Members of the St. Joseph County Intermediate School District Board of Education Monday learned about Early Head Start school readiness data.
Amy Brauer, director of Early Childhood Services, presented on the topic. She explained that last summer, the district moved to a new curriculum called HighScope. With that came a new child assessment tool called COR.
“This is our first time using that data collection system as assessment for children,” Brauer said. “We’re still learning these reports. We’re still learning as a team how to enter the data and how it levels differently than our prior tool.”
Brauer said as the district works through those learning processes, data looks different in the beginning than, for example, five years into it.
“Regardless, we want to make sure we monitor those pieces of data to ensure we have a high-quality program and that kids are where they should be,” she said.
Reports showed percentages of children above (top 25 percent), consistent (middle 50 percent) and below (bottom 25 percent) age-level norms for both fall of 2021 and winter of 2022.
Reports were in the following areas:
Social and emotional development
Physical development and health
Language, literacy and communication
Science & technology
Reports seemed to show an increase in below-average scores and a decrease in above-average scores in some categories from fall to winter. Board member Michele Bush questioned the change. Brauer said she believes part of it is simply learning the new tool.
Brauer also went over next steps:
Support providers and home visitor in implementing the curriculum starting with the areas of mathematics and science & technology.
Continue training and professional development on COR for providers and home visitor.
Monitor at the program level at each checkpoint to determine next steps.
Also on Monday, the board:
Approved the addition of one IS Coordinator to the Information Services Consortium for 2022-23.
Approved the addition of two Information Services System Special Interns for 2022-23.
Approved the first reading of board policy additions and changes to Instructional Program and Curriculum Development, as recommended by Thrun Law Firm.
Congratulations were given to Thea Lowery, assistant teacher, on her upcoming retirement, effective June 30.
The following new employees also were welcomed:
Samantha Bailey, GSRP associate teacher
Natalie Gifford, Early On referral coordinator (part time)
Vicki Akins, assistant teacher
Kaitlyn Pace, special education supervisor
Kendall Brown, speech language pathologist
Olivia Divittorio, assistant teacher
The board also learned the district will receive a $16,500 rebate from its purchase card.
This article originally appeared on Sturgis Journal: St. Joseph County ISD board hears report on school readiness data