Take Steps to Learn About the Florida Assessment for Student Thinking (FAST)

From this month’s Parents’ Pages:

“Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) providers use the coordinated screening and progress monitoring system, a statewide standardized program known as the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) Star Early Literacy, to evaluate students’ early literacy and math skills. As a parent and as your child’s first teacher, your involvement in your child’s learning is vital to their academic success.

Below is a Q&A on FAST Star Early Literacy to help you better understand progress monitoring and how to support your child’s progress.

What is FAST Star Early Literacy?

FAST Star Early Literacy is a short screening and progress monitoring tool to gauge your child’s academic growth in early literacy and math. Your child’s teacher will use the progress monitoring results to determine which students may need additional academic support.

How often are VPK programs required to administer FAST Star Early Literacy?

VPK providers are required to administer FAST Star Early Literacy at least three times during the program year. This frequency helps monitor your child’s progress and determine instructional focus based on your child’s needs.

How can you support your child to do their best on FAST Star Early Literacy?

On the day of progress monitoring, which your provider should advise you of, ensure your child gets a good night’s rest and a healthy breakfast and that they arrive at school on time and unrushed. Communicate with your child’s teacher after each progress monitoring session to find out what steps they may plan to take to support your child’s learning as well as what suggestions they have to help you support your child’s learning at home.

How do you communicate with your child’s teacher?

After your child completes a progress monitoring session, it is helpful for parents to review their child’s results with the VPK teacher and ask questions during a parent/teacher conference. Schedule a parent/teacher conference to talk with the teacher to find out how you can help support your child with specific skills at home. During the meeting, the VPK teacher may provide a copy of the Parent Report to review your child’s progress monitoring results.

As you review the report with the teacher, you may have questions you would like to ask, or you may ask the questions below.

• How can I help my child with specific skills at home?
• What is one skill in reading and math I can help my child work on at home?
• How can I support the lessons taught in the classroom?

The Division of Early Learning’s Prekindergarten Family Guide is a resource to help you prepare your child for kindergarten and a successful future. Where can you go for additional questions?

To learn more about FAST Star Early Literacy, families are encouraged to read the Family Guide to Star Assessments (PDF) for more information. “