ERIC Number: ED427035
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jul-14
Reference Count: N/A
Developmental Program Evaluation.
Chesapeake Public Schools, VA. Office of Program Evaluation.
The Developmental Program of the Chesapeake Public School Division (Virginia) is designed to provide a year between kindergarten and first grade for the academically able student who is not ready for the structure of the regular first grade because of physical, emotional, or social (developmental) immaturity. It is an all-day, full-year program that served 212 students in 18 elementary schools in 1996-97. An evaluation of the program's operation for that school year examined how the program was implemented, the academic success of the students, benefits to students, parental satisfaction, the satisfaction of the educators involved, and the status of the program. Surveys of principals, teachers, and parents, and achievement data for 39 students from the 1991-92 Developmental Program were conducted. Findings reveal that the Developmental Program is not being implemented as originally intended. The program no longer serves just the academically able who are developmentally immature. Selection criteria vary from school to school, and the resulting student population is mixed. This is of some concern to teachers and parents. The program is a high-cost retention program, with a per-pupil personnel cost 82% higher than for a regular first grader. Overall achievement gains appear to be short-lived. Former students currently in the fifth grade scored below the school average and below the 50th percentile on the standardized achievement test, and none had managed to catch up with their kindergarten peers in the sixth grade. One third of former students have been placed in learning disabled or special education programs. Current parents (97% of 37 respondents) and past parents (86% of 29) and principals (89% of 14) are satisfied with the program, and most agree that the quality of teaching is high and the social and emotional needs of these children are being met. Recommendations for the school district include the study of some alternatives to the developmental program and the establishment of guidelines for the selection of students. Ten appendixes contain background documents related to the study. (Contains 14 charts.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Chesapeake Public Schools, VA. Office of Program Evaluation.