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The Office of Early Learning has created a newsletter to support kindergarten teachers as they make data-driven and research-informed decisions in the classroom to support continued development and learning for all children.


Kindergarten Newsletters

Kindergarten Resources

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Are You Preparing a Child for Kindergarten?

Let's Get Ready! Guide

When families and caregivers are empowered with developmental knowledge and strategies to support the growth of young children, they can enhance the early learning experience.  This will help the child more easily transition to kindergarten. The only requirement for kindergarten entry is that the child turns 5 on or before August 31 of the current year. 

The Let's Get Ready! Guide’s intended use is not to determine if a child “is" or "is not” ready for kindergarten, rather this guide provides family-friendly resources on age-appropriate developmental skills, support tips, and at-home activities where adult/child interactions are the central focus.  Let's Get Ready! is based on the Older Preschooler Developmental Indicators from The NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development (2013) and addresses all five developmental domains. A Transition Timeline provides consideration for the logistical steps a family may experience the year prior to kindergarten. Resources that focus on younger developmental skills, milestone tracking, kindergarten standards, and digital access to early literature can be found through QR codes on the back cover.

To learn more, watch the Let's Get Ready Recorded Overview and view Detailed Descriptions of the "I Can Statements”.

Printing & Purchase Options: Black & white versionSpanish version | Spanish black & white version

The guide is available for purchase from NC DPI Publications Catalog in full-color ($5.00/copy) or black and white with color covers ($3.00/copy).

Resources for Community Transition Plans

Guiding Principles & Practices

Benchmarks of Quality

Transition Planning Template

Crosswalk of Requirements

Center Planning Guides and Posters

The NC Office of Early Learning strongly encourages incorporating play into the daily routine of each classroom. Children grow and learn in all developmental domains through their engagement in centers; cognitive, physical, social, and emotional.

Authentic learning and meaningful connections are made when a teacher intentionally weaves standards and supports development throughout children’s play.

Both of the documents below provide developmental dimensions and standards most often addressed in each center.

It is suggested that these documents be downloaded and not opened as a Google Document to avoid adjustments in formatting.  When printing posters, printing one slide per page will result in a one page poster for each center.

Planning Guides

Center Posters

North Carolina Early Learning Inventory

The North Carolina Early Learning Inventory (NC ELI) is the updated kindergarten entry assessment formerly known as the NC KEA. NC ELI is an observation-based formative assessment that includes a set of developmental progressions across the 5 domains of learning and development (language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge, approaches toward learning, physical well-being and motor development, and social and emotional development). Teachers document student’s learning and development with evidence within an online portfolio (Teaching Strategies GOLD®) to substantiate a child’s skill attainment along the developmental progressions and utilize this information to personalize instruction for students. 

The NC Department of Public Instruction recognizes formative assessment as an important component of a 21st Century Balanced Assessment System and has dedicated resources to support its use in NC schools. The formative assessment process as defined by the CCSSO is:

Formative assessment is a planned, ongoing process used by all students and teachers during learning and teaching to elicit and use evidence of student learning to improve student understanding of intended disciplinary learning outcomes and support students to become self-directed learners. Effective use of the formative assessment process requires students and teachers to integrate and embed the following practices in a collaborative and respectful classroom environment:

  • Clarifying learning goals and success criteria within a broader progression of learning;
  • Eliciting and analyzing evidence of student thinking;
  • Engaging in self-assessment and peer feedback;
  • Providing actionable feedback; and
  • Using evidence and feedback to move learning forward by adjusting learning strategies, goals, or next instructional steps.

The NC ELI is an observation-based, ongoing, formative assessment that utilizes developmental progressions across 5 domains of development to support the whole child. In contrast to direct assessment, observation-based, ongoing, formative assessment occurs during moments throughout the school day and is not an assessment event that takes away from instructional time. Documentation gathered helps teachers identify students’ learning in real time and informs next steps for instruction. Thus, the NC ELI is a process rather than an instrument to be administered.

The Office of Early Learning has developed a brief resource to be shared with families:  NC ELI at Home

NC ELI Resources

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Title Description
2024-2025 NC ELI Requirements Letter The NC ELI 2024-2025 Requirements Letter includes 30- and 60- days requirements.
State Board of Education Policy (KNEC-017) The North Carolina Early Learning Inventory (NC ELI) is the kindergarten entry assessment. NC ELI is an observation-based formative assessment that includes a set of developmental progressions across the 5 domains of learning and development (language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge, approaches toward learning, physical well-being and motor development, and social and emotional development).
Interactive Unpacking Guide (KNEC-017) This quick, interactive guide will help you better understand the North Carolina State Board of Education Policy KNEC-017: NC Early Learning Inventory (NC ELI).
Policy Unpacking Document (KNEC-017) This document offers an unpacking of the KNEC-017 policy. 


Title Description
Crosswalk The crosswalk provides a standard by standard alignment of NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development, NC Standard Course of Study, and NC Early Learning Inventory.
NC ELI FAQ This NC ELI Frequently Asked Questions document is intended to be a “living document.” It will be periodically updated with more current information, additions, and clarifications as the Read to Achieve  implementation process moves forward. The Office of Early Learning welcomes additional questions. Please use this form to submit your questions.
Observational Notes This document explains the 'why' and the 'how' for educators to create well-written, objective observational notes. It includes examples of observational notes that connect to progressions of learning and development.
NC ELI for Families This overview of the NC ELI provides families with information about the domains of growth and development and highlights skills that will be addressed during implementation.  This resource include both English and Spanish options.


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2021 Teaching Strategies GOLD Platform Enhancements Watch the Quick Hit Videos to learn all about the 2021 Teaching Strategies GOLD Platform Enhancements

MyTeachingStrategies® Support Portal

Teaching Strategies offers this Support Portal. By typing into the search bar, you will find many helpful resources and articles that can support the implementation of NC ELI - Teaching Strategies GOLD® . It includes a video library for those in need of technology support. Videos related to new NC ELI functionality, including the Teach area and Develop area, can be found by browsing the video library.

Teaching Strategies GOLD® Documentation App

This user-friendly app enables teachers to easily capture documentation in the moment, using an Apple or an Android mobile device. 
Quick Access to Reporting Tools for Administrators and Teachers

This document provides descriptions of 2020-2021 NC ELI/ TS GOLD Reports accessible to administrators.

This document provides descriptions of 2020-2021 NC ELI/ TS GOLD Reports accessible to teachers.

Language Preference Selection

Would you like to set the language preference to Spanish on your platform? It's easy to do! 

You can also view the Intentional Teaching Experiences in Spanish. Directions.

Teaching Strategies GOLD® Intentional Teaching Experiences (ITEs)

ITEs are accessible in the Teach tab of the Teaching Strategies Gold platform. The document linked shares NC ELI ITEs and some possible modification ideas for remote learning. Directions to view ITEs can be. Direction to use ITEs can be.

PowerSchool Integration Guide The PowerSchool Data Integration Guide provides key information about how accounts (administrator, teacher, and student) are created via data integration with PowerSchool.


Do you have a child getting ready to attend Kindergarten?  Check out our "Let's Get Ready" guide and accompanying resources on the Early Learning Info for Families page.