This is a question I hear all too often and frankly something that has always bothered me about educational lingo. Most schools will invite Kindergarten families to what is called “round-up” or “Kindergarten readiness” or (my least favorite) a “Kindergarten screening.” The word screening instantly implies that there might be a possibility that your child may not get in—which is simply not the case.

Then what is a screening?

What often happens during these types of assessments is nothing more than a screen that provides a tool to learn more about your child. Most schools perform what is called the DIAL assessment. That stands for “Developmental Indicator for the Assessment of Learning.” It is commonly used and will help the school that your child attends to understand where your child is beginning and what needs they may have. Can he catch and throw a ball; does he have good hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills? Can she cut out a dinosaur with this pair of scissors; does she have developed fine motor skills. Do they know their alphabet and can they pick out rhyming words; does your child have certain very basic knowledge and language development?

This test is meant to help schools build classrooms with students at varying learning levels. It is supposed to help schools place students with teachers that can best serve their needs. This test may help a parent decide if now is the right time to start kindergarten, however that choice belongs to you. You are always in charge of your child’s education. This is not a test to get into Kindergarten.

Show Me KC Schools is here to help parents along their educational journey.  Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have along the way.