For more information, please contact us at OHSMonitoring at dlhcorp.com.
Head Start monitoring protocols are used by the Office of Head Start (OHS) to gather data and other information to assess grantee program operation and performance. Reviews are held for the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®), Focus Area One, and Focus Area Two. OHS uses the information collected during reviews to understand the grantee’s approach to program design and services. The information is also used to evaluate their performance and continuous program improvement.
Focus Area One
Focus Area Two
OHS Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Monitoring Kickoff
Office of Head Start FY 2019 Monitoring Kickoff
Adia Brown: Good afternoon, Head Start community. Welcome for the FY'19 monitoring kickoff. We're so happy to have you here again. As always exciting to this, you know, every year, and get you ready for the new monitoring season. And I'm happy to be joined by the director of the Office of Head Start, Dr. Debby Bergeron. Hi, Debby.
Dr. Debby Bergeron: Hello. I am thrilled to be here. This is my favorite time of year, I have to admit. First day of school is my favorite day of year, and back to school time is my favorite time. And I think part of that is because, you know, when you start a new school year, all the potential lies in front of of you. So, this is the time where we get to kind of start over, and think about things that we can do better, and monitoring is one of those things that we've worked on in the last year or so. And we got some new information for folks, and we're happy to share today.
Adia: Alright. Well, I'm happy to be here today, and of course, Debby, you know, whenever you want to do something live, there's always going to e a little bit of technical glitch. And I'm looking right here at the screen, and it says, do an Apple updates, so therefore, I can't read any of this live. [Laughter] So, I hope that somebody can fix that, or change that while we're doing it. But in the meantime, I guess we're going to have to resort to some paper.
So, we're pretty good. So yeah. Somebody has to fix it. So, one of the things, we have a technician over there who probably needs to look at the screen so she can see that she needs to press the quit button.
So in the meantime, Debby, that was a great welcome. I think today we're going to talk a lot about what's going on for, you know, the brief monitoring -- brief monitoring discussion, and really overview what monitoring looks like. We're also going to do some updates and some live Q&A.
It's fine now. I think the technician, the technician has it all worked out. Thank you so much for doing that.
So, right now, we're going to talk a little bit about FY’18. We had a lot of fun. So, you know, did you hear anything while you were out? I know you did a lot of visits and stuff about --
Dr. Bergeron: I did.
Adia -- FY’19 monitoring.
Dr. Bergeron; I did, and of course, I didn't start until April. So, I came in well into the '18 year. But, one of the things folks are telling me often was that they compared previous monitoring to be -- to feeling very much like a checklist. They felt like it was compliance driven, and they were checklist. And this year, they felt like they were having conversations about what they were doing. That gave them a chance to put context around specific things, and I think feel better about their work. And of course, coming from public school, and knowing how we do evaluations, that was far more aligned with that, where you're really trying to know the program, and know the teachers, and feel like you have a sense of the culture.
Adia: That is good news. You know, the monitoring team, everybody at Head Start, they really worked a lot to make sure that the FY'18 monitoring had a new feel. I think I heard it a lot, too. I went out. We collected grantee stories. I went and I was at the introductory meetings, where grantees really sat around the table and told us about who they were. We went on explorations. We did data tours. And many of those things we're going to keep because we got lots of positive feedback about them. Even if grantees got findings, we still, you know, no one ever once to get a finding. But when they did get findings, they thought it was fair. They felt that they understood them. And they felt that it was a part of their entire story. So, it was a good thing.
So, the -- So, we're going to move from FY'18 and really go into FY'19. And so, this year we're going to talk a little bit about the revisions that we did to the Protocols. We did a few things for grantees. One, the Protocol that we used last year was brand new. And it did bring out a lot of that conversation. People were able to talk. But we actually said a lot to us, "But we don't know what you want."
Dr. Bergeron: Ah. Even if they had the objective in mind. A clear --
Dr. Bergeron: Okay.
Adia: So, one of the things that we did for the new protocol is, we did a few things. We streamlined them. So we made them a lot easier to understand.
Dr. Bergeron: Okay.
Adia: We also clarified what was the performance measure that we were looking for. And last year's protocol, the performance measure as at the end. So you did all these questions. You answered all these things. And then at the end it said, "Oh yeah. By the way, this is what we're looking for." We changed it. So this year, now the question is actually the performance measure. So the grantee knows exactly what it is that we're talking about in those conversations. And we hope that it will make it a lot clearer.
Dr. Bergeron: Right. Certainly makes a lot more sense. Since, typically in a classroom, you put your objective first, and then you do the teaching.
Adia: Well, we learned a lot from [Inaudible]. One of the, one of the things that we did to the -- and you were very instrumental in this -- we talked about it a few times. You did several blogs on it -- is that this year, in the protocol, in the FY'19 Protocol, we really did focus on, a lot aligning with school readiness. So, there's lots of questions there. There is data questions. You want to talk a little bit about that.
Dr. Bergeron: I do. And I think I want to start by just thanking everyone at Head Start for being so receptive to, sort of, my perspective. As I came in, and I think it just became crystal clear to me that this was so important. And yet at the same time, Head Start is a school readiness program. So it wasn't some new idea. I think the idea, though, was can we focus more of our feedback on school readiness, and really even, as I said in August, call it receiving school readiness, so when we're asking questions, we're not just talking about general school readiness, we're talking about being ready for this school where this particular child is going end up. And that's what really matters at the end of the day.
Adia: I think you would agree. And I"m looking forward to seeing how grantees talk about it this year. I'm looking forward to collecting some of the data. There's some questions that are in the Protocol that are just for data collection. So, you'll see when you see the new Protocol, that there'll be questions that re related to whether or not the school that the child is going to has a school readiness -- kindergarten assessment. That's a question that's really about data collection for the Office of Head Start. But you also see some focus on questions that are around things like transitions to kindergarten. Those are Performance Standards. And so, those are things that we're really seeing how your program actually does them.
Dr. Bergeron: You know, I've een gotten just random emails from Head Start directors, or even grantees just saying, "I really appreciate this focus. By raising the issue, you're helping me focus on what I know is most important." And of course, I've gotten lots of emails from folks saying, "Oh, I have a great relationship with my principal, or my superintendent. And, I can't wait to hear these things. Because that's what we ant to find out. Like, where is it working, and then, can we capitalize on that.
Adia: Great stories. I'm looking forward to some really great feedback stories this year. So. All the grantees always want to know. What can we expect in the new monitoring year?
Dr. Bergeron: Mmm-hmm. What?
Adia: Last year, there was a big change-up. We did the new focus areas. And this year, grantees, you will be excited to know, no big change-ups. Grantees, you should all be happy and cheering, and saying, "Yay!" So, there's no big change-ups this year. The review teams are still doing their homework. Grantees loved it last year. So, the review teams, they came prepared. They knew who the grantees were. They knew their community assessments. They did all of those things. They're going to that again this year.
Dr. Bergeron: Wonderful.
Adia: So, the approach was conversational. Grantees got to talk. They got to share. They did all those things, and we're keeping that again this year. So, talk to your neighborhoods, because this is a whole no class of people who are going to be doing this. We're going to do the same thing.
There is a CLASS. We did CLASS last year, and we thought, we're so smart. We're going to be efficient, and we're going to be effective, and we're going to do the CLASS and the focus area, too, together.
Didn't go so well.
Dr. Bergeron: Didn't go so well.
Adia: We asked grantees if that's how you want it to be done. People were really excited. We want to thank all the grantees who actually did that. But, it turns out, that that is a bit stressful for grantees. So, this year, we're not doing it together. They're not going to be scheduled together.
Dr. Bergeron: We want to give a little bit more focus on one thing at a time so it doesn't feel like everything is coming down all at the same time.
Adia: That's right.
Dr. Bergeron: That's nice.
Adia: That's right. So for years, every year of ever, we've sent out reports in the mail. They've come through FedEx. Grantees wait around the mailbox waiting for them.
Dr. Bergeron: I sign lots of them.
Adia: You've signed lots of them. They've all been paper. And this time for the first time, we're going to be sending grantees electronic reports. Which is really important. They're going to come to you through HSES. So, you're accustomed to getting your correspondence through HSES. And so this year, your report is going to come through that correspondence, as well. So, don't look for the paper envelope, because it's going to be in your mailbox.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah. I love that. I love -- I'm thinking of, if I think like a school administrator, like a Head Start director or grantee, I love the fact that that's going to come to me in a format that then is easily filed, and saved, and organized. Paper is kind of cumbersome.
Adia: Paper is old school. We're getting new school.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah.
Adia: Speaking of school. Right?
Dr. Bergeron: Right.
Adia: Alright. So, all of the protocols. Everybody is always wondering. When can I get the Protocol? When can I get the Protocol? Well, this year, the Protocol is going to be up after this webinar. So, after the webinar is over, we're going to post the protocols, and the you'll be able to see them, share them, and use them in your program. Very excited about that.
So, that's the first one. You know that we have two focus areas. Focus Area 1 and Focus Area 2. So Focus Area 1 is really -- we did it last year. We did a pilot. We did about 33 grants. It was fascinating.
Dr. Bergeron: Right.
Adia: Lots of information about the grantee's foundation. So where they started. And, you know, some of our anecdotal. You know, you've talked to, you talked to Tabatha a little bit about this.
Dr. Bergeron: Yes. Yeah. Yeah.
Adia: And you remember the stories where she told you about, sort of, grantees took that time to be reflective. Really think about their programs. Decide whether or not they were going in the right direction. Just lots of things happening in Focus Area 1.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah. And I think again, I think any time you have an opportunity to both reflect and then share out with someone who is objective, you can really learn a lot from your own practice. And that's how you get better at what you do.
Adia: Yeah. So we're going to do it again.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah.
Adia: So, I think we're going to do it again. But this time, we're going to be doing it for over 200 grantees.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah, I know. It's a big year.
Adia: It's a big year. So, we're going to be doing that Focus Area 2 for a lot of you out there. One thing. Don't be nervous. As. Dr. Bergeron said, this is an opportunity for you to reflect. This is an opportunity for you to talk to someone who has an objective opinion about your Head Start program. And, this is just an opportunity for us to learn where you're going to start. Now some people say, I've been in business for 40 years. I've been doing this for a very long time. But every time you get a new five-year grant, there's an opportunity for you to think about new strategies, for you to think about new things, for you to think about your program design. And that's what we'll talk to you about during Focus Area 1. Last year, it was a long Protocol. We scaled it back. We made it shorter, because we want people to really focus on the things that matter.
Dr. Bergeron: Well, you know, I would say for folks who have been doing this a really long time, you certainly are veterans, and you know what you're doing. You've been around for 40 years. But your children have only been here for three or four years. And kids change, and needs change, environments change, parents change. Priorities change in society. And so, I think the, you know, you can't be stagnant. You have to always be thinking how can I get better at what I do, even if you're really good at it now, you want to be in that mindset of growth, I think.
Adia: I think so, too. I think so, too.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah.
Adia: Well, Dr. Bergeron, grantees always want to know how exactly are you going to do this. So for Focus Area 1, first, the DLH reviewer is going to conduct the review. So just like when you have a regular Focus Area 2, you'll have a contracted team leader that will actually walk you through the process. They will also look at documents that you already submitted. So, there's not a lot of extra work for the grantee. We look at things like the PIR, like your grant application. We'll look at your community assessment, if it's available, or if your summary is available. So whatever documentation is available about your grantee, they'll study those, get to know you, and then have this call with you.
There's also going to be a regional office planning call. So this is the opportunity for this reviewer to talk to your regional office, learn more about you as the grantee, and really think about the questions that they want ask you specifically to help you really engage in the Focus Area 1 process. There's also going to be a virtual discussion with your management team. So you all of your management team, whoever you would like, gets to participate in this discussion. Without due, the discussion happens for five days. So you can actually -- you have the opportunity during your planning call with your reviewer, or your reviewee, you have the opportunity to actually space out who them to talk to on each of those days. So there's a lot of participation from the grantee. And a lot of opportunities for us to learn more about you through your documentation, through the regional offices, and through how you actually engage with us during the process.
Dr. Bergeron: So, really though, Focus Area 1 is almost like a professional development opportunity. You think of it that way. You get these folks to come in, to listen to you. You're going to get some feedback. It will be formalized in a report. You can share that with your staff. Right? So I think Focus Area 1 is very exciting.
Adia: Well. As exciting as Focus Area 1 is, Focus Area 2 is even more exciting. So, Focus Area 2 is really, you know, the opportunity for us to come on site. So most people, where they get nervous, where their stomach starts to churn, is when they think about the on-site review. So, the onsite review is going to be five days. We want to give enough time for the reviewers to really understand the program, to give the folks, to talk with the program, and spend that time there. So we have five days. So, the other thing is that each one of those -- this is also lead by dine, a DLH review lead. So there will be a contracted review lead that will come out to your program, and they'll be there.
We've expanded the number of reviewers. So, there were two. And now there are going to be three. We just spaced them out because grantees really said that they needed a lot more time to really get their, you know, to work through their files, or they may want to talk about something in depth, and we didn't have enough time with the number of people that we had. So we added one more.
You heard, they heard me talk about the Protocol enhancements. So the measure's removed. And we also, like Focus Area 1, we streamlined Focus Area 2, just making it easier to read, making the questions easier to understand. There's a planning call with the regional office, again, just to make sure we're looking at the right thing. And we also plan with the grantee.
Dr. Bergeron: Right.
Adia: So, the grantee for this one, the planning is a little different. For Focus Area 1, it's all on the phone. It's all virtual. For this one, the planning call really consist of things like, "When are you open? When are your classrooms open? Who's going to be available? When would you like to have your governing body meeting? Do you want to have a parent meeting?" So, all of those things are discussed on the call. And it's really important that the grantee engage in it, so they get a review that fits them.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah. So having, like, the whole year's calendar in front of you, so you do know when you don't have school, or -- You don't want to plan those things when you got a Monday holiday, or something like that.
Adia: That's right. So, if you're reviewed, grantees will get their 60-day notice, and that will tell them what the date of their review is, because they send it in a calendar. But once they know when their review date is, it's really important for them to think about, are people going to be on vacation. You know, maybe that vacation, maybe they might want to change if it's an important person. You know, who -- which parents will they like to come to a parent meeting? Things like that. So, the review team is really good about talking to them, and making sure that those things happen.
Dr. Bergeron: And I think it's important just to mention that, I have heard from a lot of folks, as I've, sort of, gone around. Certain times aren't good for me to have somebody come in. But we have to think of every day as an okay day for somebody to come in, because the kids are there. So, it doesn't matter when it is. We should be able to see great things happening whether it's the beginning, the middle, or the end of the year.
Adia: And you know, it's funny that you say that, Dr. Bergeron. I think in our old system, where it was very check the box, I think the days were really important to people. Like this day is not important. But I think this, you know, this is another sort of cohort of grantees that are going to be reviewed. Last year, whenever we came, because the grantee was really focused on telling their story, it really didn't matter as much. So.
Dr. Bergeron: That's great. Good to hear.
Adia: So, Focus Area 2. There's a few things that grantees, you want to know about, sort of, what's happening again. So, we're going to have a management meeting. That's really important. We used to call this the introductory meeting. We called it that last year. We changed the name, because we really want to focus in during this meeting about the management of your program, and how that works. We also have data tours. Those data tours have been phenomenal. This is the opportunity for the review team to sit at the desk with your staff and use the data they way they use it every day. It has been so illuminating for the Office of Head Start to really understand not just getting a binder of your data, but seeing how your staff actually use that data on an everyday basis. We're also going to look at ERSEA files. We always do that. So you want to be prepared to have all your ERSEA files available, and the team will give you the sample before they come on site.
We're also going to -- we have enhanced the fiscal exploration. Last year, the fiscal exploration, we didn't do enough transaction testing to really understand the grantee's physical perspective. So this year, we're going to do that. But we've also enhanced the fiscal exploration to make sure that fiscal is connected to the budget that you use to make your program operate well. So, that is going to be a big enhancement. When you get the Protocol, you'll want to read that question to really see the type of things that we're focusing on.
And as usual, the grantee participation is really important. And just like last year, we continue to ask the grantees to provide us with grantee guides. These guides give us the opportunity to go out to classrooms, to go visit enters, and those guides are there to help us see the program through your lens. And so, it's very helpful to all the reviewers to make sure that you have a guide who is with the reviewer when they're going out to do observations.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah. That's a streamline.
Adia: Mmm-hmm. So. CLASS. Everyone always ask me tons of questions --
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah. Me, too.
Adia: You came to a presentation when I was doing CLASS.
Dr. Bergeron: Yep. It reminds me a lot of the evaluation system that we used in K-12, in the sense that there are standards, and the expectation is that you go in and see those standards, and it makes everyone nervous because they're so afraid that you're not going to see the best of -- they had a much better day the day before. Why weren't you here the day before.
Adia: Right. Right.
Dr. Bergeron: But, you know, really what you're looking for in something like that is good, solid, overall instructional practice, social-emotional growth, connection with kids, kind of that big picture thing.
Dr. Bergeron: So, it isn't necessary to do a dog and pony show for a CLASS assessment, is it?
Adia: Nope. No, not really. And you know, from a monitoring perspective, people have always, they've been pretty vocal about CLASS, and our reliability around CLASS, and the validity of CLASS, and the tool itself. And so, one of the things that the Office of Head Start sort of made the decision to do this year was to add two CLASS reviewers to every review, except for extra small ones. So, this is really important, because although the CLASS reviewers will still be doing reviews independently, they don't, they won't do CLASS reviews in the same classroom. But because we have two reviewers onsite doing reviews, when we put those scores together, it creates a more reliable score.
Dr. Bergeron: Okay.
Adia: So, this year, whenever you have a CLASS review, expect to see two or more CLASS reviewers, depending on the size of your program. Again, extra small programs will still do one.
Dr. Bergeron: Okay.
Adia: Okay? So, everyone is going to be so excited about the FY2019 Protocols. As I said, they're coming out this afternoon. And they consist of a few sections. One, of course we always continue to look at program design. In Focus Area 1, program design is a lot more important. That entire protocol is about the design of your program, the design of education, health services, all those things. In Focus Area 2, we also have education services, family and community services, fiscal infrastructure, and ERSEA. So those are the main areas of the protocol that you can plan on focusing on. And the reviewers will actually talk to you about those things, and explore them while they're at your program.
Dr. Bergeron: And they'll be able to look these up after the webinar?
Dr. Bergeron: Awesome.
Adia: They'll be right there for them. So, one thing that grantees always look forward are their monitoring reports.
Dr. Bergeron: Me, too! I love reading them. Yes, I love it.
Adia: Well, that's great. Grantees always look forward to their monitoring reports. And this year, as in other years in the past, there's always a struggle to get that monitoring report out in a timely manner to the grantees. So, grantees this year may have noticed that their reports this year were a bit late.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah.
Adia: So, we made some enhancements to our system to make sure that the reports could get out faster. One of them was, when you see a report this year, you'll notice that the report is matched to the Protocol. So last year's reports weren't exactly matched to the structure of the Protocol. This year the reports follow the same mapping. So, this will be helpful to you as grantees because when you actually read the Protocol and you see your report, you will see where things came from. So, we think that will be a lot more useful to you as a grantee. And it's also going to be a lot more helpful to us in developing the reports to you as a grantee.
Dr. Bergeron: Will there be a sample report, or something like that, available to them, so they can kind of see what they know? Expect?
Adia: Absolutely. So, the DLH will post the sample report. And they'll also provide you with a report guide, so it shows you where sort of those connections are made.
Dr. Bergeron: Perfect. I will say, one of my favorite parts of the report is reading about the, kind of, above and beyond, or the positive things that an observer might see. And then, write about them. And I read, and it helps me understand, like, on the ground, all the hard work people are doing. There were so many great stories that came through those reports. I read every one of them.
Adia: I know you do. Do you remember of the best stories? What are some of the best ones?
Dr. Bergeron: Well, I'll tell you the one -- there have been so many. But there was one that I read about. Head Start, I want to say it was on northwest side of the country, I think. But in a farming community, and they knew they were having nutrition, hunger issues in the community. Their assessment showed that. And so, they started what was called a gleaning program. And I was, read about it. And I have to admit, I didn't know what a gleaner was. I had never heard that. So, I looked it up, and I learned that people go to farms and take access produce. The farmers are, they don't need it. So they, and they give it to people so that they can provide food. And what this Head Start center did was it took its parents and organized them to be gleaners. And so, they were going to farms on a regular basis to bring -- And then, they created, like, a farmer's market at their Head Start in order to provide food for the community. Isn't that cool?
Adia: That's very cool.
Dr. Bergeron: Creative. Resourceful.
Adia: And resourceful. So, as you can see, the reports are -- we take them very seriously at Office of Head Start. And, your director is reading all of the reports, so I think that's so cool. So, as you can see we're trying to capture your stories, put them in the reports, and make sure the people know the good work that you're doing as a Head Start program.
So, you're -- you are all going to be excited to know that the virtual expo is still in play. It's one, we, we started this a few years ago. People love it. So, we are keeping it. It will be here again for you this year. It's going to be released on 9-13. So, it will have this webinar, that we're doing right now. You'll be able to see it again. You'll also be able to see AMS 2.0, the video about what we're doing in that system. Focus Area 1 and Focus Area 2 Protocols will be there, as well, although they'll be on ECLKC later on today. We'll get information about CLASS there. And you can also find web-based trainings, videos, and documents. So, I know that all grantees use that platform, are happy that you continue to use it. And we're happy to continue to provide that for you.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah. And that will be something you can go back to throughout the year.
Adia: Grantees go back to it. We use to have a little badging game there, like, to see how many, how many times you came. I don't know if they're still available. But, it's really fun for the grantees. So Dr. Bergeron, you want to get into a little bit of live Q&A?
Dr. Bergeron: Let's do it!
Adia: Alright. We gotta -- we speed through that. You did a, you did a fabulous job.
Dr. Bergeron: [Inaudible]
Adia: Yes! You did wonderful job. Wonderful job. So, let's start with the first question. Will Early Head Start CCP grants receive the same reviews?
Dr. Bergeron: They will.
Adia: They will.
Dr. Bergeron: That's an easy answer.
Adia: Okay. Pretty easy.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah. [Laughter]
Dr. Bergeron: And you know what? When I'm thinking about when I saw Early Head Start on here, that I think I forgot to mention. When we're talking about school readiness, I've gotten this question from a few Early Head Start folks who just do Early Head Start. "Well what does that mean for me? My kids don't go to kindergarten when they're finished." So that's why thinking about that receiving school readiness piece. So, if they don't go, if you've only got Head Start, are they going to go to a Head Start program afterwards? Are they going to go to a local preschool, or maybe a state-supported Pre-K? Wherever they're going to go after they're with you is really what I'm talking about.
Dr. Bergeron: So, just to clarify that.
Adia: But, that -- I frequently get the question of -- People ask that question about EHS-CCP because we did a different review for them at some point in time when they started. But now, they're sort of a regular part of our operation.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah.
Adia: So, we bring them back into the fold, and we do the same type review for them as we do for everyone else. The question I usually get after that is, will a deficiency count in the next 18 months. And so, that's always a question. And I always get from the Head Start grantees, and I always leave it up to Colleen to answer.
Dr. Bergeron: Okay. It's yours, Colleen.
Adia: Another grantee asked, what are some of the helpful ways to ease the team nerves going into the process. You heard me say a lot that people are nervous. You know, they worry about this. What would you recommend?
Dr. Bergeron: So, I think I would say a couple of things. I mean certainly, anything you're going to do, like this webinar, where you might get nervous, requires preparations. So you don't want to get up here cold and not know what you're talking about. So preparation is important, and that would be not just preparation on your end, but knowing what the Protocols look. I mean, you want to familiarize yourself with that. That's probably pretty obvious. And I think most people do that.
But I really think, try to, try to get this across to folks whenever they talk to you about monitoring or CLASS, because that's where all the anxieties sits. And I understand that. I mean, it's no different than, in my experience as an administrator, going in and evaluating teachers, writing it up. It goes in your file. Lives forever, and there's all this stress about it. But, the work that we do with children, to some degree, is a very organic thing. And if you take the supports that are provided y Head Start, and you look at that framework, and you think about it in a -- that part from, like, a protocol standpoint, you got to do that first. But after that. Even if you just do the work, and you live it every day, when somebody comes into your environment, it's almost like, "Oh, great. Good to see you." And that's, sort of, the feel I always try to create in a school building. It should -- somebody should be able to walk in any time. When we do this announced with 60 days notice. But, from my perspective, we should be able to walk in any time.
Adia: You're going to make people ask us about unannounced reviews, which we're not doing this year.
Dr. Bergeron: We're not doing that! I'm sorry. [Laughter]
Adia: So there's no --
Dr. Bergeron: But I'm just saying. Like, you should be in that mindset. Someone could walk in any day. And actually, you can practice that in your own environment. Get teachers to walk in each other's classrooms, or have some of your -- if you are a large grantee -- share that responsibility in your different, in your different programs. Because what you really want is for people to be used to, not strangers, but people who are not there every day walking in. And particularly kids. So, for CLASS, it shouldn't be unusual that somebody walks in, and the kids are like, "Oh. Someone's here. What's that? That's different." It should just feel normal. Oh, someone's here.
Adia: Yeah, I'll tell you a story. I was out a program. And there, and there was a classroom where the review wasn't going well. So, everybody is always nervous that something like that may happen. So, they called me. They said, "Adia, come visit this classroom. You know. It's not going well. The teacher's not doing that well. We want you to see it." And so, I went into the classroom. I brought the guide. I brought the director with me. And the director, first, the director said, "Well, we kind of know. This has been a tough classroom." So, that was great because they grantee really knew who they were. They knew what was going on in the program. They knew what was happening, and they knew that this could potentially have been an issue. So they weren't so nervous about it, because they knew. We saw what we see.
Dr. Bergeron: Okay.
Adia: So, we went in, and we observed the classroom, and we watched what was happening in the classroom. And then, we pulled the teacher, and we said, "Hey, can you watch with us?" And she did. And when she saw the classroom, we immediately knew that this teacher actually knew the right thing to do with practice. But she wasn't doing it right then at that time. So, I think what happens to grantees is exactly what you said. You have to do this exactly the way you do it every day.
Dr. Bergeron: That's right.
Adia: And you have to really show the review team, you know. It's not about showing the review team. It's about showing the review team, sort of, how you operate.
Dr. Bergeron: That's right.
Dr. Bergeron: And that's why I said, like, the big, big performance, we kind of don't want that. We just want it to be real.
Adia: Yeah. I think she was trying to give a big performance, and it was actually making her performance not actually --
Dr. Bergeron: Kids get very aware when you are different from how you normally are. And in, in a, in a early childhood classroom, kids are so honest. They will say things like, "Why are you making me do that today? You never make me do that any other day?" And then, like, the elephant in the room is noticeable to everybody. And so, just be yourself.
Adia: Mmm-hmm. So here's a different question. So, can you please outline when the Focus Area 1 and 2 reviews, and CLASS occur? I'll take that.
Dr. Bergeron: Yes, please.
Adia: That one's a little bit more technical. So, the Focus Area 1 review, it typically happens in the first year of your grant cycle. So if you are in the first, or the beginning of your second year of your grant cycle, you can antici -- and you have not had a review lately -- you can anticipate that you will most likely have a Focus Area 1 review this year. The Focus Area 2 review happens somewhere between your third and fourth year of your grant cycle. So, if you're in that third year, or you're in that fourth year, you can anticipate that this year you will most likely have a Focus Area 2 review that's coming up. All grantees got notice of turning in your calendars. So, that doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to have a review. But all regional offices know which grantees are in which year, and they can let you know if you're scheduled to have a review this year at all.
CLASS typically happens somewhere between your second and third year. So, if you're in those years and you haven't had a CLASS review yet, you may be having one this year. Again, your regional office will know if you're scheduled to have a CLASS review this year. They can't tell you what the date of your review is, but they can tell if you that you're scheduled to have one this year.
Dr. Bergeron: Alright. And if they, if they have more than one grant?
Adia: If you have more than one grant, it is different.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah.
Adia: So, more than one grant, we try to focus on, we try to align your grants together because we don't want to come to your agency year after year, after year. So if you have more -- If you have a multi-grant agency, you may have a grant that's in its first and second year, and another one that's in the third and the fourth year. If you have grants in the third and fourth year, we try to do all of your grants together. So this is something that you definitely want to talk to your regional office about. And also, if you ever, if you can't get an answer there, you can always call DLH, and they can tell you whether or not you're scheduled to have a review this year, and what type.
Dr. Bergeron: So, we have folks who want to know when they're going to know which classrooms someone will actually be observing. So, of course, that's where you get down into the detail. And I guess, some of that conversation happens initially, when they're doing the, you know, the pre-conversation. But five days beforehand, they'll know for sure.
Adia: Yep. The sample is selected five days before you review. And that's just so that we keep the reviewee. We make sure it's not skewed. We want to see your classrooms exactly the way that they are. But the system actually generates the classroom sample. So what's really important about your classroom sample is updating HSES. So it's really important that every grantee that is going to have a review this year goes into HSES, tells us the number of classrooms you have, the names of those classrooms, when, what time those classrooms are open, and what time of year those classrooms are open. That's really, really, important because that is how the DLH team pulls your sample. So without that accurate information, then we may come to your program and go to a classroom that's not open, or that has a new teacher. So it's very, very important for you to update that information often.
Dr. Bergeron: So I was going to actually ask you that. So, if I have a teacher shift at the last minute, then I can let you know that.
Adia: You can let the reviewer know that, but you should also update that in HSES.
Dr. Bergeron: Got it. Okay.
Adia: Mmm. So the next question is really what information will I need to upload or provide prior to the review. So, I just talked about your classrooms and your centers. That is extremely important. You want to make sure that those things are there. Many grantees are asking this question because they used to be, back in the day, we used to collect tons of information. So we used to get, we used to get information about their outcomes. All these things are things we now look at on site. So we're not asking for any additional information. There is one other piece, and that is information that is related to your classroom rosters. So, when we want to do the ERSEA files, we need you to actually fill out the child roster, and we need you to do it without having personally identifiable information. So, that means that you have to assign a number to each one of the children. And there are very clear instructions for how to do that, and how to upload the list, or the classroom roster so we can select the sample of child files.
Dr. Bergeron: So the next the question is talking about, what if I have a sub in a classroom. And our policy for that is that if the substitute is a paid substitute, that's been there for 10 or more days, they are subject to observation. But, I can understand how that would create an anxiety for somebody. Because you know, you've got your best teachers in your building. You really hoping that that's where your observations are going to come into play, and you can have a really good substitute. But, nothing replaces your permanent teachers. That being said, you know, when you put together a protocol like this, there have to be some guidelines. And I think the key to this piece is really thinking about how you're training your substitutes. You know, the CLASS review focuses on a lot of interaction with children. A lot of questioning and other things that are high-level activity that you could easily work into a substitute training module. So, you want to make sure your subs are locked in to the culture of your building, and the way instruction happens in the classroom. So that would be, that's good incentive to make sure that that happens.
Adia: I think it's really important incentive. And the other thing is, I think a lot of times people think about CLASS as it relates to the teacher. But it's also about the experience of the children. So, doing a CLASS, doing CLASS in a classroom where there's a long-term substitute is really important because it's actually, we're really are understanding that interaction and how it affects the children there.
Dr. Bergeron: I love that you pointed that out. When I used to work with teachers in the classroom, I would often take a video camera in, and they would say, "Oh, I don't want you to film me. And I would say, "Okay, I'm not going to. I'm going to film the kids." I want to see what the kids are doing. How are the kids responding? Do they look engaged? And do they have their routines down. Do, and then, the teacher could watch that and learn a lot just from looking as an onlooker into her classroom. Not to the teacher, but from the student point of view. So that's a really good point.
Adia: So, will CLASS still only be Head Start?
Dr. Bergeron: Yes.
Adia: Yes. Easy one. That's pretty easy. Can you have a focus area review and a CLASS review in the same year? Yes, you can have them in the same year, not at the same time.
Dr. Bergeron: Yeah.
Adia: Can a review team tell me the outcome of the review on the review?
Lot's of people ask that question, Dr. Bergeron.
Dr. Bergeron: I know.
Adia: And I think -- You know, most of it is, is because people want to know, you know, how did I do. They ask you all the time. And the reviewers, they really, you know, they collect evidence. They submit evidence. And then, that evidence is reviewed to really determine whether or not there's findings or not findings. But I always give grantees these tips. When your review team is on site, they're going to be talking to you, and asking you tons of questions. They're going to be doing -- they're going to be having touch points with you. They're going to have conversations with you. And those are opportunities for you to talk about the things that they're seeing in the program. They can clearly tell you the things that they are seeing, but not what the outcome of the review is.
Dr. Bergeron: Right. And if you think about it, you really don't want that. Because that would be implying that this is all being done in the moment. And really the evidence is being collected in the moment. Then, there's a lot of thought that goes into it. And, and, that's what you want. You want a review that takes the time to digest and think through the experience, and give you a more thoughtful response.
Adia: Right. I think that that is absolutely true. And I also think that as, as a grantee, as you're talking to your review team, you get a sense. You do get a sense for how it's going, what was going on. You know. So, what else do we have here.
Dr. Bergeron: [Inaudible]
Adia: Yes. There's always a 60-day notice. Some people have already gotten their notice because the reviews are going to start October 1 this year. So, we're going to start October 1. Although, someone put November 1 on our answers, but it's October 1. [Laughter] So, we're going to start October 1, this year. Yes. Just making sure I'm right, in case somebody wants to fix it for me. But October 1 is going to e when our review starts. Some people have gotten their notices, and everyone will get a 60-day notice ahead of time.
Dr. Bergeron: Great. I think that was all of our questions.
Adia: I think so. We did pretty good. Just going back. Yep. Well, Dr. Bergeron, how was that for you for your first --
Dr. Bergeron: Great. Great. I'm very excited.
Adia: FY2019 monitoring review. One thing I'm happy about is that you wore the blue dress.
Dr. Bergeron: Oh.
Adia: Last year, they told me that I looked like I was going for Star Trek. I had a little telecom. But yours looks much nicer.
Dr. Bergeron: I knew this.
Thanks for coming on. Alright. Have a great monitoring year!
Adia: Yeah. Have a great monitoring year. We look forward to seeing you out there. And, be good.
Dr. Bergeron. Awesome.
Last Updated: April 10, 2019