Fairland kindergartners take first #039;test#039; as school begins

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2005

PROCTORVILLE - Kindergarten students at Fairland East Elementary may only be a few days into their first school years but many were smiling and enjoying themselves as they began testing this week.

"The tests are fun," kindergarten student Jennifer Cremeans said. Cremeans is in Bonnie Dennison's class. Cremeans said she likes kindergarten but recess is her favorite part of the day.

Fairland School District does its kindergarten testing at the beginning of the school year. Administrative assistant Peggy Keeney said they have tried screening at various times, but the beginning of the year works best for them.

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The students are taken to eight different stations where they are screened on things such as language, basic concepts - in, on, under and between - hearing and vision and syntax and semantics.

The state also requires that students take the kindergarten readiness assessment. Each kindergarten teacher tests their own students for this test. Keeney said that the testing takes about four days total. They test two rooms a day. First graders who did not attend kindergarten at Fairland are also screened.

"We find out what areas they are weak in and we seek intervention in the areas that they are weak," Keeney said explaining how the testing is beneficial to the students.

The screening also helps the teachers and administrators see the class as a whole, and perhaps see what certain areas they need to focus on during the school year. It gives them an idea about where the class is as a whole.

Screening also helps with special areas such as speech and occupational therapy and determines whether or not a student needs further testing.

After the screening is complete, Keeney said that the school has a day on which parents can come in and have the screening results explained to them. Parents are also given handouts on ways to work with their children.

Students MariKate Polcyn, Shelby Wallace and Hunter Evanich said that they liked being in kindergarten and although the tests are fun to do, they like going outside and playing with their friends the best.

"I like the basketball courts," Evanich said as he waited to be screened. "They have two."

Although they are enjoying themselves at the beginning of the school year, students have a big year ahead of them. Keeney said that the children learn to read and write before they leave kindergarten. The students all keep a journal that is sent home to parents at the end of the school year.

"It's really neat to watch how the children progress," Keeney said. "We have wonderful kindergarten teachers, top of the line. They have high expectations."