Working together through continuous learning to improve the quality of life for all in DeKalb County, Indiana
An education initiative of the Community Foundation of DeKalb County

Early Childhood Learning: What We’re Doing and What We’ve Accomplished April 2013

Brochure Pic 1Our vision

All children in DeKalb County enter Kindergarten ready to learn as assessed by a shared definition of “readiness.”

What we’ll accomplish

90% of Kindergarten students will enter school at the benchmark “ready” for every class in every school in DeKalb County within a six-year period.

Data we’re using to measure progress

The percent of entering kindergarten students screened as “ready” based on a common definition of kindergarten readiness shared countywide.


Target Graph*In 2012, the kindergarten readiness screening tool was revised to align with the U.S. Department of Education’s expectations for letter identification.

Current status
  • 18.3% of DeKalb County children, ages 0-17, were living in poverty in 2011, up from 15.6% in 2010 (IYI Kids Count, 2012).
  • 56% of entering Kindergarten students were screened as “ready” in all three domains measured—academic, language and socio-emotional—in 2012.
What we’re doing to achieve our goalsBrochure Pic 2
  • Exploring the use of ISTAR-KR by pre-schools. ISTAR-KR is a pre-kindergarten rating scale based on a teacher’s observations of a child’s skills in five domains: English/language arts; mathematics; and physical, personal care and social-emotional skills. Available at no cost to all public schools in Indiana and to private early childhood education programs, results from ISTAR-KR can be used to: (1) determine which skills a child has mastered; and (2) identify the skills a student needs to learn next.
  • An early learning summer calendar was created for families of children entering kindergarten in the Fall. The calendar includes dates of countywide age-appropriate learning opportunities and community resources providing summer educational programs, along with suggestions for reading to your child, healthy habits, family fun and easing first day jitters.
  • A form for collecting information regarding the child’s care and educational experiences prior to entering school was added to the 2013 kindergarten-readiness screening process.
  • Continuing to create awareness around the contribution of high quality early care and learning programs to a child’s readiness for school.
  • Promoting Early Childhood Alliance’s free online childcare search feature at

Early Childhood Road Map PDF