Readiness in Santa Clara County

How ready are children in Santa Clara County?

SCCPSR - Readiness in Santa Clara CountyWith leadership from Silicon Valley Community Foundation and PSR, school readiness assessments have become a valued community indicator in both Santa Clara County and San Mateo County.  We have worked collaboratively to develop a common methodology and have co-sponsored community forums to share the results of our research built on the Kindergarten Observation Form developed in San Mateo County with help from Applied Survey Research (ASR).  Over time we built a strong baseline of data and analysis of the profiles of readiness skills of children, the teacher expectations, and the family practices / early childhood experiences of children in Silicon Valley.  The most recent comprehensive assessments with representative samples of children in both counties was conducted in 2008.  The data collected between 2001 and 2008 was also used in a longitudinal analysis prepared by ASR in December 2010 (School Readiness and Student Achievement: A Longitudinal Analysis of Santa Clara and San Mateo County Students). 

We are now looking to align our work with the new school readiness assessment tool standard sponsored by the California Department of Education (CDE).  CDE, in collaboration with the WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies and UC Berkeley–BEAR center, recently developed the Desired Results Developmental Profile–School Readiness (DRDP-SR©) assessment instrument. The DRDP-SR© is aligned to the California Preschool learning Foundations, the California Kindergarten content Standards and the Common Core Standards. It builds on the DRDP family of tools that are currently in use across California in infant/toddler, preschool and after-school programs.   CDE plans to link the DRDP-SR© with CalPADS in time for the 2013-14 school year. The data collected will be used to monitor trends in readiness, and to report progress for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant at both the state and county level.

The CA Department of Education positions the DRDP-SR© as a recommended part of the implementation of Transitional Kindergarten (TK).  This is increasing the awareness level among the district assistant superintendents and principals, and their willingness to consider it for their new TK classrooms.  As part of the recruiting process, we need to encourage school districts to align their TK and K assessment processes so that we end up with an appropriate balance of TK and K classrooms.

Our long-term goal continues to be institutionalizing school readiness measurement. Although we have conducted readiness measurements in both counties through several cycles, there is very little institutional memory about the process.  We want to shift the focus from asking teachers to participate in a research study to building momentum for district ownership for aligning the early education and elementary assessment systems. For the 2012-13 school year, our goals include:

• Build upon our history of previous school readiness assessments that include referencing children’s skills with teacher expectations and early experiences.
• Build momentum for “universal”, institutional application of the state-recommended tools for school readiness. 
• Align Santa Clara County and San Mateo County methodology and messaging
• Demonstrate effective use of the aggregated DRDP-SR© data as a community indicator and to inform the Race to the Top and First 5 child signature projects.
• Explore the impact of early childhood interventions (e.g. home visiting, kindergarten transition programs, parent education) on the readiness of populations at risk for low academic achievement, including English learners, children with special needs, children who did not attend preschool, and children whose parents did not attend college or who live in low-income households.
• Make it easy for teachers to implement in real-world classroom settings.

Past reports describing readiness in Santa Clara County are listed here:


September 2009
School Readiness in Santa Clara County
Results of the 2008 Assessment


Full Report


Data Highlights



Fall 2008
A Summary of School Readiness in Two High-Need Schools
Results of a Comprehensive Assessment Effort in Two
Targeted Santa Clara County Elementary Schools


September 2009
Data Brief:
Attitudes and Practices of ECE Providers in Santa Clara County: An Initial Exploration of Providers in High-Need Regions
This telephone survey of ECE providers in under-served regions of the county explores the beliefs, attitudes and practices related to developmental screening, connecting with parents and local elementary schools, and measuring quality.


September 2009
Data Brief:
Examining Elementary School Practices in Santa Clara County: Results of the June 2009 Survey of
Elementary School Principals

This internet survey of elementary school principals explores their relationships with ECE feeder programs, and their practices regarding readiness assessment, improving student success and parent and community engagement.