindergarten principals. Additional brochures will be sent to the educational cooperatives and will be placed on the ADE web.
In an effort to better prepare entering kindergarten students, ADE recommends all schools to continue the various kindergarten pre-registration activities. Schools are encouraged to continue administering individual school screenings/assessments as seen appropriate for placement and determination of readiness skills. If schools choose to continue specific school screenings, it is recommended that the tool address the KRIC. Continuing pre-kindergarten screenings and assessments will better prepare students and parents for kindergarten entry. ADE encourages all schools to share this information with local preschool and early childhood programs.