Ideas that Work, office of special programs U.S. Department of Education

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Early Learning Assessment and Standards Reduction for 2020-21

Given the changing demands that early childhood programs are facing this school year, the Ohio Department of Education has implemented two significant changes for preschool programs: (1) a reduced set of minimum standards from Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards and (2) reduced Early Learning Assessment minimum requirements.  These changes are effective for the 2020-2021 school year only.

Early Learning and Development Standards Reduction for the 2020-2021 School Year

The prioritized standards are available on the Early Learning website. In the document, we have divided the Early Learning and Development Standards into three categories: 

  1. Critical and Feasible 
  2. Recommended/Supplemental
  3. Enrichment or Not Likely Feasible 

Each category has its own tab in the file. Category 1 standards are the most essential or foundational. These Critical and Feasible standards should be addressed during pandemic operations and prioritized into program planning as the minimum requirement during the 2020-2021 school year. Category 2 standards are also important skills and may be feasible to implement during the pandemic. These Recommended/Supplemental standards should be considered and incorporated into programming when possible but are not required during the 2020-21 school year. Category 3 standards are Enrichment or Not Likely Feasible. They can be used if programs have the means but should be the last set incorporated into programming during the pandemic. 

 

Critical and Feasible 

  • Most essential and foundational. 
  • Should be addresses and prioritized during pandemic operations 
  • Minimum requirement during the 2020-2021 school year. 

Recommended/ Supplemental 

  • Important skills for early learning and school readiness 
  • May be feasible to implement during the pandemic operations 
  • Should be considered when possible but are not required during the 2020-21 school year. 

Enrichment or Not Likely Feasible

  • Can be used if programs have the means 
  • Many may not be feasible for programs to address 
  • The last set incorporated into programming during the pandemic operations 

 

Changes to the Early Learning Assessment Administration Requirements for the 2020-2021 School Year 

As in previous years, only programs serving children funded by the Early Childhood Education (ECE) grant or Preschool Special Education (PSE) are required to use the Early Learning Assessment. For the 2020-21 school year only, those programs are required to assess and report on only 10 items for funded children. The 10 items (or Skills, Knowledge and Behaviors; also known as SKBs) represent one from each of the 10 previously required Learning Progressions.  Data collection for the Early Learning Assessment can occur remotely through videoconferencing or through parent report over the phone, email, and sharing of video or audio recorded evidence. More information about how to assess children remotely and supports for reporting assessment data this year are under development.

The Department will continue to provide updates on state testing as they become available. Please check the website for current information around testing and assessment.

All programs who serve preschool-age children have the opportunity to use the Early Learning Assessment to improve and support the growth and development of children. 

ASSESSMENT WINDOWS

There are four assessment windows for each school year: 

Fall:

Aug 15 - Nov 14 Required for reporting

Winter: 

Nov 15 - Feb 14 Ongoing for best practice

Spring: 

Feb 15 - May 14 Required for reporting

Summer:  

May 15 - Aug 14 Ongoing for best practice

 

For the 2020-21 school year only, programs that receive ECE and/or PSE funding must complete the 10 required items during the fall and spring windows.  Programs may continue to use the assessment during the winter and summer windows.  Programs may also choose to assess students on more items beyond those required 10.

 

How can programs use the ELA as a comprehensive assessment to meet SUTQ assessment requirements? The Early Learning Assessment is a comprehensive assessment and may be used in any Ohio preschool program to meet the Step-up-to-Quality (SUTQ) assessment requirement. For the 2020-21 school year only, the 10 required items for ECE and PSE children will also meet the comprehensive assessment requirement for SUTQ.

For all ECE and PSE funded children, the minimum ELA requirement includes:

  • Assess children using the 10 items (Skills, Knowledge and Behaviors; or SKBs) 
    1. Programs must assess and report the 10 items on ECE and PSE funded children to either EMIS or EAS twice a year: once in the fall and spring 
    2. Ohio's Early Learning Assessment: 10 Required Items (Skills, Knowledge and Behaviors; SKBs) 

For SUTQ rated programs:

  • If a program chooses to use the ELA as their comprehensive assessment during the 2020-21 school year, the program: 
    1. Must assess all children in 10 required items (SKBs) a minimum of two times per year following the same schedule as the ECE and PSE programs 
    2. May use Ready for Kindergarten Online system (KReady) or the Bridge Form to document and report the required 10 SKBs 
    3. May use the Ready for Kindergarten Online system to document and generate reports on all SKBs 
  • If a program does not use the ELA as their comprehensive assessment, the program: 
    1. Must use another research-based comprehensive assessment on all children 
    2. Must assess ECE and PSE funded children on the 10 required ELA items and must also assess these children with their chosen comprehensive assessment 
 

 

 

 

 

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