April 1, 2019
A recent national monitoring review that assesses classroom quality has delivered positive scores for the RPC’s Early Childhood Education program. In results revealed in March, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) scored the RPC’s program above the national average in a number of the domains and dimensions it measures in regards to teacher-child interactions.
CLASS is an observation instrument that assesses the quality of teacher-child interactions in center-based preschool classrooms. Trained and certified observers conducted these reviews at the RPC’s Early Childhood Education Centers in Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, and Rantoul, which are all home to Head Start programs. The RPC scored above the national average in the domains of Emotional Support and Classroom Organization and in the dimensions of Teacher Sensitivity, Regard for Student Perspectives, Productivity, Instructional Learning Formats, and Language Modeling.
“We are very proud of the perseverance and dedication it took for our team to achieve these scores,” says Brandi Granse, the RPC’s Early Childhood Education director. “Preparing for the monitoring reviews required a great deal of work from the entire staff, and the results show that we are continuing to provide high-quality care and education to the families we serve in Champaign County.”
CLASS dimensions are based on theory and research suggesting that interactions between children and adults are the most important ways of supporting children’s development and learning. In early childhood classrooms like the ones found at the RPC’s Early Childhood Education Centers, effective and engaging interactions and environments form the foundation for all learning.
During the CLASS observations, reviewers independently reviewed and scored each classroom using a computer-based scoring system in the Office of Head Start Monitoring Software. The RPC scored well in the domains of Emotional Support, which assesses the degree to which teachers establish and promote a positive climate in their classrooms through their everyday interactions, and Classroom Organization, which assesses classroom routines and procedures related to the organization and management of children’s behavior, time, and attention in the classroom.
“Not only do the CLASS scores show us where we are excelling, but they will help us improve in other areas and make our program even better,” Granse concludes. “We want our Head Start program staff to offer well-organized and managed classrooms, while providing social and emotional support and interactions that inspire learning in all the children at our centers.”
The CLASS measurements were completed in April 2018 at the RPC’s Early Childhood Education Centers. The Office of Head Start completes CLASS reviews every three years.