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UPSTART Great Plains Study

We have been hired by the Office of Innovation and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education to conduct a five-year preschool evaluation (2019-2024) starting with Idaho, North Dakota, and Wyoming in Summer 2019 and beginning in South Dakota and Montana in Summer 2020. Participating children will complete a school readiness assessment that covers areas such as letter and word recognition, reading comprehension, and phonological processing. 

Your child will be working with a test administrator with a background in education in a private room at a location near you, and parents or legal guardians are present during the entire session. Parents will be required to fill out a survey and stay while the child is being tested. If you have any questions about the study that have not been covered in our “Common Questions” section below, please contact Alyse Beni at 310-473-8367 ext. 3.

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Common Questions

Why is it important to participate? 

The study helps determine the impact of the UPSTART school readiness program on children's emergent literacy skills, meant to prepare them for Kindergarten, and helps the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) understand how to make better decisions about resource allocation.


I’m busy throughout the day, how long will the testing take?

The test will only take 30 minutes and we can arrange a day and time that is convenient to your schedule. We also test on weekdays and weekends.


How did you get my contact information?

We received your contact info from the Waterford Institute, makers of UPSTART. As part of your participation with UPSTART, you signed a form stating that your contact information can be shared with the evaluator of the UPSTART program.


Can I see the results from my child’s assessment?

The study and its instruments are designed to identify group differences, and we do not report or share individual children’s test scores. However, you are welcome to observe your child taking the test.


My child is shy/reluctant to talk to strangers, can my child still participate?

Our trained assessors are used to meeting the needs of a wide variety of students and are prepared to use their expertise in education to make sure your child is as comfortable as possible during the testing process.


Will my child’s testing data be secure?

All test data will be kept confidential, no names or identifying information will be used, and parents are present during the entire testing process.


Will there be other dates available?

If you can’t make any of the available days/times, please let us know and we will do our best to find a day/time that will work with your schedule. 


I can’t make the testing appointment. Can someone else take my child to the testing?

A parent or legal guardian MUST attend the testing appointment with their child to give consent to participate and complete a survey. 


My friend has a preschool child. Can they participate?

If the preschool-aged child is registered to use the UPSTART program, they can participate. If their child is not registered to use the program, they unfortunately cannot participate in the study at this time. 

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