At-Risk Preschool: Research Results

In a study of 432 Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) preschool students in the Berrien Regional Educational Service Area (RESA) school district in Michigan, students were assessed for oral language English proficiency using the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF) test.

Read on to learn more about the results and findings about at-risk preschool.

Students moved out of at-risk levels

English as a Second Language (ESL) and low socio-economic status students moved out of at-risk levels, contributing to the significant increase in the percent of students performing at or above their age norm. When comparing Standard English speaking students with LEP/ESL students, both groups grew significantly, but the LEP/ESL students were closing the gap. They grew at a faster rate than the Standard English speaking students. The following graph shows the pattern of growth in Expressive Vocabulary skills.

Figure 1: English Language Status Differences in Growth Pattern in Express Vocabulary Skills

The next graph shows the pattern of growth in Recalling Sentences by Lunch Status. Students receiving free or reduced lunch, which is an indication of poverty, reduced the gap between themselves and students not receiving free or reduced lunch.

Figure 2: Free/Reduced Lunch Status Differences in Growth Pattern in Recalling Sentences

Students grew faster than national peers in every category

The percent of students performing at or above their age norm increased significantly from the Fall to Spring assessment. The difference is due entirely to the improvement of at-risk students since all students who performed at or above their age norms in the Fall assessment maintained that status in the Spring assessment.

In summary, the GrapeSEED students grew faster than expected for their age. The growth was deemed highly significant, meaning it could not happen by chance.

Figure 3: Change in Percent of Students Performing At or Above Their Age Norms