All elementary schools are encouraged to implement Pennsylvania’s Kindergarten Entry Inventory in the 2018-2019 school year in preparation for enhanced ESSA requirements.  The Kindergarten Entry Inventory is available to all school districts at no cost.

Pennsylvania’s Kindergarten Entry Inventory (KEI) is a reliable reporting tool that offers teachers an instructional strategy for understanding and tracking a student’s proficiency at kindergarten entry.  The tool collects information on a consistent set of standards-based indicators across the commonwealth.

The KEI is based on Pennsylvania’s Learning Standards for Early Childhood and the Pennsylvania Core Standards. KEI includes 30 indicators and provides a comprehensive profile that includes the domains of:

  • Social and Emotional Development;
  • English Language Arts;
  • Mathematics;
  • Approaches to Learning; and
  • Health, Wellness and Physical Development.

KEI is intended to be used by kindergarten teachers to record a student’s demonstration of skills within the first 45 calendar days of the kindergarten year.  For more information about the Kindergarten Entry Inventory, please visit:

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides opportunities to strengthen the contribution of high-quality early childhood education in school reform and improvement efforts. The law recognizes that school success starts before a student enters the K-12 setting. It calls on states to describe how they will assist school districts and elementary schools to collaborate with early childhood education programs, and to invest in evidence-based practices. ESSA supports early learning and LEA collaboration in three main ways: (1) expanding access to high-quality early learning; (2) encouraging alignment and collaboration from birth through third grade; and (3) supporting educators.

The Pennsylvania Kindergarten Entry Inventory is a tangible tool to assist districts in understanding the comprehensive learning strengths and needs of students entering the K-12 setting, in establishing common expectations and language for beginning and extending collaborative conversations with pre-kindergarten programs and families, and in planning and implementing joint professional development opportunities that focus on strengthening evidence-based practices for young learners.

In order to implement the Kindergarten Entry Inventory, a Kindergarten Entry Inventory Point of Contact (KEI-POC) is required. The KEI-POC will act as the liaison between local education agency (LEA) administrative staff, implementing kindergarten teachers, and the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and data systems staff. Having a dedicated KEI-POC will ensure that effective communication and implementation occurs throughout the KEI process.

Please send the KEI-POC name, email address and phone number to by May 30, 2018. Receipt of this information will initiate KEI participation in the 2017-2018 school year.

All kindergarten teachers who have not previously participated must complete a required professional development on-line course and obtain a certificate of completion in order to gain access to the web-based data system.  Teachers with a proficient user certificate of completion do not need to repeat the professional development protocol.

The tentative training schedule is as follows:

  • March – June: Face-to-face skills and scoring practice professional development available/ dependent on number of teachers and availability of OCDEL staff
  • March –September:  Required professional development online course available
  • ALL implementing kindergarten teachers without a proficient user certificate of completion MUST complete either face-to-face training or a required professional development on-line course.
  • August-September:  KEI systems professional development opportunities available
  • By the start of school: Implementing kindergarten teachers must have a required professional development online course certificate of completion on file in order to gain systems access
  • 45 calendar days from start of school: Observation and evidence collection/scoring completed
  • 60 calendar days from start of school: Data submissions (student outcomes) finalized within data system

Questions about this communication may be sent to