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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:
    1. Every child should have a file for work samples, audio recordings, photographs, written observations, Galileo Assessments, and individual assessment reports.
    2. Each child's portfolio should have at least one written observation, from the areas mentioned in "3(e)" 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.
    3. if the child portfolios are set up to include folders for each domain, teaching staff will not be required to re-write or copy anecdotal notes that include observations for multiple domains unto each individual folder.
    4. Both teacher and teacher assistants are responsible for writing observations. Children should be divided equally among them.
    5. Teaching staff should use the following areas to document developmental progress:
      1. Infants & Toddlers:
        1. Language & literacy--listening & understanding, communicating & speaking, early reading and print awareness, and early writing.
        2. Cognition & general knowledge--exploration & discovery, concept development & memory, and problem-solving & creative expression.
        3. Approaches to learning--eargeness & curiosity, persistence, and creativity & inventiveness.
        4. Physical development 7 health--gross & fine motor, self-care, and self-help.
        5. Social & emotional--trust and emotional security, self-regulation, and self-concept.
      2. Preschoolers:
        1. Language & literacy--listening & understanding, communicating & speaking, book appreciation, phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, print concepts & conventions, and early writing and progress towards English acquisition if English is not the child's first language.
        2. Cognition & general knowledge
          1. logic and reasoning--reasoning & problem solving and symbolic representation;
          2. mathematics knowledge & skills--number concepts & quantities, number relationships & operations, geometry & spatial sense, patterns, and measurement & comparison;
          3. science knowledge & skills--scientific skills & methods, conceptual knowledge of the natural & physical world; and
          4. social studies knowledge & skills--family & community, history & events, and people & the environment.
        3. Approaches to learning
          1. creative arts & expression--music, creative movement & dance, art, and drama.
          2. approaches to learning--initiative & curiosity, persistence & attentiveness, and cooperation.
        4. Physical development & health--gross & fine motor, self-care, and self-help.
        5. Social & emotional--social interactions, emotional & behavioral health, self-regulation, self-concept.
    6. Teaching staff with computers in their rooms and access to the internet can choose to write their anecdotal notes in the Galileo website and do not have to print them daily.
    7. 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.
  4. Teaching staff should collect information/results on children's screenings, evaluations or examinations from the Education, Health and Disability Coordinators. Staff should evaluate how this information affects the child's developmental progress, participation in the classroom, or socialization with his peers.
  5. The G3 Galileo Assessment scales will be used to assess all children enrolled in IMSHS and delegates are required to analyze SR data according to the following guidelines:
    1. For programs that operate 90 days or more--three assessments: the 1st, or baseline, assessment should be completed by the 20th day of the child's attendance, and the second & third assessments should be completed at 50 day intervals after the first assessment.
    2. For programs that operate less than 90 days--two assessments: the 1st or baseline, assessment should be completed by the 20th day of the child's attendance, and the second assessment should be completed 50 days after the first assessment.
    3. In all programs--only one assessment is completed for children who attend at least one month, but less than 70 days.
    4. For children entering Kindergarten in the fall--two assessments: ALL kinder-eligible children, regardless of enrollment time, must receive two Galileo assessments. the 1st or baseline, assessment should be completed by the 20th day of the child's attendance, and the second assessment is done before the child's scheduled transition
  6. Scales are modified, according to special needs, if necessary.
  7. Both teacher and teacher assistants are responsible for completing the Galileo assessments. Children should be divided equally among them.
  8. Teaching staff (or data-entry person) enters assessments into Galileo Technology online program after each assessment. Teaching staff with Internet access will enter the assessments directly into the Galileo online at:
  9. Teaching staff can use the Classroom Observation Record Assessment format to assess; however, upon entering data into website an Individual Knowledge Proficiency Profile Report will be printed. One copy of the assessment is filed in the Family File folder, and a second copy in the child's portfolio. After their last assessment, an Individual Assessment History Report is printed and filed.
  10. Teaching and delegate management staff will analyze assessment data after each assessment. For children enrolling mid-season, data will be analyzed individually.
  11. Parent engagement:
    1. Teaching staff will plan a home visit or parent conference within 10 days of children's assessments to discuss results and plan goals.
      1. 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.
      2. Home visits or parent conferences are an ideal time to solicit parent observations, discuss children's progress, and together plan for the continued developmental progress of each child.
      3. Share information about children's social, emotional, and cognitive development and the importance of home language.
      4. if parents have access to a computer, provide them with a User ID to the Galileo web-page and show them how to navigate the page to check on their child's progress.
      5. Parents will be given a copy of Knowledge Proficiency Profile Report after their child's assessment in their primary language. 
    2. When necessary, contact families via e-mails, notitas, or phone calls to gather child information and parent observations to inform teaching.
    3. Whenever possible, engage parents in conversations and share child assessment data to help parents learn about children's progress.
    4. Teachers use all parent contacts to assist the parents in developing and enhancing observation skills.
  12. Education Coordinators assist teachers, as necessary, to assign scales and assess children, monitor that portfolios are maintained and assessments are completed, as stated in the procedure.
  13. 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.
  14. Review the Education Services Plan & Outcomes Procedure for instructions on analyzing and using data.