Child Development Assessment Policy Number and Last Update
The Illinois Migrant Seasonal Head Start (IMSHS) assessment system is a partnership between IMSHS staff, parents, and other educational agencies serving children enrolled in IMSHS. The objective is to attain as much information as possible to develop a complete picture of the child. The information should be used to jointly plan for and document the individual achievement of developmental milestones of all children, including children with disabilities. The staff will use a portfolio system and the Galileo Assessment checklists to record and evaluate children's ongoing developmental progress.
- Before initiating classroom duties, all teaching staff receives training on: Stages of development; Galileo Assessment; Galileo data entry (for those entering assessment data); and observation and planning for children's development.
- Within one week of a child with disabilities attending or the IEP/IFSP meeting, the Disabilities Coordinator (DSC) schedules a meeting with the education staff and parents to discuss and plan for the individualization of the child's instruction and assessment. Thereafter, the DSC and teaching staff shall meet at least once a month, to reassess and/or modify strategies. Parents shall be invited to the meetings and kept informed at all times. Meetings will be documented in the Child Inclusion & Environment Modification Plan.
- Teaching staff uses a portfolio system to document children's ongoing individual development. Written observations, children's work samples and/or other data sources will be collected. The following guidelines are to be used for setting up portfolios:
- Every child should have a file for work samples, audio recordings, photographs, written observations, Galileo Assessments, and individual assessment reports.
- Each child's portfolio should have at least one written observation, from the areas mentioned in "3(d)" for every month enrolled in IMSHS. There is no mandated format for writing the observations; however, the child's developmental stage and/or progress should be obvious to anyone reading the observation. Always be objective, accurate, and brief.
- Both teacher and teacher assistants are responsible for writing observations. Children should be divided equally among them.
- Teaching staff should use the following areas to document developmental progress:
- Infants & Toddlers: Language, social & emotional, large and small motor, and cognitive development.
- Preschoolers: Language, social & emotional, math & science, literacy, problem solving, small & large motor development, and progress towards English acquisition if English is not the child's first language.
- At the end of each week, teaching staff review Parent/Teacher conference forms, observation notes, pictures, audio recordings, and work samples, and use this information with the Creative Curriculum, to plan activities, modify the environment or teaching strategies, and provide optimal opportunities to promote children's development.
- The Galileo Assessment tool will be used to assess all children enrolled in IMSHS. The first assessment should be completed within 30 days of a child's attendance. The second assessment should be completed at least two weeks before the children are due to leave the program, or the center's closing date. Education Coordinators assist teachers, as necessary, to assign scales and assess children.
- Scales are modified, according to special needs, if necessary.
- Both teacher and teacher assistants are responsible for completing the Galileo assessments. Children should be divided equally among them.
- Teaching staff use Ös to mark the milestones accomplished, and will only do baselines on the first year.
- Teaching staff with Internet access will enter the assessments directly into the Galileo online at: www.ati-online.com
- All kinder-eligible children, regardless of enrollment time, must receive two Galileo assessments. For children enrolled in the program for a short term the following applies:
- Enrolled 1-3 weeks: will not be assessed with Galileo, but will have a portfolio.
- Enrolled 4-6 weeks: must receive one Galileo assessment
- Enrolled 6-9 weeks: must receive two Galileo assessments
- Teaching staff (or data-entry person assigned) enters assessments into the Galileo Technology online program. One copy of the assessment is filed in the Family File folder, and a second copy in the child's portfolio. Parents will be given a copy of their child's assessment in their next parents/teacher conference.
- Education Coordinators monitor that portfolios are maintained and assessments are completed, as stated in the procedure.
- Teaching staff should collect information/results on children's screenings, evaluations or examinations from the Education, Health and Disabilities, Coordinators. Staff should evaluate how this information affects the child's developmental progress, participation in the classroom, or socialization with his peers.
- Teaching staff should use all this information to make adaptations to the indoor/outdoor environment, expanding and planning activities that support children's interests, strengths and acquisition of new skills.
- Teachers should view home visits and parent conferences as an opportunity to bridge communication. Insights provided by parents are very important because children often display capabilities in one setting that may not be easily observed in another. This is an ideal time to solicit parent observations, discuss children's progress, and together plan for the continued developmental progress of each child. Teachers could also use the process to assist the parents in developing and enhancing observation skills.
- Review the Education Services Plan & Outcomes Procedure for instructions on analyzing and using data.