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The Phelps Kindergarten
Readiness Scale

LeAdelle Phelps
SUNY at Buffalo

The Phelps Kindergarten Readiness Scale is a remarkably affordable, easy to administer, and effective tool designed to quickly reveal the fundamental strengths and weaknesses that research has shown can make a major difference in a child’s later academic career. Unlike skills-based inventories, the PKRS will not measure how much a child already has learned but will open a window into his or her basic abilities, abilities that often are overlooked until it is too late to do much about them.

Research has shown that if a child has difficulties with verbal, auditory, or perceptual processing, unless they are identified and remedied, they are likely to have a negative impact on his/her entire school career. For example, we have all heard of cases where visual problems were not diagnosed early in a child’s school career, simply because the child assumed that his vision was like everyone else’s and never realized that a problem existed. The PKRS will provide an early indication that a child is experiencing moderate or severe difficulties and it will suggest appropriate remediation strategies, which may include more focused diagnostic testing.

The test will also point out those verbal, auditory, and perceptual areas in where a child shows special strengths. Teachers can then build on and leverage these strengths to promote greater academic achievement.

It is recommended that all incoming kindergarten students take the PKRS, rather than a select few. Since the test distinguishes between moderate as well as more severe divergences from the national norm and provides suggested remedial activities, educators can often initiate appropriate interventions (perhaps in concert with parents) months before the child actually starts school.

The PKRS is designed to be administered from the spring before a child enters kindergarten until the following fall. It may be administered by a variety of educational personnel and special instructions are included with the Manual for teachers and paraprofessionals. These instructions include a commentary on the differences between teaching and testing and provide simplified scoring protocols that do not require extensive statistical knowledge or training. The time required for actual test administration is usually less than 15 minutes per child.

The PKRS is available only to schools and school districts. To preserve test security, individuals and schools without formal kindergarten programs are not allowed to obtain copies of the test protocols. For more information about the test, please phone us toll-free at 1-800-639-4122.

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