(July 19, 2020) Early Childhood Education Specialist Todd Hall and Coordinator of Instruction for Special Education Windy Phillips gave a presentation on state and local Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) to the Worcester County Board of Education at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 16.

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Worcester County exceeds all other counties in the state in average school readiness levels ac- cording to recent Kindergarten Readiness Assessment data that was presented to the Worcester County Board of Education at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 16.

“I am very happy to announce that for the second year in a row, we are number one in the state in our KRA data,” said Denise Shorts, chief academic officer for grades preschool through eighth grade.

With results of 64 percent fully prepared to participate in the kindergarten curriculum, Worcester County far exceeds the state’s kindergarteners demonstrated readiness at only 47 percent.

“But even though we’re ranking one … it doesn’t say 1oo [percent],” Hall said.

Hall added that the number of county students in the emerging readiness category for students who show minimal foundational skills and behaviors has decreased to 8 percent.

“Although we are moving in the right direction, we have gaps,” Hall said. “As you can see, our white students continue to outperform the other groups. Our Asian students are at 67 percent which is pretty close [to white students].”

White students in the county demonstrate 70 percent readiness, whereas black and Hispanic students remain in the 50-55 percent range for readiness. 

In addition, English learners demonstrated just above 50 percent readiness as compared to fluent English speakers who are 65 percent.

According to the Hall and Phillips presentation, there is also a gender disparity in the display of readiness. Female students demonstrated 71 percent readiness in contrast to male students, who showed 57 percent readiness. 

Worcester County is also ranked the highest in students with disabilities who displayed school readiness throughout Maryland.

“We are number one. That’s where we should have been all along,” Phillips said. “Being number one means we’re doing what’s best for our students and families.”

Phillips added that action in special education programs led to a significant gain in performance in students with disabilities since the 2017-18 school year. 

Over two years, there was 23 percent gain in readiness for students with disabilities. 

For more information, visit worcesterk12.org.

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