Frequently Asked Questions
What is VKRP?
The Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP), based at The University of Virginia, expands the assessment of children's literacy skill in kindergarten, to include the domains of mathematics, self-regulation, and social skills. Learn more about the mission of VKRP.
What is the purpose of VKRP?
The University of Virginia has partnered with school divisions across the Commonwealth and the Virginia Department to Education to create a common comprehensive kindergarten readiness assessment. This assessment system adds mathematics, self-regulation, and social skills to the literacy skills already assessed with the PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening). VKRP provides user-friendly integrated performance reports of kindergarten skills that are linked to instructional resources at the student and classroom levels. Learn more about the research behind kindergarten readiness and how VKRP works.
What does the new legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly say about participation in the VKRP?
The Virginia General Assembly legislation requires all kindergarten students be assessed using the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) by the end of the 2019-2020 school-year, and annually thereafter (HB5002, Item 128, H). The VKRP team has developed and piloted a spring assessment and will continue to offer professional development sessions on how to effectively use VKRP data to inform instruction. With the funding appropriated over two years, the Virginia Department of Education will coordinate with school divisions and the VKRP team to efficiently onboard divisions for statewide use of the multi-dimensional assessments across the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.
Will participating in the VKRP require any costs from school divisions?
No. UVA researchers will train teachers and other personnel and provide all of the assessment materials without any cost to your division. Divisions should select personnel to be trained as a VKRP Trainer. VKRP will offer these Train-the-Trainer sessions to both newly participating and returning school divisions.
What training will teachers receive to implement VKRP?
Representatives from each school division are trained by the VKRP staff. Teachers then participate in in-person on online training before the school year begins. These trainings provide an overview of the different VKRP components, including the assessments, reports, and linked instructional resources.
What assessments are utilized?
Students' mathematics skills are assessed using a teacher-administered direct assessment and their self-regulation and social skills are assessed using a rating scale completed by teachers. Learn more about these assessments.
When is the VKRP assessment window?
VKRP recommends that teachers conduct the mathematics assessments and complete the social skills and self-regulation ratings in the two to three weeks prior to the PALS assessments.
How will VKRP help teachers use the data?
Teachers will have access to student and classroom-level reports on four critical domains of kindergarten readiness: mathematics, self-regulation, social skills, and literacy skills. The reports link teachers to instructional resources they can use at the classroom and individual student level. The VKRP online system also contains informational documents about interpreting and using the reports.
How can school divisions share information about VKRP assessments with families?
VKRP provides a family letter to use as a template. School divisions can adapt the letter to meet the needs of their families, such as including information about the division's assessment schedule or local contacts. Teachers have access to a family report for each student and family-focused resources within their VKRP web portal.