Phone (419) 784-5136 | Address: 1933 E 2nd Street Defiance, Ohio 43512

Child Observations/Early Learning Assessment

POLICY:

NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start staff will take detailed observation of the children in the classrooms or during Home Visits to document what the children are doing in the different domains.

PROCEDURES:

Child Observations

  1. A Child Observation Form (see attachments below) will be completed on each child during the Fall, Winter and Spring season.
    1. Observations for all program options will be entered into ChildPlus and will be used to complete the Development and Learning Reports.
  2. Home Visitors gather child observations during the weekly home visits and record them on the Home Visit Record Form (see attachments below).
  3. Classroom teachers/Home Visitors will use a tracking form to ensure that all domains and objectives are included.
  4. Observations of the children are ongoing during the program year.
  5. Observations will be written and kept in a closed binder in the classroom. These binders will be reviewed at the monthly center staffing to ensure the appropriate documentation is being met.
  6. Observations are entered into ChildPlus weekly. Entered observations are monitored by the ECE CSS and Project Manager.
  7. Observations are recorded for planning purposes and providing parents with details based on the skills that are being observed such as which hand, how many times, what exactly did the child say, what the teacher said, with or without peers, how long, etc.
    1. DO INCLUDE: description of actions, quotations, descriptions, descriptions of gestures, descriptions of facial expressions, description of creations, what the child CAN do, focus on the positive.
    2. DO NOT INCLUDE: labels (shy, creative, mad), intentions (wants to), and judgments (sloppy, beautiful), negatives (can’t, didn’t, won’t).
  8. Include which Creative Curriculum/EHS Creative Curriculum Objective the observations often reflects; it is not necessary to list every objective it fits in.

 

Early Learning Assessment

  1. Children who are funded through Ohio Department of Education Early Entitlement grant will receive additional observations for the Early Learning Assessment (ELA).
  2. The ELA intended to be a process through which early-childhood teachers collect and use assessment information to tailor instruction to the individual needs of each child.
  3. The ELA will be conducted 2 times per year.
  4. Teachers need to complete the scores per the ELA Handbook before the due date.
  5. A completed ELA for each season will be turned into the Education Manager by the due date that is posted on the Education Due Dates and Important Dates that is updated each year.
  6. New Child Observation Forms will be sent out to the teachers each season (Fall, Winter, & Spring).

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.33(b)(c)(d)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   8/7/17 Revision Date:   8/3/20
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    

 

Preschool Skill Sheet

POLICY:

NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start staff will document children’s development by viewing them in observational style using the Preschool Skill Sheet.

PROCEDURES:

  1. To complete the Preschool Skill Sheet, observe children individually during free play or during planned activities and document with the date that the skill was observed to be mastered by the child.  This is not an assessment so the observations are informal.
  2. This form is for the families to be able to view their specific child’s progress towards kindergarten readiness.  Teachers will update the Preschool Skill Sheet before each home visit or conference to be able to review it with the families.  At the last conference, the teachers will send the form home.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.33(b)(c)(d)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   8/3/20 Revision Date:    
Approved By Policy Council:     Revision Approved By Policy Council:    

Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP)

POLICY:

NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start (HS/EHS) staff will asses the children’s development by using the Desired Results Developmental Profile on ChildPlus Mobile.

PROCEDURES:

  1. ChildPlus DRDP is an ongoing assessment tool, which can be implemented by the Teachers and HS/EHS Home Visitors (HV) to measure the educational progress of children.  From birth through kindergarten, this program can help teachers evaluate specific characteristics and strategies for effective educational development.
  2. DRDP emphasizes using everyday assessment in typical activities so that Teachers and HS/EHS HV can understand where each student’s development level is.  It is intended to avoid standardized teaching methods, which neglect each child’s variations in educational progress.
  3. Teachers and HS/EHS HV utilize ChildPlus Mobile to enter documentation and observations on individual children.
  4. Teachers and HS/HS HV utilize the Checkpoint Assessment Area three times per year to document individual children’s development level for Fall, Winter and Spring.  Due dates will be placed on the calendar at the beginning of the year.  EHS HV will complete four checkpoint, one per quarter.
  5. After documentation is complete and each child’s development level is determined the Project Manager will print off a DRDP parent report from ChildPlus for each child.
    1. Teachers and HS/EHS HV will review this report with the parents/guardians at the 1st, 2nd Parent/Teacher conference and the 2nd Home Visit.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.33(b)(c)(d)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   1/6/20 Revision Date:   7/31/20
Approved By Policy Council:     Revision Approved By Policy Council:    

Project Based Approach

POLICY:

NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start staff will use the Project Based Approach on lessons with the students through engaging topics that allow integrating topics that are engaging and that allow learning throughout multiple domains.

PROCEDURES:

  1. Project based approach supports students to develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills.
  2. Teaching staff will work with the students during group times to create a web on a topic that the students are interested in.
    1. First the teaching staff will work on deciding on a topic that the students are interested in.  After having the initial topic, teachers and students will break it down to smaller topics from the main one.  As the students come up with more ideas, the teaching staff then can discuss how the class can explore and learn about the idea.
    2. The teaching staff and the students work together to plan on how they want to explore the learning topic and what they would like to create.
    3. The teaching staff will document each step of the process that the students are working on with the project.  This is through taking pictures and written documentation.
    4. Materials will be incorporated into the classroom to help facilitate the project for the children.
  3. Students will work on a project over an extended period of time – from a week up to several weeks – that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question.  When the students’ interest starts to wane and develop towards another topic, which is when the project will be concluded.  Children will have the opportunity to share with others what they learned.

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.31(b)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   1/6/20 Revision Date:    
Approved By Policy Council:     Revision Approved By Policy Council:    

Safe Place in the Classroom

POLICY:

NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start staff will ensure that there is a Safe Place (Conscious Discipline) set up for the children to use with an adult when they need to calm and self-regulate their emotions.

PROCEDURES:

  1. Setting up the Safe Place – create a Safe Place in a quiet area in the classroom that the child can still be seen in the classroom.  A teacher will be available to be in or next to supporting the child.  Have a soft place for the child to sit on for comfort.  Place the “I Calm” (Conscious Discipline) materials in the are which are the 4 breathing strategies (S.T.A.R., balloon, drain and pretzel pictures).  “I Feel” tools, which consists of Feeling Buddies.  “I Choose” chart that gives the child options of activities to do when they have calmed themselves down.
  2. When the child goes to Safe Place, a teacher will follow them there to support them in using the tools.  The teacher can first lead them into the breathing tool the child picks and then repeats the breathing three times.
  3. After the child has done the breathing, they can then pick a Feeling Buddy of how they are feeling and discuss.  The teacher will have already completed a lesson for each of the Feeling Buddies so the children will know how to use them.
  4. After the discussion the children can pick an “I Choose” activity to do.  This could be journals, reading a book, looking at the friends and family book, holding/squeezing a soft toy or having a bottle with composure cream (child pretends to rub lotion onto his/her own hands to use pressure).
  5. There could also be blankets, stuffed animals or pillows for the child to use during his/her time in Safe Place.
  6. Once individual children have learned the necessary skills to self regulate their upset, they may use the Safe Place independently.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:
ODJFS Child Care Manual:
CACFP Regulation:
Caring for Our Children:
Other Sources:

 

Effective Date: 3/27/20 Revision Date:
Approved By Policy Council: Revision Approved By Policy Council:

Monitoring Child Outcomes

POLICY:

The Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) are used to promote school readiness and positive child outcomes. The Head Start Act of 2007 requires programs to align program goals and school readiness goals for children to the Framework. The Framework is used in curriculum, assessment, data collection, analysis, and reporting systems.

 

PROCEDURES:

  1. The Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) is aligned to the ELOF and is the primary resource the program uses for monitoring child progress and outcomes.
    1. Information found within the Child Portfolio and DRDP reports tabs are monitored throughout the assessment period by the Project Manager.
    2. Information found within the Reports tab is analyzed within 15 days after final checkpoints are made.
    3. The following can be a part of the monitoring and analysis process.

 

MONITORING

For Center Based: ChildPlus DRDP observations are reviewed monthly by the Center Manager at Site Staffing to ensure children are consistently being observed and activities are planned to meet individual needs.

 

For HS/EHS Home Based:  The EHS/HS Home Base Manager will review home visitors observations weekly.

 

  1. Teachers preliminary and final placement decisions are supported by observation for each checkpoint period.
  2. Activities and experiences are intentionally planned that help children progress on ChildPlus DRDP.
  3. The ECE Coach/Support Specialist ensures that observations support placement for each objective during the three assessment periods and provides feedback to teachers on the quality or need of data.
  4. The DRDP Parent Report (S024) shows what each child is currently able to do in relation to the selected objectives/dimensions. It also highlights the next level of development and learning.
    1. Teachers will review this report with families at the first and last parent teacher conference and the second home visit.
  5. The ECE Coach/Support Specialist will review the DRDP reports to determine if the objectives for the development and learning are being addressed on the Bi-Weekly Lesson Plan.
    1. A Bi-Weekly Lesson Plan reflects individualization for the children at all levels. Children will need to be exposed to higher level skills in order to progress.
  6. Teachers have a system for observations, data collection and data entry.
    1. Teaching staff and Home Visitors will enter children’s observations into DRDP on a weekly basis using the ChildPlus mobile link.
  7. Teachers show the relationship between assessment information and bi-weekly planning for the environment, the group, and individual goals of the children on the Bi-Weekly Lesson Plan.
  8. The Education Team has a system to ensure that children have sufficient observations to substantiate placement decisions and that all children are observed and included in the individualization process when planning.
    1. Teaching staff will collect a pre-determined number of observations per child in each DRDP Checkpoint Season. Two additional observations are needed if a child is learning English.
    2. Classrooms with ECE children will need additional observations to meet the ELA requirements.

 

PATTERNS AND TRENDS ANALYSIS – CENTER MANAGERS & TEACHERS 

  1. Teachers use their observations to plan activities and experiences to meet the needs of the children in the classroom using the DRDP’s Objectives for Development and Learning. They have a system to observe all children throughout the assessment period. Lack of observations will lead to less validity for the assessment and make planning more difficult. There are a variety of ways used to collect data and assess progress on objectives such as check lists, portfolios, photographs, work samples, language samples and observations. ChildPlus provides resource tools on-line to assist with data collection.
  2. ChildPlus DRDP Reports and the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework are used to ensure planning decisions are made that address program, center, classroom and family School Readiness Goals.
    1. Look for patterns of progress and accomplishments for groups of children in different domains and dimensions of learning and development.
    2. Look for patterns of outcomes for children in different options.
    3. Look for patterns of outcome data for different groups of children, such as those that begin Head Start at different levels of functioning and children that receive one or two years of Head Start services.
    4. Analyze if staff training is needed in providing activities, experiences and environments to meet the objectives for development and learning.
    5. Analyze if materials in the environment or experiences provided on weekly planning forms may be inadequate.
    6. Look for areas on lesson plans where progress has been static or decreased due to lack of activities and experiences at the appropriate developmental level.
    7. Look for balance between child and teacher directed activities.
    8. Look at the social and emotional climate in the classroom.
    9. Review staff changes, personal issues, experience and education of staff as part of the outcomes analysis.

 

PLANNING AND FOLLOW UP

  1. Center Managers will review patterns and trends from ChildPlus DRDP Reports and make an action plan.
  2. Identify changes the team will make in the environment as a result of the analysis. Include children in the plan who make little or no progress over time.

 

ADMINISTRATION AND LEADERSHIP TEAM REVIEW 

  1. Policy Council and the NOCAC board will review program outcomes and make recommendations.

 

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.101  1302.102
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    
Effective Date:   8/7/17 Revision Date:   1/6/20, 7/31/20
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council: