Early Learning Assessment FAQs - For Teachers

General Questions

Administering the Early Learning Assessment

System and Technology

Professional Development, Training and Qualifications


General Questions

    What is the Early Learning Assessment?

    The Early Learning Assessment an observational assessment consisting of skill progressions aligned to Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards. The Early Learning Assessment covers seven domains of school readiness: Social Foundations, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Well-Being and Motor Development, and Fine Arts. The Learning Progressions define the pathway of skills, knowledge, and behaviors that children develop between the ages of 36 months and 72 months, including children who may be at earlier developmental levels than their typically developing peers.

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    What is a Learning Progression?

    A Learning Progression defines a series of skills, knowledge or behaviors for children 36 months to 72 months. This series of skills, knowledge or behaviors includes levels for children who may be at earlier stages of development than their same age peers. There are 32 Learning Progressions in the Early Learning Assessment. 

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    What are some benefits of the Early Learning Assessment?
    • The Early Learning Assessment is a free tool that can be used by any licensed early childhood program in Ohio.
    • The assessment materials, data system, training, and technical assistance are all provided at no cost to Ohio programs.
    • The Early Learning Assessment provides a common measure of children’s learning aligned to Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards

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    What programs are required to use the Early Learning Assessment?

    Only programs serving children funded by the Early Childhood Education Grant (ECE) or Preschool Special Education (PSE) are required to use the Early Learning Assessment. These programs must complete the Ten Required Learning Progressions on funded children twice per year and report results to the Ohio Department of Education.
     

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Administering the Early Learning Assessment

    How can programs use the ELA to meet the SUTQ comprehensive assessment requirement?
    If a program chooses to use the ELA as their comprehensive assessment, the program:
    • Must ensure teachers using the assessment complete the required training;
    • Must assess all preschool age children in at least 28 Learning Progressions (Fine Arts is not required) at a minimum of two times during the year following a program determined schedule;
    • Is not required to use Ready for Kindergarten Online system (KReady) for data collection;
    • Is not required to upload evidence into KReady;
    • Is not required to keep evidence after rating, but must be able to show a system to collect and rate evidence;
    • May use the KReady system to collect evidence, document ratings, and generate reports.
    For the 2022-23 School Year, the minimum requirement is again reduced.  If a program chooses to use the ELA as their comprehensive assessment for the 2022-23 school year, the program:
    • Must assess all preschool age children in the set of Ten Required Progressions (including 24 skills, or SKBs) at a minimum of two times during the year following a program determined schedule.

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    How is the ELA implemented?
    The assessment of young children is ongoing. The purpose of the ELA is to determine the current developmental level of children. As such, results are required to be reported at a minimum of twice per year during the assessment windows. 
    Assessment Windows  Time Frame  Assessment Requirements 
    Fall Aug. 15 – Nov. 14 Required for reporting
    Winter Nov. 15 – Feb. 14  Ongoing for best practice 
    Spring  Feb. 15 – May 14  Required for reporting
    Summer May 15 – Aug.14  Ongoing for best practice 

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    What are the Ten Required Learning Progressions?
    The Ten Required Learning Progressions are: Awareness and Expression of Emotion, Cooperation with Peers, Relationships with Adults, Communication, Phonological Awareness, Vocabulary, Number Sense, Coordination-Small Motor, Personal Care Tasks and Safety and Injury Prevention.
     
    For each of the required progressions, the users must gather a minimum of one piece of evidence for each observational rubric and assign a score for each observational rubric.
     

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System and Technology

    What is the Ready for Kindergarten Online system?
    The Ready for Kindergarten Online system (also called KReady) is a comprehensive assessment system that contains the Early Learning Assessment (ELA) and the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Revised (KRA-R). KReady stores student demographic and assessment information as well as professional development resources on the ELA.  The data collection side allows programs to assign ratings to students, collect and analyze data and create various reports.  The professional development side includes training modules, the two assessments need for reliability, technology guides, and instructional resources.
     
    A data manager is the individual who has access to teacher and student information in KReady.  It is this person’s responsibility for adding teachers, students, and enrollment data. The data manager is the person that will create a teacher’s account needed for the Early Learning Assessment (ELA) Initial Training.

     

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    What is the role of the Data Manager (DM)?

    A data manager is the individual who has access to teacher and student demographic information. It is this person’s responsibility to add teachers, students, and enrollment data to the Ready for Kindergarten Online system. You have to be registered in the Ready for Kindergarten system as a data manager in order to enter or access any data.

    ODE Programs:  Each participating program must assign the role “Assessment Data Manager-Preschool and Kindergarten” in the Ohio Educational Directory System (OEDS) to gain access. It is up to the local organization to determine who will fulfill this role at the local level.
     
    ODJFS Programs: If the program has an open ODE issued IRN, they should assign the role “Assessment Data Manager-Preschool and Kindergarten” in the Ohio Educational Directory System (OEDS) to gain access. It is up to the local organization to determine who will fulfill this role at the local level. If the program does not have and open ODE issued IRN, the program administrator should contact the ELA Help Desk at 844-K12-OHIO (844-512-6446) or visit http://www.ohio-k12.help/, to get started.  
     

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    Is there a difference between the assessment window and the reporting window?
    Yes. The assessment window is a period of time when teachers collect data. The reporting window is a period of time when programs enter the data into the EMIS or EAS reporting system.

    Since assessment is ongoing and connected to the teaching and learning process, the state requires reporting assessment data twice each year – once in the fall and once in the spring.

    We strongly recommended that teachers collect data throughout the year, even during winter and summer, for a fuller assessment of the child’s progress. There are four assessment windows. Two of these windows are also reporting windows. 
    Assessment Windows Reporting Windows
    • Fall: Aug. 15 – Nov. 14 (required for reporting) 
    • Winter: Nov. 15 – Feb. 14 (ongoing for best practice) 
    • Spring: Feb. 15 – May 14 (required for reporting) 
    • Summer: May 15 – Aug.14 (ongoing for best practice)
    The reporting windows are determined by the Education Management Information System (EMIS) and Enterprise Application System (EAS).

     

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Professional Development, Training and Qualifications

    Who in my program should attend the ELA training?

    Before collecting evidence for the ELA, staff must attend and complete the ELA training.

    Keep in mind that the ELA is a process of collecting evidence through observation and documentation that allows the teacher to make scoring decisions on children’s learning. This is not a performance-based assessment where children engage in a process of questions and answers.

    Administrators may choose any of the following staff to attend the ELA training: 

    • Lead Teachers
    • Assistant Teachers 
    • Classroom Aides 
    • Intervention Specialists
    We highly recommended that Administrators attend the ELA training so they understand the ELA and how it relates to the education of young children. 

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    What Training Resources are there for Teachers?

    There are several professional development opportunities for early care and education professionals to learn about the Early Learning Assessment.  Educators should choose the training that best fits their needs and use of the ELA. Please visit the Early Learning Assessment for Teachers for more information on registration.
     

    • The Early Learning Assessment for Support Professionals is specifically designed for assistant teachers, paraprofessionals and educational aides that support a fully ELA-trained professionals.  The training provides and overview of the Early Learning Assessment and assessment concepts such as how to document observational evidence. 
    • The Early Learning Assessment (ELA) Initial Training is for educators who will make scoring decisions using the Early Learning Assessment must attend and successfully complete the Early Learning Assessment (ELA) Initial Training. Successfully completion includes demonstrating reliability on a video simulator and passing a content knowledge test.  The Early Learning Assessment (ELA) Initial trainings are only open to educators employed in early childhood programs licensed by either the Ohio Department of Education or the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Participants must have an account in the Ready for Kindergarten Online system, also known as KReady to complete the training.
    • The ELA Technology Virtual Training is for educators who have completed the nine-hour Early Learning Assessment training in a previous year but who not completed the Content and Simulation Assessments for reliability. This training will review the features of the Ready for Kindergarten Online system, also known as KReady and provide an opportunity for participants to complete the Assessments.



     

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Last Modified: 8/3/2022 5:11:24 PM