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More Howard County Children Show Readiness for School

January 31st, 2019

School readiness among incoming Howard County kindergarteners is improving, and students are better prepared on average than their peers across the state, according to Maryland’s 2018 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA), released in January 2019.

Research demonstrates that starting kindergarten well-prepared to actively participate in the kindergarten curriculum sets children on a path to long-term success throughout school and life. Kindergarten readiness is an important component of the HCPSS Strategic Call to Action, which includes school readiness and the KRA among the critical outcomes and performance measures for the school system.

The KRA was administered by all Maryland kindergarten teachers at the start of the current school year, between the first day of school and October 10, 2018. The assessment measures students’ mastery of skills, knowledge and behaviors in four categories: Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Social Foundations, and Physical Well-being and Motor Development. Each school system had the option of measuring all or a sample of kindergarteners. In Howard County, the KRA was administered to 31 percent of the system’s 4,000 kindergarten students.

For 2018-2019, 56 percent of Howard County kindergarteners demonstrated school readiness, an increase from 54 percent in 2017-2018. In comparison, 47 percent of Maryland kindergarteners demonstrated readiness this year, up from 45 percent in 2017-2018.

Thirty-one percent of Howard County students are considered “approaching,” meaning they possess some but not all of the needed skills and behaviors; while 13 percent are “emerging,” or possessing a minimal level of readiness. Across Maryland, 33 percent are approaching, and 20 percent are emerging.

While the data show progress overall, achievement gaps remain among student groups. The readiness rate is 30 percent among Howard County students affected by poverty; 12 percent among English language learners, and 15 percent among children with disabilities.

Additional details are provided on the Maryland State Department of Education website, and in School Readiness Matters, a report prepared by Ready at Five.

Learn more about how HCPSS is preparing children beginning at birth for a lifetime of success.