UPSTART is research-proven to prepare children to enter kindergarten at or above grade level.
UTAH UPSTART PROGRAM
In 2009, Waterford Institute and the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) launched the UPSTART Utah program in partnership with the Utah State Legislature. Each year since, the program has received successful external evaluations, and in recent years has grown to serve nearly 15,000 children annually throughout Utah—roughly 30 percent of the state’s four-year-olds.
THE PROGRAM’S RESULTS ARE MEASURED USING FOUR METRICS:
- Childrens’ weekly usage of the program
Pre-program baseline and a post-program evaluation, using Waterford Assessment of Core Skills (WACS)
External evaluation of the program, using a treatment and control model
- Parent feedback on the program
UPSTART AIMS FOR
MINUTES OF WEEKLY USAGE
MINUTES A DAY,
DAYS A WEEK
WEEKLY AVERAGE USAGE, 2013-14: 105 MINUTES
This is less than 1% of a child’s day and significantly less than the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended screen time of less than one hour per day.*
WATERFORD ASSESSMENT OF CORE SKILLS (WACS)
Data shows that all UPSTART children make important cognitive gains—regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic locale and whether or not they had additional preschool. WACS shows UPSTART children score, on average, at the “kindergarten-advanced” level, meaning UPSTART children enter kindergarten at the level most of their peers finish kindergarten.
Based on 5 years of research
Designed to screen pre-literacy and reading skills
A demonstration of the full range of a child’s capabilities rather than just a satisfactory or unsatisfactory assessment
Conducted twice during the year at specified, controlled locations
Aligned to national and state standards
Annual external evaluations conducted by the Evaluation and Training Institute (ETI) consistently find that UPSTART children showed significantly stronger learning rates on two well-known tests compared to children in a control group.
An independent evaluation by the Utah State Office of Education shows children who participated in UPSTART the year before kindergarten saw immediate positive gains and were still outperforming state averages on standardized tests in grades first through fourth.
New Pilot Programs
Waterford has launched a number of pilot programs in other states. The goal of these pilots is to research the effectiveness of UPSTART on preparing children in these states for kindergarten.
Reaching Rural Communities
The five-year study will demonstrate the program’s effectiveness in:
i3 is highly competitive and designed to expand innovative educational practices that improve student achievement. Waterford was one of just 25 grant winners selected from 618 applicants, and the only early childhood program to receive an i3 award in 2013.