HHS utilizes Creative Curriculum’s GOLD for ongoing performance based assessment. GOLD aligns with the Head Start Child Development & Early Learning Framework, the Illinois Early Learning and Developmnt Standards, and Heartland Head Start’s School Readiness goals. The GOLD allows teaching staff to enter observations daily, collect portfolios electronically, individualize learning activities for each child, and assess children three to four times per year. In addition, the GOLD reports can be printed anytime during the school year to analyze a child’s progress.
The GOLD covers 10 developmental areas; social-emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, mathematics, science and technology, social studies, the arts, and English language acquisition.
In order to meet the School Readiness requirements from the Office of Head Start children in every program option are assessed three or four times per year: October, January and April, in addition all full-year options are assessed a fourth time in July. After each data collection period the HHS School Readiness Team aggregates and analyzes individual child reports as well as classroom, site and program reports. We are also able to examine reports concerning English Language Acquisition, gender, ethnicity, part year or full full, part day or full day, whether a child is 3, 4 or 5 years of age, first or second year in the program, or had a diagnosed disabilitiy.
Teaching staff utilize the GOLD reports to plan individualized activities for the children in their classroom. The GOLD reports are also used to show teaching staff the objective areas in which their classroom excels and what areas may need more attention.
This information is shared with each individual classroom team three to four times per year within three weeks of the data collection for the quarter. The School Readiness Mentor Coaches review reports with each classroom team concerning the progress of their classroom and individual children based on the 10 developmental areas of GOLD. The discussion includes analysis of children’s progress or lack of progress as well as the aggregated outcomes for the classroom. After analysis, staff determines what professional development, classroom materials/resources or other support is needed to promote increased learning for the children and therefore better learning outcomes for the group.
The Governance Board and Policy council receive outcome reports four times per year from the school readiness content leader, this information is also included in the Annual Report.