Child assessment and screening is used at the Lab School for the following purposes:
The Special Senses and Communications Disorders Act, Texas Health and Safety Code, requires that all four and five year old children enrolled in a child care facility licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) be provided with a vision and hearing screening. Child care centers are required to file a report annually with the Texas Department of Health summarizing the results of the screening. To meet these requirements the Lab School collaborates with the ACC School of Nursing to provide vision and hearing screenings at no cost for children 4 years and older. Vocational nursing students, trained and certified through the Texas Department of Health, administer the hearing and vision screenings under the supervision of Nursing Department Faculty. Parents are asked to share any family history of vision and hearing problems prior to the screenings. Parents are notified if the screening indicates a concern and a referral to the child's health care provider is recommended.
The Ages and Stages Questionnaire Third Edition (ASQ-3) is used to screen children new to the program and can sometimes catch possible delays so teacher and parents can work together to plan for the child and/or a referral can be made. Teachers and the family work collaboratively to administer the screening within the first three months of enrollment. The teacher scores the completed questionnaire. The screening tool compares a child’s development to those children in his/her age range in the following areas: communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social. The developmental screening may be done by the teacher or parent at home or school. The child is observed and then some simple activities are done with the child. If there are concerns the parent and teacher or director will meet to discuss the results. Referrals for further evaluation are made if appropriate. The screening information is placed in the child’s file here at the center and a copy is given to the parent.
Developmental assessment tools are sequential lists of developmental skills that provide a snapshot of a child’s development. They identify strengths as well as needs, provide data that can be used in planning, and may sometimes indicate a need for further evaluation.
The developmental assessment used is the Teaching Strategies GOLD Assessment System. GOLD is a seamless, ongoing, observation-based assessment system for children birth to age 6. As children transition from one age-group to another, the staff can view and monitor children’s development and learning as a continuous progression. The developmental objectives are research based and aligned with state early learning standards and the standards of professional development organizations like NAEYC.
The purposes of GOLD are to:
Information is collected using a secure web-based program. Observations, photographs, work samples, and other information are input into each child’s individual assessment to provide evidence so that a level can be chosen to evaluate the child’s developmental progress within 38 objectives organized into ten dimensions:
The assessment is divided into age strands of birth to 1 year, 1-2 years, 2-3 years, 3-4 years, 4-5 years, and kindergarten. It is inclusive of children with disabilities. GOLD assessment is linked to curriculum, as well as family partnerships and professional development.
A child portfolio is also created within the GOLD assessment website. The assessment allows staff to collect developmental information, as well as supporting evidence in the form of observations, photographs and work samples. The child’s portfolio documents a child’s on-going development over time. Information from the child’s assessment and portfolio is shared with parents during parent conferences, follows the child from one classroom teaching team to the next each year, and is given to the child and parent when they leave the program. The developmental assessment portfolio are stored and archived on the Teaching Strategies server.
Texas School Ready (TSR), a comprehensive preschool teacher training program that combines curriculum, professional development, and progress monitoring tools to support children in being prepared for kindergarten. Children in the Planet Earth classroom are assessed up to three times per year in critical early learning areas prior to transitioning to kindergarten. The assessment allows teachers to adjust curriculum to meet individual children’s needs.