Annual Self-Assessment Procedures Policy Number and Last Update(01.07.02e/01-2011)

In April the grantee director trains delegate directors on the self-assessment procedures. This session is to be part of the annual directors' training, held for four days in Springfield. Directors consider the effectiveness of three alternatives for assessment tools, but do not make a decision at that time. The training will cover all phases of the new plan.

  1. Delegate directors train staff of their centers on the self-assessment procedures during each of their delegate pre-service training weeks, immediately preceding their opening dates (mid-May through mid-July).
  2. The DHS Board, at its June meeting, discusses the general plan for the self-assessment, adding their recommendations for the best tool and schedule, and approving the policy.
  3. The first Policy Council meeting of the season is held in June. Meetings always take place in Springfield because it is centrally located 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours from all centers. The distance between the two farthest-situated centers (Del Valle in Oswego and Migrant Education in Cobden is 450 miles.) Hoopeston parents, who come from Texas to begin work the Monday after the fourth of July, are sometimes not able to attend the June meeting. At the August meeting of Policy Council the grantee director discusses with members: the purpose of the self-assessment, the self-assessment plan, the role of Council members in self-assessment, the tools available and board and staff recommendations regarding those, and the schedule for the summer. Parents are asked to vote for the most convenient time, before families leave the state, for them to participate in the review of the grantee office. (The self-assessment of the DHS grantee central office involves review of DHS personnel, program governance, monitoring, and fiscal files, and interviews with grantee staff and board members.) The Policy Council will be requested to approve or disapprove the entire Self-Assessment Plan, including the tool to be used.
  4. Delegate directors present the self-assessment procedures at their August or September Board and Policy Committee meetings, discuss the process, and ask for volunteers to take part in the agency review. They contact community members, including staff of Region V Head Start programs, to request their participation.
  5. During August and September, delegate directors organize their self-assessment teams (staff, board members, parents, and community members), and provide them training on the tool, the policy, the Self-Assessment Plan, and the planning process. Directors set dates for their self-assessments, which may take place over the course of a 10-day period. Dates are coordinated to allow grantee staff to participate in each review.
  6. Grantee staff leads the review of each delegate and partner, during September and October, the final months of the centers' seasons. They meet with each team before they begin the review, to reach a general agreement of the interpretation of the tool, to modify it if necessary and to assign segments for completion.
  7. When they have collected all data, reviewers meet to sum up their findings and recommend a determination of compliance. All review documents are sent to Springfield, where grantee staff consider them along with monitoring findings of the season, and issue a report within 10 working days to the delegate board, staff, and Policy Committee.
  8. All those delegate groups meet to analyze the findings. Over the course of the next two months, delegate and partnership groups of staff, board members and parents each meet at their own centers to develop objectives and the steps they will take to resolve their own non-compliance issues. These objectives are part of their "Delegate Agency Annual Plans." (Thereafter, delegate directors report on the progress made in meeting these annual objectives, as part of their monthly reports to Boards, Policy Committees, and the grantee.) They may ask for technical assistance from the grantee at any time, and if they have issues which cannot be solved internally, they bring those up for discussion and solution at the yearly state-wide planning meeting, which is held every December in Springfield. This meeting is attended by delegate board members, staff persons and parents, along with grantee staff and Board members, usually around 50 people. If there are items of non-compliance which involve state-wide budget, policy, procedures or implementation, they are the subject of planning for program improvement for the next year. At this meeting are developed state-wide (grantee) goals and objectives for the coming year.(01.05.36)
  9. At the time they chose, the parents (see #4), Policy Council members and delegate staff persons will travel to Springfield for the review of the DHS-MSHS central office. They meet with grantee staff and any other reviewers for orientation, then conduct file reviews and interviews for the fiscal, program governance, monitoring, and personnel components of the state grantee agency. The team meets to analyze its findings and determine compliance.
  10. In November, the grantee issues a comprehensive report of the self-assessment to delegate boards, Policy Committees, staff, Policy Council and the DHS Board. The DHS groups meet jointly or separately, in person or by conference call (whichever is more convenient for parents; some will have left the state by that date) to analyze and discuss the results. Issues that can be promptly remedied within the Department are acted upon immediately. Those that require more extended strategies will be referred to the strategic planning committee in the following month.
  11. Each year DHS hosts an annual planning meeting in Springfield, attended by Board members, staff, and parents from all programs (see # 9). Results of the self-assessment are one of the subjects of deliberation of that committee, which formulates corresponding objectives and action steps. These become part of the grantee's annual program-improvement plan.
  12. Using a format similar to that of the delegates, the grantee director reports to each meeting of the DHS Board and the Policy Council the progress made toward accomplishment of the annual objectives (including those related to the self-assessment). The director sends a copy of this report also to delegate and partner centers.