School districts report the type of kindergarten program offered in their district on the spring Basic Educational Data Survey (BEDS). The types of kindergarten programs reported include all day every day, half day every day, alternate day, three days a week, and other combinations. School districts in Iowa are required by Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) 279.60 to administer a valid and reliable universal screening instrument, as prescribed by the Iowa Department of Education (Department) to every kindergarten student enrolled in the district no later than October 1. The Department integrated this legislative change with the IAC 279.68 regarding early literacy. The Department provides a list of approved assessments that can be used to implement the requirements of IAC 279.68; however, a district may administer an assessment that is not on the list as long as it addresses technical adequacy.
The percentage of buildings using FAST as a universal screening of early literacy skills in kindergarten has continued to increase annually. The FAST earlyReading Composite provides an estimate of broad early literacy skills during the fall screening window, typically within the first six weeks of school. FAST assessments during the fall of kindergarten include Concepts of Print (requires learner to distinguish among familiar literacy cues related to print such as directionality, letter or word order), Letter Names (requires the learner to expressively name visually presented upper and lower case letters), Onset Sounds (requires learner to identify sounds found at the beginning of words), and Letter Sounds (requires the learner to provide sounds for visually presented upper and lowercase letters).
Available upon request.