Education screenings said improve young students\' experiences

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FULTON - The Fulton Education Center is trying to improve education by screening children as early as age three to test their motor, cognitive and concept skills.

Jennifer Meyerhoff, director of the Fulton Education Center, said she recommends for parents to screen their children early to see what teachers need to work with to prepare the students for their kindergarten stage.

"For us it has been invaluable, I do not know what we would have done without the screenings," Meyerhoff said. "That is how find kids who need help, that is how we measure their growth from year to year."

Meyerhoff said the local kindergartens use the screening results to see where the students will fit in the most and adapt the best.

After the screening is complete parents can go over the results to see if there are any areas of concern their child has to work on more. One parent, Pheresa Shettlesworth, said the earlier the intervention, the better.

"Identifying a problem should happen as early as possible, that way the student can get the help they need," she said.

There are multiple preschool centers in Fulton. Each one has different requirements and some do require the screenings before the student is enrolled.

One program that requires the screening is called Title One and it's goal is to make sure children with those social or emotional needs get the attention they need.

However, The FEC preschool is first come, first served and does not require any screenings before enrollment.

Other school districts, like the one in Moberly, start screenings or assessments until the child reaches the kindergarten stage. However, they can do a screening at an earlier age if the parent feels it is necessary.

The one hour screening involves mini tests like identifying shapes, numbers and the student writing their name.