Implementing a Quality Coach Pilot Program with Winchester-based Early Childhood Coalition
- Work within the formal early childcare system to improve educator and student outcomes of targeted programs channeling students into Winchester Public Schools (WPS)
- Early Childhood Coalition will be anchored by WPS Virginia Pre-K Initiative (VPI) and Head Start classrooms; however, additional subsidized private sector Coalition partners will be brought into the program over time
- Quality Coach will mirror current VPI Quality Coaches in developing Coalition teacher action plans and usage of the CLASS evaluation tool
- Theory of change: Quality Coach will improve early childhood educator skills, confidence, and capabilities which will then result in higher-quality academic/social-emotional learning environments for students, ultimately improving student performance and getting more students on level upon entering public school kindergarten
- Will provide 3-years of funding to cover the cost of a Quality Coach employed by WPS
Measures of Performance
- Goal: To improve the quality of early learning opportunities for economically disadvantaged children.
- The Quality Coach program was mirrored off the Virginia Pre-Kindergarten Initiative (VPI) Instructional Coach model, whereby a Winchester Public School instructional coach works directly with the VPI classroom teachers to improve teacher skills and classroom organization, ultimately with the goal to provide an improved environment where children can thrive.
- The Quality Coach will work both within WPS and the formal early childcare programs that pipeline students into the public school system. This includes J2W’s VPI expansion classroom within WPS, Head Start, and ultimately adding additional subsidized private sector programs that teach Winchester 3 and 4-year olds.
- Intent: We believe we can improve kindergarten readiness through early intervention by improving the quality of education of early childhood programs that eventually place students into the Winchester public school system. We expect that overall kindergarten readiness scores, as measured by the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP), will demonstrate increased readiness over time.
- We will measure academic performance of students involved in the Quality Coach program by using the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS). PALS will be tested twice the course of each year. We will also measure the Child Behavior Rating Scale (CBRS) annually, which will assess the students’ social-emotional development.
- We will measure teacher performance by using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS Observation). As a Preschool Development Grant (PDG) recipient, WPS is required to conduct CLASS Observations on the VPI expansion classroom teacher. The CLASS tool assesses 3 areas: Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, and Instructional Support. CLASS Observers will score the VPI teacher 2/year.
- After Year-2, we will measure kindergarten VKRP scores to see if the VKRP scores of students that participated in the Quality Coach program are demonstratively higher than children that entered kindergarten not attending the program.
- Initial results:
- We have thus far brought in a total of 4 classrooms (1 with the 9th VPI expansion classroom, and 3 Head Start classrooms), totaling 48 students. Our initial first year goal is 63 students, thus we scored our health marker as “amber.” Our 9th WPS VPI classroom is full with 18 students. Head Start began the 2021-2022 year underenrolled with 30 students in 3 classrooms, whereas they have the capacity to seat 51 students. We are exploring strategies to increase students both by enrolling more in the Head Start classrooms and also in bringing in additional subsidized early childhood education programs. We have capacity for 4 more classrooms.
- Initial PALS and CBRS testing will occur in October 2021, which will provide our baseline data.
- CLASS observations will begin in October/November 2021 which will provide our baseline data.
- We will not see any kindergarten data until October 2022, once we have our first classroom complete a full year.