LEONARDTOWN, Md. (July 29, 2009)—Since the 2001-2002 school year, St. Mary's County Public Schools' kindergarten students have been evaluated by their teachers using the Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR) Kindergarten Assessment. This assessment provides data documenting what children know and are able to do when they start formal education in the public school system.
School readiness acknowledges individual approaches toward learning as well as the unique experiences and backgrounds of each child. The MMSR Kindergarten Assessment is a customized version of the Work Sampling System® which is grouped in seven domains with indicators of learning expectations for each domain. Teachers, care givers, and parents can help build a child's skills and abilities in each domain through a variety of activities. The seven domains are: Social and Personal Development, Language and Literacy, Mathematical Thinking, Scientific Thinking, Social Studies, The Arts, and Physical Development.
This year's results for St. Mary's County Public Schools' kindergarten students show that more children are starting kindergarten better prepared than last school year. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of the 2008-2009 entering kindergarten students were evaluated by their teachers as "fully" ready for kindergarten. This is a ten percent (10%) increase over the previous year and a thirty percent (30%) increase since 2001-2002. St. Mary's County Public Schools' students surpassed the results for the State of Maryland of seventy-three percent (73%) "fully" ready for kindergarten.
This statistically significant increase from 2001 - 2002 occurred in the composite scores of Language and Literacy and Mathematical Thinking. The increase in Language and Literacy since 2001-2002 is twenty-eight percent and the increase in Mathematical Thinking is twenty-four percent.
A considerable amount of brain and child development research concludes that the most critical learning happens prior to kindergarten, from birth through six years old. Everything that happens to us from the day we are born builds the foundation for future learning and living. These increases will continue through the hard work of the early childhood community to improve the early learning opportunities for all the youngest learners in St. Mary's County.
Source: St. Mary's County Public Schools