High Scores Achieved Marking Quality Student-Teacher Interactions

The Council’s Head Start programs achieved scores above the national quality threshold on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) tool again this year. The tool assesses the quality of child-teacher interactions as measured across three domains: emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support.

Early in 2023, 19 of our Regional Head Start classrooms and five of our Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Classrooms were selected to participate in a new video-based pilot CLASS review project with the Office of Head Start. The video pilot project is an outgrowth of the challenges faced and changes made by Head Start programs during the COVID-19 pandemic and is a way to determine the feasibility, efficiency, and quality of observations conducted via video when compared to in-person observations.

The Office of Head Start says, “The pilot program engaged recipients in the CLASS review process, helped to determine the viability of video reviews, ensured cultural sensitivity, and provided scores and information to support recipient professional development.” Videos of teachers and students in the classroom were uploaded to a secure site and then reviewed and scored remotely by certified observers.

Teachers receive high scores when they are responsive to children’s academic and emotional needs, establish routines, offer sensitive and appropriate behavior management, and help children develop their thinking, problem-solving, and conversational skills, among other things. Scoring above the quality threshold means that “effective teacher-child interactions are consistently observed” in the classroom and reflect high-quality teachers across the program. The Office of Head Start says, “Research consistently demonstrates that children in classrooms with higher CLASS scores demonstrate more positive social and early academic development.”

Executive Director Sharon Price said, “We are incredibly proud of our teachers. They are dedicated to their students and want them to have the best possible foundation for their education. Our CLASS scores, across both our regional and migrant programs, are an affirmation of what we know to be true—that our programs are of the highest quality and our teachers are the best.”

Check out our Look Who’s Talking podcast where we sit down with ERSEA Director, Kesha Richardson, to discuss the importance of attendance in our Head Start programs.

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