The Big Picture

The Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) is a partnership between the University of Virginia, the Virginia Department of Education, and school divisions across the Commonwealth to create a comprehensive kindergarten readiness assessment. In connection with PALS, which assesses students' literacy skills, VKRP expands the assessment to add a focus on mathematics, self-regulation, and social skills.

What Research Shows

In 2014, UVA conducted a pilot study of VKRP using a state representative sample and found that 34% of students entered kindergarten in Virginia behind their peers in one or more of the four key readiness skills (mathematics, self-regulation, social skills, literacy). Children falling below the benchmark are struggling to master basic skills such as identifying letters, connecting letters to letter sounds, counting to 20, naming basic shapes, following a teacher's instructions, persisting on a new task, and sharing with classmates.

How VKRP Can Help

VKRP's mission is to measure kindergarten readiness across these critical learning domains so teachers can better support student learning and development. During this first year of formal schooling, kindergarten students are introduced to an immense amount of information. Kindergarten teachers have the challenging responsibility to take a classroom of young students from very diverse backgrounds, with different skill levels and different experiences, and help them to become effective learners..

A Quick Glance at VKRP

At the Start...

Children enter kindergarten

Students enter kindergarten with varying skills in mathematics, self-regulation, social skills and literacy. One in four Virginia kindergarteners enters below the benchmark in one or more of these areas.


Children are assessed

VKRP, in collaboration with PALS, assesses kindergarteners during the first four to six weeks of school in these four critical learning domains.


Teachers receive resources for individualized instruction

Teachers receive classroom and student-level reports, which link directly to recommended resources based on assessment data. This helps teachers individualize and focus classroom instruction.

...Blast Off!

Children are more prepared for elementary school

In the spring, teachers assess children's skills and see how much they have grown! By the end of kindergarten, the goal of VKRP is for students to leave more prepared to learn and succeed in future grades to come. Learn more about how VKRP works.