Who We Are
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) originally partnered with the Region 4 Education Service Center (ESC) in 2021 to provide additional support of the mandated Kindergarten beginning-of-year literacy screener through a Kindergarten Assessment Support grant, which is known as the KAS Initiative. The two Commissioner-approved screeners supported by the grant include mCLASS Texas by Amplify and Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment (TX-KEA) by Children’s Learning Institute (CLI).
The purpose of the grant was not to replace current services provided by Education Service Centers or assessment vendors, but rather to find other areas that would assist Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in Texas with successful implementation of a Kindergarten Assessment tool. This initiative was created as a result of House Bill 3 to support districts and open-enrollment charters with the grant project goals:
As the grant work progressed, the KAS Initiative's work expanded into supporting various TEA early childhood assessment work, and was rewarded with the Early Childhood Assessment Support (ECAS) grant to continue the projects supporting the established grant goals. The KAS/ECAS team also expanded from one to five people over the life of the two grants.
One area of grant work to support the adoption and implementation of the Kindergarten Literacy Screeners from the two, Commissioner-approved vendors was to partner with vendors to provide grant-funded professional development trainings. These trainings were free-of-charge for public, Texas education stakeholders and addressed various training needs throughout the school year.
Offerings for School Years 21–22 and 22–23:
Specific training titles were curated for classroom educators, and customized for educators who are new and returning to the Kindergarten literacy screener assessments.View Offerings
Training titles for instructional leaders (instructional coaches, campus and district administration, district leaders, etc.) were curated and customized to support Kindergarten Literacy assessment implementation across the school and/or district and to support data-driven instruction. A series of training of trainers (TOTs) sessions were also made available to develop capacity within school and district teams.View Offerings
Customized sessions were made available to ESC Specialists to prepare them for supporting their regional LEAs, as well as to develop their capacity and knowledge base around the Kindergarten literacy screeners.View Offerings