A Snapshot of the Process

“The experience that will be with me forever are the smiling faces of the children…”
- Ed Cohen, a volunteer worker in Cambodia


The Jay Pritzker Academy (JPA) is an English medium, college preparatory school with a Khmer language program1. The stated mission of JPA is to educate academically talented and motivated students from low income families in Siem Reap and to maximize their potential and their ability to build a better future for themselves, their families, and their country. The school is free of charge to bright youngsters from poor families in the Siem Reap area. JPA selects students by ability and expects them to succeed in school. Emphasis is placed on academic success plus motivation. JPA expects their graduating students to succeed in the competitive environment of the twenty-first century. JPA is committed to supporting their students who gain university places in Cambodia and overseas. Students are expected to place their personal success in the wider context of their country’s development.

JPA contacted PRS after identifying the need to improve their selection tool and selection process for their incoming KG students. JPA desired a selection tool considered to be time effective, language independent, and easily administered and scored with minimal training. The selection tool also needed to offer inter-rater reliability, distinguish between intelligence and prior learning, and use simple manipulatives or puzzles if necessary so that it remained suitable for a child who has never held a pencil.

Background information collected from JPA’s website and available at http://jpa.org.kh/default.aspx

KG Selection Tool

The KG Selection Tool (KGST) assesses the level of cognitive development along the cognitive milestone continuum and academic readiness necessary to be successful in a school setting. The KGST is divided into three tiers. Tier I contains the Developmental Stepping Stones typically achieved by most youngsters in the age-group targeted for JPA’s KG selection. Tiers II and III represent cognitive skills that are further down the developmental continuum and therefore considered to require more advanced skills.

Call to schedule an appointment: 847.972.0072