Last week our assessor came to perform CLASS observations, a critical part of our Quality First rating. In fact, I like to say that our rating is completely dependent on our CLASS scores. While this is not totally accurate, the other parts to our rating, such as teacher education, curriculum, ratios and group size are all areas we score very high in. Consequently, we know (pretty much) what our score will be in these areas. What we don’t know ahead of time is what our CLASS scores will be.
CLASS measures the quality of interactions in the classrooms. Different tools are used for the different age groups, but each tool focuses on the quality and frequency of language. A simple example to share is about the type of questions asked. Do we ask “Is that the color green?” or “What color is that?” or “Tell me about the picture you painted.” The more our questions force children to think and expand their thoughts and language, the better!
The assessor observed in the Quail and Gecko classrooms. These classrooms were randomly drawn the morning of each assessment with the only requirement being that one toddler classroom and one preschool classroom were drawn. I know all our teachers were excited and nervous for the visit. I expected when we told the teachers who were not going to be assessed that they would feel relief. While I imagine there was a bit of relief, there was another emotion as well……frustration. Why? Many of our teachers were disappointed they would not get to show off (my words) their skills. They wanted to be observed and wanted the validation that their classroom was terrific. I do understand this desire, even so, I don’t think we will invite the assessors back for more!
Sit tight for our results, we hope to announce them soon.