South Coast kids tested before school

NORTH BEND, Ore. -- Before their teacher even took attendance, kindergarten students on the South Coast were given an assessment.

As part of a new statewide study, kindergarten students in the Coos Bay and North Bend school districts were being tested before the school year even began.

Diana Hull, the district testing coordinator, says it helps to see what level the kids are at before they even start school. "It basically is to see where are kids coming in, are they ready to be here and are there things we need to be looking at prior to their entering kindergarten."

Benchmark testing at the beginning of school isn't new, but the school doesn't get to see the results of this assessment right away. "We're not sure when we're going to see, or if we're going to see the results from this readiness test, but we do our own benchmark testing so we know where to place kids academically," said Hillcrest principal Bruce Martin.

To avoid having to test students twice, the district hopes that in the future test results will be given back to the schools.

A student's performance on the test has no weight on whether or not they are allowed to begin kindergarten, it is more a way to see statewide how prepared students are as they begin school, officials said.