Vermont Early Childhood Comprehensive Assessment System Framework
The purpose of Vermont Early Childhood Comprehensive Assessment System (VECCAS) is to provide a framework of currently utilized assessments and current initiatives that support child assessment and screening, as well as an initial plan for implementation of a statewide early childhood comprehensive assessment system for Vermont. The VECCAS framework is intended to be referenced and used over an extended period of time for reflection, self-evaluation, and improvement in early childhood (birth-grade 3) efforts. This framework helps to address key questions facing those who are developing birth-grade 3 assessment approaches in their schools, districts, and communities.
Teaching Strategies GOLD
Teaching Strategies GOLD®(TSGOLD) is used to assess children from birth through kindergarten. Extensive field tests have shown it to be both valid and reliable. Available online, the system can be used with any developmentally appropriate early childhood curriculum. Grounded in 38 research based objectives that include predictors of school success and are aligned with the Common Core State Standards, Vermont Early Learning Standards, and the Head Start Child Early Learning Outcomes Framework, Teaching Strategies GOLD® helps teachers focus on what matters most for school readiness. It can be used to support all types of learners, including children with special needs and children with advanced knowledge and skills. Teaching Strategies Gold has been adopted as the progress monitoring tool for Universal PreK.
Classroom Assessment Scoring System
The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) is the observation tool developed to assess the adult- child interactions which impact learning and development from infant care through 12th grade. CLASS observations are completed by Teachstone® certified CLASS Observers who assign scores to specific teacher behaviors and responses.
Ready for Kindergarten! Survey (R4K!S) is a readiness assessment of children entering kindergarten about students’ knowledge and skills within the first six to ten weeks of school. There are many interpretations of what constitutes “readiness.” Vermont’s concept of children’s readiness is multidimensional; it includes social and emotional development, communication, physical health, as well as cognitive development, knowledge, and approaches to learning (e.g., enthusiasm for learning, persistence, curiosity). Vermont’s concept also reflects the belief that “school readiness” is interactional: children need to be ready for schools, and schools need to be ready to accommodate the diverse needs of children. The R4K!S 2016-2017 Report is now available.
The R4K!S consists of 34 items across the following domains:
- Physical Development and Health
- Social and Emotional Development
- Approaches to Learning
- Cognitive Development
Kindergarten teachers are required to rate each child’s skills as “beginning,” “practicing,” or “performing independently” on 28 items in addition to six additional questions related to health and well-being.
What R4K!S is Not
The R4K!S is not a direct assessment of children; rather it relies on the accumulated observational knowledge the teacher has developed about the child during the first few weeks of kindergarten.
The R4K!S should not be used to make comparisons between this years’ R4K!S data and all previous years of KRS Survey data. Apparent differences in results are attributable to the use of a new method to determine and define readiness, not to changes in the population of kindergarten students. Any comparisons made are considered invalid.