There seems to be lots of questions each year about what is on the CAIS (Charlotte Area Independent Schools) tests for pre-schoolers. First of all, not all private schools participate in CAIS testing. The private schools that do require it (as of today) are:
Charlotte Christian School
Charlotte Country Day School
Charlotte Latin School
Charlotte Preparatory School
Providence Day School and
Trinity Episcopal School
The CAIS test looks at kindergarten readiness in a variety of areas. The CAIS testing for preschool students are administered by a licensed psychologist that is on the CAIS approved list. For the 2014-15 school year, there are 10 psychologists that can administer testing, including: Melanie Powell, Frank Gaskill (Southeast Psych) and Trey Ishee (Southeast Psych).
The assessment is the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI-IV). Here are some of the areas it tests:
Often, we get occupational therapy referrals from these CAIS tests. The psychologists will note a deficit in an area that needs improvement and suggest O.T. prior to entrance to kindergarten. Really good psychologists will also note children who need to work on their pencil grasp, handwriting, motor skills and processing speed. Sometimes a referral is made to a speech therapist if verbal areas need improvement.
There are times when a child will get "conditional" acceptance to a school based on the criteria that a child makes improvement in a needed area. Schools may even ask for a written progress report from speech or occupational therapy to demonstrate adequate progress and parental involvement.
Be sure and get your appointment preferences set with us now for summer of 2013! Whether your child needs occupational therapy for fine motor, handwriting, kindergarten readiness or even Interactive Metronome...we are here! Miss. Caroline will also be taking appointments to see kids for speech therapy. We look forward to seeing you then!
Welcome to our 2nd year of summer camps at Learning Charms! We are excited about our camps and another fun summer!
All of our camps max out at 15 campers (with "My Kindergarten Friends" maxing 20) with a ratio of at least 1 staff to each 5 kids. Each camp has ample play in our 1,000 square foot gym each day. Some themes for this year include: Kooky Pens and Smencils (handwriting), Recycled Art and Green Thumbs (art /composting/gardening), Camp PLAY, Sensational Speech (led by speech therapist), Fancy Little Girls' Camp (all girls! crafts/arts), Fancy Letter Girls' Camp, Fine Motor Madness (crafts/arts/fine motor/gross motor fun), and more!
Remember that camps will close once we have registered 15 campers, so be sure to register now and get in on the fun!
Parents of rising JK and kindergarten: We now have two "clubs" especially for this age group. The Going to Kindergarten Club is a two hour, drop off class to encourage fine motor and handwriting skills in a fun and movement based curriculum. This is ideal for boys that need a little boost prior to formal school.
We also have the "Early Writer's Club" . This is a drop off class that is ideal for rising K students who are ready to learn a formal handwriting program. This is a great class that is movement based and also has fun arts and crafts to encourage handwriting and fine motor skills.
These are fun ways to prepare your child for kindergarten and to give mom and dad some time to get those errands done! Handwriting component is taught using Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. Screening is required for both clubs and space is limited to 5 children per club.
I hear it every year about this time, "I wonder if I should hold back my child or if he/she is ready for kindergarten?" or "I wonder if he is on target for skills needed for kindergarten?".
To help parents, we are offering appointments to screen for kindergarten readiness skills. This is an economical way to determine if your child is on track for kindergarten readiness. The good part is that you get plenty of information for a good price...plus you will know in advance what your child may need to work on before August is here. These screenings are completed by a pediatric occupational therapist and are $120. Read more about them here or call the office to make an appointment.
I think every Mom and Dad I have talked to is ready for school to start and for Fall to be here as well!
Along with taking time to start transitioning your kids back into the Fall schedule, be sure to talk with them about any changes they may experience this year, especially for those kids making a transition to a new school. For K and JK students, it is important to talk to the kids about what they will do during the school day and what the expectations will be. Kids will often be quite scared or anxious to start a new school, even though they may not talk about it. Here are a few tips about things to talk about and even practice for the rising Kindergarten students:
Talk about: what happens when they get to school, what they do at the end of the day (how they get home/behaviors while on the bus or while waiting), what they should do if they have to go to the bathroom during the day, how to ask for help, talk about that some things might be difficult and what to do if they get scared/upset/mad/etc, when they will see you, who they might know and see at school, & behaviors they should have when walking through the hallway or at lunch.
Practice: Pronouncing teacher's name, putting contents into backpack (including lunchbox and a folder), zipping/unzipping, putting backpack on shoulder and carrying, tying shoes, stacking 5-10 pieces of odd shaped paper and putting into a 2 pocket folder, cutting simple shapes, do a mock lunch with lunchbox (if applicable) and have them eat in designated time and unpack/pack contents again, writing first and last name on a line, counting to 30 out loud, & getting clothes on, brushing teeth and leaving house with all belongings at the same time appropriate to get to school.
Happy back to school!
About the blogger: Stephanie Wick is a pediatric occupational therapist that founded and is lead O.T. at Learning Charms.
Read past Blog here