How MECK Pre-K measures your child’s growth in pre-K
There are many ways to observe a child’s growth during the pre-K years. So much is happening for them intellectually, socially and emotionally, it’s almost like seeing a new child emerge every day! As they mature, a pre-K student may develop a broader vocabulary, begin to understand basic math, become more observant about the world around them, make friends, learn problem-solving skills, and so much more.
Pre-K educators observe all of this as well. But in high quality programs like MECK Pre-K, educators may also measure growth using the most current and trusted evaluation tools. The use of these tools increases the educators’ ability to know where children are at the beginning of the school year, monitor their growth, and see how much knowledge the children have gained at the end of the school year.
MECK Pre-K uses the BRIGANCE Early Childhood Screener, which evaluates key predictors of school success across several developmental domains. Teachers use observation, interviews, and child performance to pinpoint understanding in the domains tied to early development and school or kindergarten readiness.
The key domains are:
- Physical Development
- Language Development
- Academic Skills/Cognitive Development
- Adaptive Behavior
At the start of the school year, MECK Pre-K teachers conduct what’s called a “pre-screen” using the Brigance assessment. In other words, they measure where children are in their growth at the beginning of the year. Then, at the end of the year, they conduct another assessment to see how much knowledge the children have gained.
For the 2022-2023 school year, MECK Pre-K’s assessment found that 51% of enrolled students were within normal developmental limits and 4% of children were above the gifted cutoff. By the end of the year, 54% were within normal limits and 24% were above the gifted cutoff. This means that MECK Pre-K students increased from 55% of students at or above age level to 78% at or above age level during the school year. Meanwhile, the number of students with potential delays shrank from 45% to 22% within the same timeframe. Even within those 22% of students who scored below their age level, those students still made a year’s growth. So instead of entering Kindergarten at a 2- or 3-year-old level, they entered at a 3- or 4-year-old level.
MECK Pre-K is also conducting an independent, longitudinal evaluation to track MECK Pre-K students through 5th grade to assess the long-term impacts of the program. Results of that evaluation will not be available until later but will provide priceless insights that can be used not only in our community, but in the pre-K industry as a whole.
Sign Up for MECK Pre-K!
MECK Pre-K is high quality free pre-K education open to all four-year-old children in Mecklenburg County. Classrooms are located in licensed childcare centers and taught by licensed teachers and highly qualified assistant teachers. You can apply online at MeckPreK.org.
Do you have a child who is not old enough for pre-K this year? Sign up for our email list and be notified when they’re eligible for MECK Pre-K. Simply go to MECKPrek.org/future-meck-pre-k-students and select your child’s age group.