PGCPS has been using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) as an observational instrument to assess classroom quality in our pre-kindergarten classrooms. Effective teacher-student interactions are a primary component of high-quality early educational experiences.
Twice a year (Fall and Spring), PGCPS contracts with Teachstone to have CLASS certified observers visit our classrooms to conduct a formal CLASS observation.
The CLASS scores are used to rate the effectiveness of each school’s PreK program, identify systemic “glows” along with opportunities for growth to strengthen the PreK programs across the district.
After each CLASS observation, each school receives two reports. The building level report details the average score of all classrooms observed in the building across each of the domains (Emotional Support, Classroom Organization and Instructional Support). Each teacher also receives an individual report detailing specific feedback as noted during the observation for each of the CLASS dimensions within the three domains.
Any area in which school teams scored below a 5 were included in the school’s Program Improvement Plan (PIP), and instructional strategies are provided to support teachers’ continuous improvement. Additionally, as a part of continuous improvement, teachers are offered professional development opportunities with myCoach Connect Coaching Sessions through Teachstone. These coaching sessions provide teachers with the opportunity to receive 1:1 coaching with a certified CLASS observer who will provide feedback from recorded lessons. Teachers were also offered professional development through the Prek Maryland Accreditation CLASS Instructional Support Essentials training offered three times in the 2021-2022 school year.
The building level reports CLASS building results are shared with staff during staff meetings, and with the school community. Discussions are held at the building level to support improvements in any area where dimension scores were low.