Assessing Children’s Progress
Child growth and development is always fascinating. We look forward to the opportunity to share your child’s journey with you. Your child’s Teacher will invite you to meet to share the joy of the steps as we assess progress along the developmental continuum. We typically like to schedule a meeting with you at your convenience within the first few months of enrollment and then on our regular conference schedule in October and May. Of course, we are also available to talk with you at any time you’d like throughout the year.
When we look at children’s progress in the classroom, we are looking at the child’s uniqueness in relation to our goals in cognitive and language development, social and emotional development, physical development including small and large muscle skills, as well as independence and self-help skills. Your input is important in this process.
The Teachers will use a variety of ways to collect information on your child’s progress. They watch closely as children play and participate in the Program, take some notes and use a developmental checklist for guidance on the sequence of developmental growth. Throughout the year they will collect examples of children’s work that will demonstrate development over time. The assessment activities are carried out by your child’s Teacher (individually and in small and large group activities) and take place in the classroom, on the playground or gym room or in other areas of the building used regularly by the children.
Virtually all of the activities and materials used in collecting information are those found typically in the classroom. For instance, for small muscle development, we’d look at the child’s use of pegs, puzzles, stringing beads, etc. Most items are straightforward. Teachers are trained in using the checklist as part of their regular in-service training and confer with Directors, if issues arise.
Learning Accomplishment Profile
We chose the Learning Accomplishment Profile as the developmental assessment checklist that is used throughout the School. We chose it because of its ease of use by the Teacher (much information is obvious as children go about their work and play), and the reliability and validity of the instrument. The publisher, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, FPG Child Development Institute indicates that:
The purpose of the LAP is to assist parents and teachers in assessing individual skill development in young children. The results can be used to generate a complete picture of a child’s developmental progress across seven (7) domains so that individualized, developmentally- appropriate activities can be planned and implemented. It can be used with children with typical and a-typical development. The scores represent approximations of developmental ages for use in planning developmentally-appropriate instruction. These are not age equivalents because the instrument is not norm-referenced. Normative developmental ages assigned to items vary among reputable research-based sources. The LAP data reflect documented norms, but the manual suggests it is essential that developmental ages be viewed as approximate in nature.
If you feel that our assessment methods are not appropriate for your individual child, please speak with us so that we can together determine a mutually acceptable alternative.
If at any time we feel there may be reason to seek more detailed information from professionals who specialize in various aspects of development, we’ll let you know. After considering all assessment information and after parent-teacher collaboration, a parent may decide or be encouraged to seek further developmental support or information on eligibility for special services. In further evaluating the child, Montgomery County Early Intervention Services or Intermediate Unit (depending upon the child’s age), or a private agency selected by the parent, may conduct norm-referenced and standardized tests. The School does not conduct these.
Upon request, staff will provide families with information about the choice, use, scoring, and interpretation of screening and assessment methods that includes:
- The purpose and use for which assessment is designed and its programmatic purpose and use;
- The interpretations of their results and their meaning in terms of future learning opportunities for their child;
- The way teaching staff or others have been trained to use assessment procedures and interpret results, as well as the conditions under which the child will be assessed (e.g. group size, time constraints, familiarity with adults involved); and
- Access to or information about the specific instruments used.
Upon request, you will be given a copy of the completed assessment instrument at your conferences, but if you’d like to see one in advance, don’t hesitate to ask.
Your child’s information from assessments is only used only for the purposes listed above, and is always kept confidential outside of the Teachers and Staff involved with your child and family. It is only shared with other persons or agencies with a Parent’s written permission.