Recently, our Head Start program was assessed for the competency, observing the quality of the teacher-child interactions while engaged in education. This assessment, called CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) focuses on three categories: Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, and Instructional Support. According to the Office of Head Start website, “the CLASS dimensions are based on developmental theory and research suggesting that interactions between children and adults are the primary way of supporting children’s development and learning, and that effective engaging interactions and environments form the foundation for all learning in early childhood education classrooms.”
CLASS is scored by certified observers through the Head Start office. Each observer rates a program on a 7-point scale, 1 being low and 7 being the highest. A program which scores at least a 6 means teachers are responsive and empathetic to children, the classes are organized and structured, and the curriculum effectively promotes cognitive and language development.
How does ACAP score in each category?
- Emotional Support: 6.56 (out of 6 or more)*
- Classroom Organization: 6.44 (out of 6 or more)
- Instructional Support: 3.46 (out of 3 or more)*
* The quality threshold for emotional support and classroom organization starts at a 6 and instructional support starts at a 3.
What does this mean for ACAP Head Start program?
This means our Early Childhood Education department is committed to providing young children with quality support and education to promote healthy development, so very necessary during early life. The students in our classrooms have quality teachers who demonstrate empathy and caring while also promoting learning. Since this was also conducted during a pandemic, it means our program is adaptable to any situation and will continue to provide quality education to our students.
Congratulations to all of the Early Childhood Education department staff on this accomplishment. You demonstrate quality every day (though we already knew that) and we are proud to have you part of ACAP.
If you would like to learn more about the CLASS Teacher-Child Observation Instrument and how it is used in Head Start, click the here to go to the Office of Head Start’s website.