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Trimble children score above state in screening

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By JACOB BLAIR
The Trimble Banner Intern
Some of Trimble County’s youngest students helped the school district surpass the state average scores during the first year of a standardized kindergarten screening.
Trimble County’s future kindergarten students were screened at readiness levels of 52.0 percent as determined by the 2013 BRIGANCE screening system, according to the 2014 Early Childhood Profile. The system allows the screener to enter a child’s scores during the 10-minute session and will send the results back to a school district. The statewide average was 49.0 percent for kindergarten readiness.
“We were pleased,” said Rebecca Moore, instructional supervisor for the Trimble County Board of Education.
This is the first year the district has implemented this standardized screening that was given to between 100 and 110 students, Moore said. Administering a standardized kindergarten screening for all registered students was not a state requirement prior to this year. Students who attended Head Start or preschool with the district did go through a similar screening process before this year.
When children are screened according to this process, the person conducting the examination looks at five different categories: general knowledge, language and communication, physical well-being, self-help and social-emotional behaviors.
Trimble County students scored below the state average in general knowledge, but scored above state averages in language and communication skills, physical well-being, self-help skills and social-emotional behavioral skills.
Moore said these scores help show where more emphasis is needed during early age instruction at Head Start and preschool; however, because the screening is a 10-minute snapshot, she said the screening results might not match performance in the classroom.
“It’s not always indicative of what a child can do,” Moore said.
Moore said the district would continue to do literacy and school readiness programs throughout the summer, with help from the Trimble County Public Library, to get students ready for kindergarten.
Area counties ranked as follows for kindergarten readiness: Carroll County, 43.3 percent ready; Gallatin County, 31.3 percent ready; Henry County, 51.8 percent; and Owen County with 66.9 percent of children screened ready for kindergarten, according to the 2014 Early Childhood Profile.
The district had 106 students enrolled in kindergarten classes during the 2012-2013 academic year, according to the report.
The report also released testing averages from third grade statewide testing assessments conducted in 2012-2013. The average statewide was 43.6 percent in mathematics and 47.7 percent in reading. Trimble County scored 42.4 percent in mathematics and 40.4 percent in reading.  All of the neighboring counties tested below the state averages in both mathematics and reading.