My experience spans many decades, so some of it is likely not applicable to your situation, with none of it more recent than for our college student. But fwiw...
The standard for early entry to kindy historically (as in, since the mid 1900s) really has been that students do need to be in the 90+ %ile--often even higher than that (95 and 99 are both common). Keep in mind that this could be the first formal school experience for a child, so there may not be substantive data on their actual ability to navigate a school day, peer relationships, on-demand tasks, executive functions/self-regulatory skills. The testing has to be a reasonably robust predictor of their likelihood of success on all dimensions of K, but not all of them can be tested. Having exceptionally strong skills in the domains that can be assessed can be one way that districts try to maximize the probability that the child will be able to manage the aspects that are not assessed, especially if they turn out to be not as strong. Is it possible that there's an excess of caution here? Perhaps, but if there is, it's not original.
As to the assessments, there is really no way to know what they are using if they don't tell you. There are many possible options. Certainly the district might use FastBridge, but since that is designed for screening and progress monitoring, that might not be ideal. It's challenging, of course, to find instruments that are appropriate for this use in children who are very young and may have varying levels of prior exposure to instruction or assessment. The note that no preparation is needed suggests that it's probably an individually-administered assessment (rather than an automated computer based test), so likely something more like the WIAT-4, KTEA-3, TERA-4/TEMA-3, or even just their end-of-year assessment out of the district's reading and math curriculum. The last would be the most straightforward in terms of performance in the district, but also the least likely to have percentiles. Or it could be something like the NWEA MAP, which is computer-adaptive.
When we early-entered our DC to first grade (skipped K), the private school administered their standard K/1 screening instrument, but used the criteria for 1st grade entry. Eons ago, when I was early-entered to K, the district used a very labor-intensive process involving two separate individually-administered cognitive assessments, a comprehensive individually-administered achievement test, and a trial period prior to the school year starting. The equivalent today would be like taking a WPPSI-IV, a SB5, a KTEA-3 and attending K for a few weeks, all prior to making a decision on early entry.
And my experience with evaluating children for early entry to K (or preschoolers in general) has been that they really do not need preparation. The preparation is all on the part of the evaluator, who needs to be skilled with testing small children, and interpreting the resulting data. Every district has access to staff or contract evaluators who work with their preschoolers, since federal child-find requires this function.
Last edited by aeh; 04/28/22 12:43 PM.