As the leader of educational services within a program, the Education Manager guides curriculum and program planning, development, and training. Thoughtful and intentional use of the four steps to school readiness can help Education Managers collect and use quality data to support teachers’ use of effective teaching practices and have a positive impact on school readiness and individual child outcomes.
Steps to School Readiness
Establish Goals for Improving School Readiness Across Domains
- Work with a team to establish school readiness goals [PDF, 151KB], taking into consideration the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework (HSCDELF), state guidelines, program data, community and self-assessment data, and specific needs of the population served, including dual language learners.
- Read A Guide to Resources for Developing School Readiness Goals [PDF, 154KB].
- Communicate goals to parents, teachers, and all program staff.
Create and Implement an Action Plan for Achieving Established School Readiness Goals
- Train staff on how to support school readiness goals.
- Ensure curriculum and assessment tools are research-based, culturally and linguistically appropriate, and aligned with school readiness goals:
- Develop a plan of action that addresses each element of the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL) Framework for Effective Practice (House Framework), including gathering, analyzing, and ensuring reliability of child assessment data.
- Ensure teaching staff are trained, or will be trained, and receive ongoing support around each element of the Framework and the Multicultural Principles for Head Start Programs Serving Children Ages Birth to Five.
Assess Child Progress on an Ongoing Basis and Aggregate and Analyze Data Throughout the Year
- Ensure teachers are trained and reliable on the assessment tools.
- Periodically assess implementation of each element of the House Framework.
- Analyze data three times a year, at the beginning, middle, and end; two times a year for programs operating 90 days or less to demonstrate progress towards school readiness goals.
- Provide teachers with access to classroom data so that teachers may use it on an ongoing basis for planning activities and to adjust teaching.
- Use ongoing assessment data to support teachers and parents with individualizing for each child.
Examine Data for Patterns of Progress for Groups of Children in Order to Revise, or Develop and Implement Plans for Program Improvement
- Examine data by sub-groups to identify patterns of progress across different groups of children to determine whether each group is making comparable progress.
- Examine data in conjunction with other data such as health, attendance, and teacher qualifications.
- Identify gaps and needs as revealed by data and develop plan of action to address them.
- Share program-level data with all staff and decision makers.
- Ensure teachers continue to receive ongoing support to ensure quality teaching and learning in the classroom.
Education managers should be familiar with the contents of four crucial documents that provide a framework for their work around school readiness:
- The Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework
- NCQTL Framework for Effective Practice
- Revisiting and Updating the Multicultural Principles for Head Start Programs Serving Children Ages Birth to Five
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The Program Preparedness Checklist helps Head Start and Early Head Start programs promote school readiness for dual language learners (DLLs).
Stories from the Field
Last Reviewed: June 2014
Last Updated: December 15, 2016