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 Formative Assessment?
    Formative Assessment is a process. The first step of the process is to gather information. Then, the next step in the process is to reflect on information to plan activities that support quality learning and development. For more about formative assessment, see ELA for Teachers

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    What is the purpose of the Early Learning Assessment?
    The ELA serves multiple purposes: 
    • It is a tool for monitoring the growth and development of preschool age children. 
    • It provides teachers with information about where students are in their development and what comes next to inform instructional planning.  
    • It contributes to data used to meet Federal reporting requirements including IDEA Early Childhood Outcomes.

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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 10-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 2021-22 School Year, the minimum requirement has been reduced.  If a program chooses to use the ELA as their comprehensive assessment for the 2021-22 school year, the program:
    • Must assess all preschool age children in the set of 10 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 10-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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    What is the Implementation Schedule?

    Any ODE or ODJFS licensed program may attend training on the assessment, and begin using the assessment following successful completion of the training. The assessment of young children is ongoing. The purpose of the ELA is to determine the current developmental level of children. As such, programs receiving ECE or PSE funding must report the 10-Required Learning Progressions assessment during the fall and spring windows, and are encouraged to use it during the winter and summer windows.

    Fall:   Aug 15 - Nov 14
    Winter:     Nov 15 - Feb 14
    Spring:     Feb 15 - May 14
    Summer:  May 15 - Aug 14

     

     

     

     

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System and Technology

    What is the Ready for Kindergarten Online system?

    The Ready for Kindergarten Online system (also called KReady) supports the administration of the ELA, including:

    • Providing various ways to score students in the system 
    • Delivering dashboard access to student assessment results for immediate use by teachers 
    • Ensuring more than one teacher can be assigned to a student within the system to enter data on behalf of that child 
    • Working so that the last score for each assessment item entered at the close of the assessment window is what counts for reporting
    • Making a variety of reports available within the system during and after the administration window
    Teachers can learn more in the professional development section of their KReady account. Professional Development includes: important grab-n-go resources, an overview of the online system with tutorials, guides, technology tips and tricks, and information about using the app. Teachers can find reports available through the administration window and use them to inform instruction. 

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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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    What supports are there for the role of the Data Manager (DM)?

    Data managers can learn more about their role and find resources to support them online. The Ohio Data Managers ELA Guide is a living document designed for Ohio Data Managers. You can find this guide along with many other important resources at the ELA Administrators site. 

    Ohio K12 Help provides support for the ELA. Go to http://www.ohio-k12.help or call 844-K12- OHIO (844-512-6446) to submit a ticket. The Johns Hopkins University School of Education Center for Technology in Education hosts an electronic learning community for data managers. Go to the Data Manager Site for how-to presentations, guidelines and templates, webinars, common validation errors, and support information. 

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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 and Administrators?

    There are many support resources available to help users with understanding the Ready for Kindergarten (KReady) online system, reporting requirements, and trainings. Registration is open for the new 100% virtual Early Learning Assessment trainings through the Ohio Professional Registry (OPR). 

    Prior to initial use, teachers who will be making scoring decisions must successfully complete the required the Early Learning Assessment (ELA) Virtual Initial training. The training is required for those teachers making scoring decisions and that others may collect evidence but only those trained staff can make scoring decisions. Teachers must complete the training that includes demonstrating reliability on a video simulator and passing a content knowledge test. Administrators and other individuals (co-teachers, assistant teachers, itinerant teachers, etc.) are strongly encouraged to complete the training.

    The Early Learning Assessment (ELA) Initial Training is for new users who have not previously completed an ELA training. It is designed for early childhood professionals that will be observing, assessing, and scoring the ELA. Participants will need an account in the Ready for Kindergarten Online system (also known as KReady). We are piloting a different registration process for this training only. Participants for the Early Learning Assessment (ELA) Virtual Initial Training will register by completing the registration link found in the ELA Training Schedule Winter 2022. 

    The Early Learning Assessment for Support Teachers is designed specifically for assistant teachers, paraprofessionals, and educational aides. This 100% online training will be for anyone who will be supporting a fully ELA-trained teacher with using the ELA. This training provides an overview of the Early Learning Assessment and focuses on observational assessment concepts including how to document observational evidence. Registration can be done through the Ohio Professional Registry (OPR) at registry.occrra.org. The  ELA Support Teacher Training 2022 schedule lists dates, times, and ST numbers needed to register. Educators will need to register using the ST number.

    The ELA Technology Virtual Training is for educators who have completed the 9-hour Early Learning Assessment (ELA) training in a previous year but who have not completed the Content and Simulation Assessments to receive a certificate. Participants will need an account in the Ready for Kindergarten Online system (also known as KReady). Registration can be done through the Ohio Professional Registry (OPR) at registry.occrra.org. The ELA Technology Virtual Training schedule lists dates, times, and ST numbers needed to register. Educators will need to register using the ST number.

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Last Modified: 1/7/2022 2:59:28 PM