What an amazing turnout at our inaugural Parent’s Night about two weeks ago! We all know how challenging it is when you have young children to get out a-n-y night of the week, but especially on a cold, dreary and rainy Tuesday evening. That did not stop our families!
It was a packed house of parents listening, asking thoughtful questions and engaging with Dr. Amanda Williford with UVA CASTL, teachers and the leadership team. Dr. Williford walked parents through the STREAMin3 curriculum developed by UVA CASTL and implemented at our school.
Our families walked away with a greater understanding of the five core & STREAM skills, on-site coaching and professional development model for our teachers and what it truly means to be ready for kindergarten. And Dr. Williford shared the Family Core Skill cards that support the same skills that the teachers are focused on in the classroom that week and ways to support and develop that skill at home in a fun and engaging way.
At the end of the evening, Dr. Williford shared the results of the K-Readiness Report (Spring 2017) in terms of the quality of classroom interactions and K-readiness skills. As you know, the children in the four-year-old classroom’s readiness to enter kindergarten was assessed in literacy, math, social skills and self-regulation. When compared to kindergarten-entry benchmarks the results show that children at our school met or exceeded benchmarks for math, literacy, and self-regulation. Some four-year-old children did not meet the benchmark for social skills (sharing, expressing their needs and wants positively, taking turns and complying with adult directions). This aligns with the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program statewide data in terms of children needing additional help in the domain of social skills in participating school divisions.
"When compared to kindergarten-entry benchmarks the results show that children at our school met or exceeded benchmarks for math, literacy, and self-regulation."
(University of Virginia Center for Advanced Teaching and Learning, K Readiness Report for The New E3 School, 2017)
Research tells us that teacher-child interactions are one of the strongest predictors of children being ready for kindergarten and a critical component to high quality classrooms. The CLASS is an observational tool used nationally that measures the quality of teacher-child interactions across critical learning domains of teaching that are linked to student achievement and development (emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support). The CLASS scores provide evidence that teachers at TNE3S are engaged in high-quality, supportive interactions with children. When compared to other well-regarded programs in other states (Boston’s or Georgia's pre-k programs), the scores at The New E3 School are the same or higher.
The data collected in 2017 helped to inform the teaching and learning at our school and the final development phase of the UVA CASTL curriculum package (high-quality curriculum, coaching, professional development and the ongoing progress monitoring of teachers and children).
The New E3 School is a special and whimsical place where our children are developing a love of learning, playing, building upon their interests and experiences, asking questions, solving problems, working in teams, talking, thinking and creating. And none of this would be possible without a strong partnership between our school leadership, teachers and families.