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Opening of School 2020-21 Preschool Through 3rd Grade

Preschool

Questions and answers are related to the Colorado Preschool Program, Preschool Special Education, and Child Find for children from birth through age 5 during Safer At Home and Beyond. 

Jump to a Preschool topic:

State-Funded Preschool Guidance Related to Instructional Hours and Attendance

In collaboration with stakeholders in the field and partners across the Department, this preschool-specific guidance is intended to build on broader CDE guidance while providing preschool specific considerations. Please note, the italicized font in this guidance are direct quotes from the CDE Policy on Instructional Hours and Attendance for the 2020-21 school year

Calendar

What does state law say about school calendars?

State law requires each local school board to annually adopt a district calendar that includes a minimum of 160 student contact days and allows local boards flexibility in changing that calendar as a result of emergency closings or unforeseen circumstances. C.R.S. 22-32-109(1)(n)(II)(B).

If we implement remote learning days, how will this affect our student contact days?

 

For the 2020-21 academic year, student contact days may include remote learning days as implemented as a result of public health and safety measures. In order to count a remote learning day as a student contact day, the following criteria must be met: 

We encourage the local preschool district advisory council to advise the school board on this topic for preschool.

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Instructional Hours

How many hours are required for teacher-pupil contact?

 

State law requires each school schedule to include a minimum number of hours of planned teacher-pupil instruction and teacher-pupil contact during the school year. For the Colorado Preschool Program the minimum requirements are 720 hours for full-day and 360 hours for half-day. Caregivers and teachers of young children in preschool play an important role in creating a coordinated approach to learning and development. Research and widely accepted strategies show that meaningful learning experiences occur during engagement through play, exploration, and inquiry in ways that support the whole child. As a result, we recommend that hours for this age group be conducted in person, when at all possible.

Programs are expected to make a good faith effort to ensure that whatever combination of in-person and/or remote learning they implement during the year allows teachers to cover the same academic content as they would have covered under the in-person schedule. Districts will need to determine the equivalent amount of teacher-pupil instruction and contact time associated with the remote learning being delivered. See the Addendum to the Audit Resource Guide for more information on instructional hours and equivalencies. 

How is remote learning defined? 

 

For the 2020-21 school year only, local boards may define “the educational process” as including instruction delivered electronically and independent, remote work time for students that is directed and monitored by a qualified teacher. 

If districts will be including remote learning in the determination for funding, they will need to adopt local policy specifically to address the implementation of remote learning during the 2020-21 academic year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is recommended that the definition of educational process be differentiated by grade-level, therefore this will look different for a preschooler than an older child, particularly since learning and instruction rarely occur independently for this grade level. See the Stay-At-Home FAQs for Remote Learning examples for the preschool grade level. 

Qualified teachers for preschool are defined by the local board and/or minimally by the child care licensing rules.


October 1 Count and Funding 

How are students counted in pupil membership?

In order to be counted in pupil membership, a student must be enrolled and in attendance. 1 CCR 301-39, section 5.04(1). A district can demonstrate student attendance if the student attends school for all or any portion of the pupil enrollment count date or the alternative count date, or if the student is absent on the pupil enrollment date or the alternative count date (for any reason), the student must establish attendance during the current school year prior to the pupil enrollment count date, and resume attendance within 30 days following the pupil enrollment count date (while also not having withdrawn from the district during that time period). 1 CCR 301-39, section 2254-R-5.03(1). For the 2020-21 school year, districts may alter their district attendance policies and the way in which attendance is documented for remote learning, as described in the district’s “educational process” definition.

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Attendance 

How might local attendance policies for 2020-21 be defined for preschool, considering the possibility of non-classroom based instruction?

For the 2020-21 school year, districts may choose to amend their attendance policies to expand the way in which attendance may be documented, so long as students in attendance are still “engaged in the educational process” as defined by the district.

Districts will have flexibility in how they calculate and collect student attendance information in 2020-21, but will still be expected to submit attendance information for the spring 2021 Attendance Snapshot data collection. Districts should consider processes for documenting attendance in a way that incorporates remote-learning attendance within its student information system.

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What are some viable ideas for documenting attendance for remote instruction in preschool?

 

Districts may choose to track and count attendance based on presence during in-person instruction, as well as assignments completed at home, logging into an online learning platform, or other methods of tracking attendance during remote learning. 

Programs are expected to record attendance (at a minimum) once daily during remote learning days. Some of these other methods may include the following ideas:  Consider using a parent or caregiver report each day or week based on information that teachers communicate about the learning experiences and activities aligned to the curriculum.  These activities are “checked off” by parents as they engage in this learning with their children. The district may want to consider altering family agreements/expectations to include descriptions of ways in which families will be expected to engage/participate in the event of remote learning. 

For preschool, it is important to consider that many working families may not be able to consistently participate due to work requirements or other situations. Consider ways preschoolers can be counted for attendance that lessens the burden for parents as they will be in charge of ensuring their preschooler is in attendance. Some options to consider in this situation is tracking when parents or caregivers pick up the weekly packet, when they log in to an online story time or circle time, when they respond to a text, email or phone call, etc. 

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Child Find during COVID-19

Given that Child Find may be conducting screening and evaluation activities in some remote formats, dependent on local policies and following local public health orders during COVID-19, what guidance is available to help ensure quality evaluation practices?

Within the COVID – 19 and Preschool Special Education and Child Find Resources for Colorado page there are various guidance documents and webinars (both national and Colorado specific) to help AUs make thoughtful considerations based on their unique circumstances.  Additionally, Special Education Administrative Units should ensure compliance with IDEA and consider COVID-19 Guidance offered by the Exceptional Student Services Office

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What should be considered prior to resuming in-person hearing and vision screening?

In a typical school year, hearing and vision screenings are routinely conducted by district and Special Education Administrative Unit personnel, including preschool and child find teams. This school year, as schools resume in-person learning, district and BOCES personnel should develop plans for conducting in-person student screenings in accordance with public health orders. 

CDE expects that children attending state- funded preschool receive both hearing and vision screening before the start of the school year so that children requiring further intervention can be identified and supported as quickly as possible. Normally, when hearing and vision screening cannot be conducted prior to enrollment it should be completed within a short time (e.g. 30 days) of enrollment. Screening requirements and recommendations under Parts C and B of IDEA are in effect for any student referred for evaluation. 

 The feasibility of conducting both universal and targeted screenings will be affected by remote and in-person learning scenarios, as well as AU implemented health and safety procedures. Due to potential constraints, districts should expect to alter their practices. For more information on potential considerations and solutions to address challenges please refer to the  8/8/2020 Guidance for Administrative Units on Hearing & Vision Screening During COVID-19

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Restarting Preschool Programming

Licensing and Health Requirements for Preschool Classrooms

Every classroom in which children receive CPP funding must have a valid child care center license from the Office of Early Childhood at the Department of Human Services (C.R.S. 22-28-108 (1)(a)). Please reach out to your licensing specialist, or local public health partners, with questions, if needed.

Is the guidance in the Safer at Home EO recommended or required? 

The public health order implements the requirements from Executive Order D 2020 044 Safer at Home, and the guidance materials then provide additional explanation. Reading the public health order carefully will provide a better understanding of what is required, and unless the terms used are optional, such as may, urged or encouraged, the actions listed in the public health order are required.

What are the current group size requirements?  

CPP class size limit continues to be 16 unless there is a smaller group size requirement put in place by the local health authority which has jurisdiction over your program. 

Governor Polis announced that certain child care providers in Colorado may return to their regular licensed group size and licensed capacity, as stated in Colorado child care licensing rules beginning Thursday, June 4, 2020. Please see the Office of Early Childhood General and Operational Questions for more information. 

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Should the maximum number of children in a classroom be reduced by public health orders, how should CPP proceed?

A rule was passed by the State Board of Education in July which allows for a CPP classroom to increase the adult-child ratio from one to eight (1:8)  to one to ten (1:10) (2228-R 6.04.1.a), when needed to operate in accordance with public health guidelines and safety measures.

Should children and providers wear masks and gloves in child care facilities? 

The current Office of Early Childhood guidance indicates the following: “Children ages 3 years and older should wear face coverings, if possible. Children should be supervised when wearing face coverings; if the face covering is creating discomfort or resulting in the child touching their face frequently reconsider whether a face covering is appropriate for that child. Children should not wear face coverings during naptime.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics has developed the COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry. The purpose of this guidance is to support education, public health, local leadership, and pediatricians collaborating with schools in creating policies for school re-entry that foster the overall health of children, adolescents, staff, and communities and are based on available evidence.

More information may be found on the CDPHE's COVID-19 website or Division of Early Care and Learning COVID-19 FAQs

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How do we ensure that our in-person (classroom-based) preschool instruction meets the additional COVID health and safety requirements?

CDPHE guidance related to physical/social distancing states the following: “Encourage 6-foot distancing and, where possible, implement distancing systems while learning.”The current safer at home rules recommend that groups of children are kept together with the same staff when possible. In other words, groups should remain consistent and should not be combined throughout the day. For more information see Thinking Through Class Composition and Teacher Assignment When Reopening and the Framework and Toolkit for Planning for the 2020-21 School Year for School and District Leaders. In addition, The Office of Early Childhood, in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, created A Resource Guide for Child Care Providers During COVID-19.

Preschool programs are encouraged to work with child care licensing staff and local public health partners, as needed. CDE regional preschool specialists are available to support district personnel and to provide individualized support related to state-funded preschool questions.

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Hearing and Vision Screening

What should be considered prior to resuming in-person hearing and vision screening?

In a typical school year, hearing and vision screenings are routinely conducted by district and Special Education Administrative Unit personnel, including preschool and child find teams. This school year, as schools resume in-person learning, district and BOCES personnel should develop plans for conducting in-person student screenings in accordance with public health orders. 

CDE expects that children attending state-funded preschool receive both hearing and vision screening before the start of the school year so that children requiring further intervention can be identified and supported as quickly as possible. Normally, when hearing and vision screening cannot be conducted prior to enrollment it should be completed within a short time (e.g. 30 days) of enrollment. Screening requirements and recommendations under Parts C and B of IDEA are in effect for any student referred for evaluation. 

 The feasibility of conducting both universal and targeted screenings will be affected by remote and in-person learning scenarios, as well as AU implemented health and safety procedures. Due to potential constraints, districts should expect to alter their practices. For more information on potential considerations and solutions to address challenges please refer to the  8/8/2020 Guidance for Administrative Units on Hearing & Vision Screening During COVID-19

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General Classroom Resources

What should be considered when a family has chosen to defer preschool enrollment because they are uncertain if instruction and programming will occur live or remote? 

Good communication with families is even more important in these uncertain times. Update and revise district and school websites so they can be easily navigated by families, and provide relevant, timely information. The National P-3 Center makes these suggestions to help with enrollment: 

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What are some critical tasks that I can do to help with reopening preschool? 

These ideas are from the webinar: Preparing for Re-Opening: The Administrator’s Role in Taking Control When Things Seem Out of Control, by Jennifer Fiechtner, M.A., and Kay M. Albrecht, Ph.D.

  • Update health and sanitation policies
  • Strengthen communication systems
    • Use familiar two-way communications with families
    • Update and confirm the accuracy of emergency contact information
  • Focus on a positive work environment for staff
    • Check-in with staff more often
    • Attend to staff health well-being
  • Develop back-up plans for staffing challenges
  • Create an emotionally supportive environment for children
  • Anticipate an uptick in children’s challenging behavior
  • Develop plans for your own self-care

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What the guidelines are regarding home visits for this school year?

Conducting home visits for preschool is encouraged. However, if you conduct visits in person this fall, follow the guidelines set by your district and local health department. If staff or families are uneasy about in-person visits at this time, consider conducting home visits virtually, or perhaps meet in a public, open space (such as a park) to meet, following social distancing recommendations. The most important element of a home visit is to provide an opportunity to make connections with the child and family outside of school.

 

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Can CARES funding be used for preschool expenses?

Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) can be used for allowable preschool expenditures. CDE’s guidance document will be updated to reflect this.

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How can we practice social distancing in the classroom?

The Office of Early Childhood has some tips on ways to social distance within the classroom - A Resource Guide For Child Care Providers During COVID-19

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How can I promote children’s social and emotional well-being during this time? 

  • The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations has ideas on how to help teachers in implementing practices to promote children’s social and emotional competence and understanding expectations in their Re-Opening Guide.
  • The following guidance, recommendations, and resources are provided by child trauma experts at Child Trends and the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts.
  • SUPPORTING YOUNG CHILDREN DURING COVID-19 - Use this guide from the Office of Early Childhood to learn how you can encourage learning at home, practice positive guidance, and find resources and people that can help in your community.

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Community Providers

Expectations for remote learning provided by contracted preschools, including Head Start, should be consistent with what district-based classrooms are providing to students to promote equitable access between children enrolled in district classrooms and children enrolled at contracted sites. Remember, children enrolled at community/contracted sites are enrolled in a district’s preschool program.

In case of a pandemic related closure, please refer to health department recommendations. You will want to address situations in which the district program may close and community child care providers remain open, or vice versa.  Families will need to decide whether or not to send their child to an open program. If closures occur, to the extent possible, districts will be encouraged to continue payment of contracted preschool providers, whether or not state-funded preschoolers are attending programs in person, as long as the families have access to the district’s remote learning program. Districts should follow contracts that are in place with partner providers and should review and amend those contracts, as necessary.


Preschool Special Education

Does Preschool Special Education have any specific requirements for children who have an IEP for in-person or remote learning?

Yes, there are many considerations for children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for both in-person learning and remote learning. You can learn more at the Special Education and COVID-19 FAQs from the Office of Special Education at CDE or by checking with your Special Education Director.

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How do special education teachers and related service providers work with children and maintain social distancing?

The American Academy of Pediatrics states in COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry that students receiving special education services may be more negatively affected by distance-learning and may be disproportionately impacted by interruptions in regular education. The individual needs of children vary due to the nature of their disability. Attempts to meet physical distancing guidelines should meet the needs of the individual child and may require creative solutions, often on a case-by-case basis. 

In preschool, the relative impact of physical distancing among children is likely small based on current evidence, however adult physical distancing from one another, adults wearing face coverings, and cohorting are high priority strategies.1 Here are some considerations for itinerant providers:

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Results Matter

Will Results Matter assessments change for 20-21?

No, Colorado requires preschool programs receiving state or federal education funds to participate in Results Matter assessment. Programs will finalize online data in the checkpoint period as expected. Please see the Results Matter Calendar for dates.

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How can our program fulfill Results Matter requirements when children will be attending remote and hybrid learning?

This guidance has been prepared by the CDE Preschool Team to support the implementation of Results Matter over this school year as some children engage in remote or a combination of remote and in-person learning.

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If our program offers some or all remote instruction, how can observation data be collected?

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Remote Learning Activities

If in-person preschool programming cannot occur due to COVID, what should remote learning look like in preschool?

Unless a local health department determines otherwise, preschool programming should be offered in-person for families who choose to enroll. To fully support every child’s development and learning across all domains and content areas, to the extent possible, on-site opportunities should be prioritized.

If remote learning is needed again due to health concerns, see the Stay-At-Home FAQs for remote learning examples for the preschool grade level. 

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Transition from Preschool to Kindergarten

What can we do to make the fall transition successful?

Connections between teachers in preschool and kindergarten and between teachers and families were disrupted during the spring of 2020 due to COVID closures. Here are some ideas from the National P-3 Center to assist with transitions: 

  • Consider replicating traditional transition events as virtual experiences (e.g., virtual classroom/elementary school tours; on-line meet-and-greets with Kindergarten teachers). 
  • Explore options for staggered or delayed starting schedules in the fall, creating time and opportunity for Kindergarteners to ease into the school year. 
  • Discuss the pros and cons of looping models for teachers. 
  • Conduct the Kindergarten Entry Assessment in 1:1 appointments that meet health/safety guidelines.
  • Offering a virtual orientation video from the elementary school principal to address common questions kindergarten students and parents might have.3
  • Gathering data, such as assessment data, progress reports from the pre-K year, or anecdotal information about a student's strengths and areas to work on and sharing that information electronically between pre-K and kindergarten teachers3
  • Seeking out families in the community who may need extra support to enroll their child and finding out what they need for their child to thrive in kindergarten3.

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Resources

  • EFFECTIVE INTERACTIONS in Socially Distanced Classrooms during COVID-19, Pre-K–K-3 - Teachstone. This document uses the lens of the CLASS® tool to describe some of the effective ways to interact with children in this environment. What’s most important to remember is that interactions matter—they still matter and maybe matter even more than ever. As an educator, you may be looking for new ways to connect with your learners, manage their time, and provide them with cognitive challenges, but children’s need for these kinds of interactions remains. The skills you have already built around connecting with, supporting, and stimulating children will continue to serve you as you head into the classroom this fall. 
  • Making Connections. There's No Such Thing as Online Preschool - NAEYC. Preschool is about relationships and the learning that happens between children and teachers and among the children themselves. While there are tools online that can support children’s learning, the reality is that there is no online equivalent to preschool.
  • Public health guidance & resources for COVID-19 - Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
  • Safer at Home: Child Care Facilities - Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
  • School-based PreK, Kindergarten, and the Early Grades: Pandemic-related Planning - National P-3 Center. This document covers the following topics related to the current context as states and school districts begin to navigate plans for fall 2020 and beyond.
  • The Leadership Team’s Guide for Re-Opening Programs - National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations. This document is designed to guide the Program Leadership Team around considerations for supporting children, families, and staff as they return to the program. The guidance includes Pyramid Model practices you know and encourages you to think about those strategies from a trauma-informed perspective

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References
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2020, June 25). COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry..https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/ 
  2. Connecticut State Department of Education. (2020, July 28). Adapt, Advance, Achieve: Connecticut’s Plan to Learn and Grow Together. https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/COVID-19/CTReopeningSchools.pdf
  3. Loewenberg, A., & Bornfreund, L. (2020, July 24). Supporting Smooth Transitions into Kindergarten During the COVID-19 Pandemic. New America. https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/edcentral/supporting-smooth-transitions-kindergarten-during-covid-19-pandemic/ 

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READ Act Questions

Questions and answers related to the Colorado READ Act.

Jump to a READ Act topic:


K-3 Evidence Based Training in Teaching Reading

Information related to the teacher training required by the READ Act, including an FAQ, can be found on the K-3 Teacher Evidence Based Reading Training Requirements webpage.

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New READ Act UIP Requirements 2020-21

What are the new READ Act UIP Requirements?

Beginning in 2020-21, Colorado school districts are required to report K-3 literacy instructional programming in their district Unified Improvement Plan. Visit the Unified Improvement Planning webpage for the most up-to-date resources and information, and register for a technical assistance webinar below.

New READ Act UIP Requirements Webinar Recording

Audience: School and District Administrators and Staff
Date: Friday September 4th from 9:00 am- 9:45 am MST
Description: Reporting Early Literacy Instructional Programming and READ/ELG funded teacher development in the UIP.  A short Q and A was included to address questions.  

Visit the UIP Training page to view a recording of the webinar.

*In the webinar, an updated submission template was referenced. See links below to download the updated submission template and submission guide:

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Advisory Lists of Instructional Programs and Professional Development

Is the 2020 English Advisory List of Instructional Programs complete?

The 2020 READ Act Instructional Programming Advisory List has been updated and posted to the website. The review of English core, supplemental, and intervention programming is almost complete. As of August 2020, there are 2 remaining English supplemental/intervention programs. The vendor has requested a face-to-face review of these programs when we have the ability to gather groups of reviewers in person. 

 

Is the 2020 Spanish Advisory List of Instructional Programs complete?

Spanish instructional programs are currently under review for vendors who submitted digital materials. Vendors were given the option to defer their review until face-to-face reviews can be established, most likely this fall. Additional Spanish instructional programs may be posted as the review process is completed. If you have questions about specific programs, please email readact@cde.state.co.us for more information. 

 

How can I learn more about the instructional review process?

Please visit the 2020 Instructional Program Review Process page to learn more about the review process and view or download blank copies of the vendor application and blank copies of the rubrics used for review.

 

How can I find more information about programs that are not on the approved list?

Stakeholders interested in learning more about specific programs not on the list are encouraged to email related questions to readact@cde.state.co.us.

 

Can I view the completed rubrics for programs that were reviewed and approved/not approved?

Yes. The completed rubrics for approved CORE programs are posted on the advisory list page. Email readact@cde.state.co.us to request copies of any other completed review rubrics. Please include the name of the vendor/publisher and program when making a request. 

 

What is the process for an off-cycle review of an instructional program?

Districts may request to conduct an off-cycle review of an instructional program for use in their district if:

  • the program was not submitted for review during the official review window, or
  • the vendor makes dramatic changes to a program between official review windows.

Off Cycle reviews will not be conducted for any program that has already been reviewed and not approved.

Districts interested in an off-cycle review should email their request to readact@cde.state.co.us.

 

Some core programs are only approved for certain grades. Why are some grades not approved?

The rubric for instructional program review contains specific criteria for each grade, based on the continuum of skills learned at each grade level in each area of reading. Each submitted program was reviewed at each grade level. Some programs met criteria at certain grade levels and not at other grade levels. Email readact@cde.state.co.us to request more information about specific programs. 

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READ Act Assessments

What is the READ Act assessment timeline this fall? Has the timeline changed?

The READ Act assessment timeline is defined by the Colorado READ Act (CRS 22-7-1205) and the Rules for the Administration of the READ Act (1 CCR 201-92 3.01 (A-D)). These timeline requirements have not changed. Assessment timelines may vary from district to district, depending on the date of the first day of school in each district.

Interim Assessment:

Kindergarten: administer during the first 90 days of the school year. If administered within the first 60 calendar days of the school year, districts are not required to administer the literacy component of the school readiness assessment. (Rules, 3.01 A)

Grades 1-3: administer within 30 calendar days of a student's first day of attendance. (Rules, 3.01 B)

Diagnostic Assessment (only required to be administered to students whose score falls below the cut-score on the interim assessment)

K-3: administer within 60 calendar days of the initial administration of the interim reading assessment. (Rules, 3.01 D)

Assessment-specific vendor guidance for remote administration can be found on the READ Act assessment webpages:

 

How can we maintain reliability and validity of assessments in a remote learning environment? 

Assessment specific vendor guidance for remote administration of assessments can be found on the READ Act assessment webpages:

 

How can we ensure that the use of READ Act assessment data is meaningful, considering COVID-related school disruption?

The purposes of READ Act assessments are critical to keep in mind in the current context of school disruption and potential learning loss. Effective use of READ Act assessment data should assist in:

  • identification of student risk for reading difficulty
  • identification of specific skill deficits
  • planning for instruction (at a student and system level)
  • gauging effectiveness of instruction (at a student and system level)

Assessment information should be used at a student and system level. When analyzing READ Act assessment data, consider using the guiding questions from this resource: Outcomes Driven Model Guiding Questions.

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Identification of a Significant Reading Deficiency

Has the criteria/process for identification of a Significant Reading Deficiency (SRD) changed since the 2019-20 school year?

Yes. On March 12th, 2020 the State Board of Education finalized the updated Rules for the Administration of the Colorado READ Act, 1 CCR 301-92. 

One of the changes is related to the identification of an SRD in English, which will be based on a combination of each of the following:

  • A score below the cut score on an approved interim assessment 
  • Results from an approved diagnostic assessment confirming a deficiency in one or more components of reading
  • A body of evidence (Rules, 3.02 (A-C))
    • Body of Evidence: A collection of information about a student's academic performance which, considered in its entirety, documents the level of a student's academic performance. A body of evidence, at a minimum, shall include scores on formative or interim assessments and work that a student independently produces in a classroom, including but not limited to the school readiness assessments adopted pursuant to section 22-7-1004(2)(a), C.R.S.. A body of evidence may include scores on summative assessments if a local education provider decides that summative assessments are appropriate and useful in measuring students' literacy skills.

Can we delay the identification of a Significant Reading Deficiency due to COVID-related school disruption?

READ Act assessment timelines have not changed, and are defined by:

However, the criteria for identification of an SRD have changed (see Q&A above), which may in some cases impact (lengthen) the timeline of identification. For example, a student may be assessed with an interim assessment within the first 30 days of attendance and fall below the cut-score for an SRD. Within 60 days of this interim assessment, an approved diagnostic assessment must be given to determine/confirm specific areas of skill deficiency. Rule specifies that during this 60 day window, the student should receive scientifically-based and evidence-based core and intervention instruction, and a body of evidence should be collected. This combination of assessment, instruction, and gathering of evidence should allow students time to respond to instruction and should support a thorough process for identification of a significant reading deficiency.

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READ Plan Initiation and Services

What are the required components of a READ Plan?

  • screening or interim assessment results and diagnostic assessment results including specific skill deficiencies identified
  • end of year goal as well as ongoing objectives to meet the end of year goal
  • aligned interventions and services that are in addition to 90 minutes of evidence-based core instruction
  • progress monitoring
  • specific family communication and involvement in supporting the READ plan
  • supplemental services
  • additional, more rigorous strategies and intervention instruction for students still identified as having an SRD for more than one year. 

Visit the READ Plan Support Resources page for more information related to READ plans.

 

What are the requirements for READ Plan initiation this year? Can READ plan initiation be delayed due to COVID-related school disruption?

The requirements for READ plan initiation have not changed. Statute requires that a READ plan be created as soon as possible after a student's significant reading deficiency is identified. (22-7-1206 (1)(a))

Note that the changes to the criteria for identification of an SRD may impact the timeline for identification and READ plan creation (see Q&A above).

 

Are READ plan services still required this school year for students who are learning remotely?

Yes. Districts are required to provide READ plan services to all students with a READ plan this year, whether the student is learning in person, remotely, or in a hybrid learning scenario. While these supports may look different given the varied learning contexts anticipated in districts this year, students with a READ plan are entitled to all the supports outlined in the READ Act. 

 

Can you provide resources for implementation of READ Plan services in a hybrid or distance-learning model?

Please see the resource list below.

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Resources

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Kindergarten School Readiness 

Questions related to Kindergarten School Readiness

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Transitions

How can we support fall transition?

Please see above for information specific to preschool-Kindergarten transitions.


Kindergarten School Readiness Assessment

What are the school readiness timelines for the 2020-2021 academic year?

The school readiness assessment is required to be administered to each student enrolled in a publicly funded kindergarten within the first sixty days of the school year (§22-7-1014). The 2020-2021 data collection is paused.

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What are the approved kindergarten school readiness assessments?

Information on each of the four State Board Approved school readiness assessments can be found on the assessment webpage.

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What domains are required in the school readiness assessment?

The school readiness assessment is required to assess each child’s physical well-being and motor development, social and emotional development, language and comprehension development, and cognition and general knowledge (§22-7-1014).  The State Board of Education defines general knowledge as literacy and mathematics.

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How do we assess in a remote or hybrid learning context?

Each of the approved school readiness assessments are designed as formative assessments. These assessments are then used to inform instruction through the use of individualized school readiness plans. Evidence of a child’s knowledge, skills, and behaviors can be collected through a variety of routines within remote or hybrid contexts:

  • Interactive times such as large group, small group, and one-on-one sessions
  • Independent Work
  • Family check-ins and dialogue

Documentation of a child’s knowledge, skills, and behaviors may include, but are not limited to:

  • Work samples shared in a learning management system or digital portfolio,
  • Photo and video documentation,
  • Documented responses to prompts from family dialogue.
  • Documentation of observations from interactive sessions

The child’s teacher assesses each child’s demonstrated knowledge in all 6 domains of learning and development using the collected documentation and finalized his/her score.

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What resources are available to support assessing in remote, hybrid, or in-person contexts for the 2020-2021 academic year?

Vendor-specific guidance is available on the assessment support 2020-2021 webpage.

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What training and technical assistance are offered to support the 2020-2021 assessment?

An overview of upcoming webinars, trainings, and meetings with registration for each is located on the school readiness training webpage.

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Individual School Readiness Plans

Are individual school readiness plans required for the 2020-2021 academic year?

Yes, data from the school readiness assessments will be used to inform individualized school readiness plans.

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What is required in an individual school readiness plan?

Individual school readiness plans are informed by the school readiness assessment to monitor a child's progress toward school readiness. Individualized readiness plans address the standards, knowledge, and skills in which a student needs additional support to make progress toward school readiness (22-7-1014).

If a student enrolled in kindergarten is identified as having a significant reading deficiency, the student's READ plan should be created as a component of the student's individualized readiness plan (22-7-1206).

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Remote Instruction

What resources are available to structure and plan for remote learning?

Additional information can be located on the CDE’s Office of Standards and Instructional Support website.

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What resources are available to support a hybrid learning context?

Please visit the CDE’s Hybrid Learning Guide for more information.

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Resources

Alaska Department of Education & Early Development (2020). Transforming Schools: A framework for trauma-engaged practice in Alaska

CCSSO (2011). Moving forward with kindergarten readiness assessment efforts: a position paper of the early childhood education state collaborative on Assessment and student standards. Washington, DC: CCSSO

CCSSO (2018). Revising the definition of formative assessment. Washington, DC: CCSSO. 

NAEYC (2018). Spotlight on young children: Observation and assessment. Washington, DC: NAEYC Books.

National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (2020). Emergencies and National Disasters: Helping Children and Families Cope

Perry, B. (2020). Neurosequential Network: COVID-19 Stress, Distress & Trauma Series. Managing Transitions. 

Samuel, A., and Tarasawa, B. (2020). The COVID-19 slide and what it could mean for student achievement. Education Commission of the States. 

WestEd (May 2020). Engaging parents and students from diverse populations in the context of distance learning. 

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