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.
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.
About the blogger: Stephanie Wick is a pediatric occupational therapist that founded and is lead O.T. at Learning Charms.
Read past Blog here