Academy for Little Children uses Authentic Assessment practices as well as Standard-based assessment tools.
Our assessment system is aligned with the Early Learning and Development Standards and Creative Curriculum throughout each classroom. ALC has an Assessment Schedule of when to assess and collect information from each domain and learning goal. This schedule is used as a guide to ensure all standards are being met. Teachers collect child work, pictures, and anecdotal records of observation for milestone moments within a domain, overall observations of interactions, concerns and progress. These artifacts are displayed in each child’s portfolio as a tool to show families during conferences or at the family’s request. Each child portfolio also contains a checklist for assessment and methods in which to obtain the information.
ASQ’s are used only by parent request or if the teacher needs documentation for a particular referral.
* We will be using TS Gold next school year (September) as part of our assessment process.
If we feel a child may be in need of some outside assistance we will document observations, use the ASQ assessment (with discretion and only upon family request), meet with families to discuss the observations, write a letter to the pediatrician (if asked), and connect families to resources that will best assist their child. If the families of Infants and Toddlers feel their child is in need of services, Early Intervention teams are welcome in the facility to work with the child and his/her teacher at anytime. We currently work with Meeting Street for EI services. For our Preschool children Child Outreach visits our program annually, and we welcome the collaboration with the Head Start community as children are bused to and from the program as needed.
When and how is a child assessed?
A child is assessed within the natural classroom environment during the daily schedule of events. Assessment occurs throughout a given day’s activities in large groups, small groups, peer groups and one on one teacher interactions.
How is Assessment Information given to Families?
Teachers communicate assessment verbally on a frequent basis with families at pick-up and drop-off. Written assessment information is always available to authorized family members by request. Teacher/Family Conferences are scheduled 2 times a year in order to discuss goals, progress, concerns, and next steps. For our Pre-Kindergarten class, we also offer an end of the year conference to help prepare children and families for their journey to Kindergarten and what to expect in the next school year as well as child readiness.
How are families involved in the Assessment process?
Upon enrollment or transition to a new classroom, families are given a questionnaire that focuses on their child’s current development and interests, as well as the aspirations for their child while in our program. Families are given two program/classroom surveys yearly in regards to the teachers, school and classroom environment, classroom structure, and any suggestions or concerns they may have. Our teacher/family conferences offer the opportunity where child development, praises and concerns are discussed in an effort to unite the education between school and home. We extend the learning experience and assessment to home with suggestions in our weekly emails and monthly newsletters.
How are staff members trained in Assessment practices?
During the orientation process, all new staff members meet with the Director and Education Coordinator to discuss proper procedures, methods and tools used in our Assessment practices. As the requirements and standards change staff are updated by the Education Coordinator on the newest methods, procedures and tools used in the assessment process. All staff members are encouraged to take workshops and classes to stay up to date for their own professional development level that encompasses the age group they work with.
How do we support our teachers in the Assessment process?
Our teachers are continually supported by the Education Coordinator to ensure all pieces of evidence are included in each child’s portfolio. The teachers are given 2 hours a week or more if able of planning time to formally record observations, anecdotal notes, examine pictures and child work samples that are included within each child’s portfolio.
How is the child assessment information used to inform the Programs plan and goals?
Through Differentiated Teaching and Learning practices, Teachers use assessment information to inform planning and implementation that best suits children needs and leads to improving a teacher’s knowledge of the children in the classroom. In turn, assessment information guides the Director and Education Coordinator in how to better support the teachers who can then better help the children.