In March 2014, the Independent School Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY) board determined that Independent schools in New York no longer needed to use the ECAA (ERB) test as a standardized exam for admissions. Two new assessments were developed to give schools alternative options. These new assessments include the AABL, an iPad-based assessment created by the ERB, and the Kindergarten Readiness Task (KRT), an iPad-based assessment created by ISAAGNY. In addition to testing, and in many cases in lieu of any standardized testing, independent schools also schedule school visits, or play dates, to provide an opportunity for teachers and admissions specialists to interact with an d observe young children as they explore carefully-designed activities that simulate classroom learning and social experiences.
For children who are preparing for the ECAA (ERB), the AABL, or school play dates, we believe it is important to begin kindergarten admissions preparation with an understanding that there is tremendous value in the process itself, regardless of test scores. The skills that we are teaching and practicing with students will be leveraged both in the classroom and at home.
Our teachers’ methodologies are informed by scholarly research and best practices about child development and pedagogy. To that end, we leverage our curriculum, instructional expertise, and curated materials. As early childhood and elementary educators, we value developing the skills necessary for a successful ongoing school experience. These skills include:
- Working memory and mental flexibility
- Developing persistence and stamina
- Increased oral language and vocabulary
- The ability to speak in complete sentences with appropriate detail
- Sequencing and patterning
- Number sense, ordinality and size comparison
- Self regulation and impulse control
As a general process, students begin with a diagnostic assessment that serves as a baseline for moving forward; this diagnostic is conducted by one of our Directors with expertise in Early Childhood and Kindergarten education in a 1:1 setting. Our team then prepares a narrative report, which puts the student’s performance into context and offers specific recommendations, allowing for the most efficient use of each student’s instructional hours with his or her teachers. Our materials package includes a selection of educationally enriching games and materials that will benefit ECAA, AABL, or KRT preparation as well as school visits and broader Kindergarten readiness.
Our Leadership Team, Tutors and Specialists work closely with parents and caregivers to help young students prepare for the Kindergarten transition. Our primary goal is to help young children develop age-appropriate skills through structured play and by creating safe learning environments that encourage risk-taking and persistence. A 3 or 4 year old’s first experience with school should kindle a love for lifelong learning. Therefore, it’s our mission to help each student reach his or her full potential by becoming a confident, successful, and lifelong learner. With preschool enrichment and kindergarten readiness, we especially believe that slow and steady wins the race. The Kindergarten admissions process is an opportunity for meaningful learning.
Please contact our office to discuss your family’s Kindergarten admissions and Kindergarten Readiness needs in more detail. We look forward to partnering with you on this exciting journey.