HCPSS MPIA Request #2018-332

Requested Information
1) I request the specific criteria and test/evaluation instrument used to determine whether a child is eligible for early admission into Howard County Kindergarten. I understand the published criteria for admission located at these resources: https://www.hcpss.org/enroll/early-admission/kindergarten/ and https://www.hcpss.org/f/schools/kindergarten/kindergarten-early-admission-timeline-info.pdf

These resources detail THAT a test/evaluation will be conducted, but omits specifically what is evaluated. "... only children who meet rigorous admission standards will be accepted early into the kindergarten program. To meet these rigorous standards, children must have demonstrated exceptional ability in social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development." "The testing results, along with the other application information, will be used to determine early admission to school. " I request the specific test/evaluation procedures, questions, and instrument used during the test/evaluation.

2) Once accepted for early-admission into Kindergarten, children are subject to further evaluation, as detailed in the previously referenced resources. "However, all children admitted early into kindergarten will be observed for a 30-calendar-day trial period at the beginning of the school year to determine if their classroom performance reflects the skills, abilities, and disposition needed for continuing as an early admission student." I request the specific test/evaluation procedures, questions, and instrument used during the test/evaluation.
Response Notes

Under MPIA GP § 4-345 an agency may deny inspection of the part of a record that would be contrary to the public interest, specifically examination information related to academic matters. As such, we are withholding the Howard County Public School System’s Early Admission Assessment that contains the specific test questions used during early kindergarten admission assessments. The broad subjects evaluated can be found in the sample response letter released below. 

Regarding the evaluation of a child after they have been admitted to early kindergarten, our Office of Early Childhood Programs indicates there are not specific documents or procedures used by teachers, but rather if there is a concern about the appropriate placement of any child in a kindergarten classroom they work on a case-by-case basis to determine how to best support that child. For reference, a teacher would likely be looking for the assessment items found in the Developmental Checklist A released below. 

Responsive Documents
Sample response letters sent to parents once materials have been scored/assessed, which include the areas and scoring system used to determine early admission.

*Some request language is summarized to include the requester's specific document requests and legally protected information (such as personally identifiable information of a student) or personal, defamatory and malicious content removed at the discretion of the school system.

**Responses containing legally protected information available only to the person of interest are omitted from the above report.

***Howard County Public Schools reserves the right to remove erroneous or outdated documents from this site.