You are here

Results Matter Timelines

General Steps for Child Assessment

  1. Create/edit child records.
  2. Provide an entry date when special education services begin based on the IEP.
  3. Collect observations throughout the school year.
  4. Upload brief observation anecdotes, pictures of work samples, videos, or voice recordings to the online system.
  5. Finalize baseline data as soon as practicable.
  6. If desired, and where available, add preliminary ratings.
  7. Complete all assessment ratings by the checkpoint deadline three times per year (four, if using summer checkpoint).

Checkpoint Calendar

CDE sets checkpoint deadlines three times during the school year for ratings to be finalized for each child during their preschool experience. Observation and documentation begin as soon as a child is identified with a need for special education services, enrolls in programming, and continues throughout the school year. Where available, preliminary ratings can be made at any time. It is important to enter data and finalize a baseline rating for children as soon as initial evidence for each objective becomes available, this baseline rating may be finalized prior to the assessment rating window. This is especially important for children on IEPs. See the complete guidance in Treating the First Assessment Period as a Baseline (PDF).

Ratings should then be reviewed and finalized during the specified assessment rating window. All ratings must be finalized by the standard checkpoint deadline.

Results Matter Checkpoint Deadlines for the current school year can be found on the Results Matter Implementation web page.

Attendance Issues

  • If a child is absent from your program or does not receive services for an extended period of time, you may archive the record after the end of the current checkpoint. Complete assessment ratings and OSEP exits where applicable before archiving. You can always reactivate later.
  • If a child attended your program or received services for fewer than 30 total days of programming/services in a checkpoint period, it is still important to enter a baseline rating for that child as soon as initial evidence for each objective becomes available. Using data from the IEP eligibility evaluation, parent interview and screening activities is important in this scenario.
  • If a child returns and his/her record was previously archived, reactivate the existing record. If it has been 90 or more consecutive calendar days since a preschooler on an IEP was last in your program/receiving services—not including summer break—treat this as a new OSEP entry and change the IEP/service start date to the first day the child returned. Ninety days is the state-determined threshold beyond which the baseline data need to be reset for the purpose of OSEP Preschool Outcomes reporting. Any effect from services is likely to have diminished by this point. Do not change the IEP/service start date if it has been fewer than 90 days. If it has been fewer than 90 days and the record was OSEP-exited previously, reactivate the OSEP record.
  • If a child attends two different programs on the same day, only the program described in the child’s IEP may hold the child portfolio and make assessment ratings. Concurrent assessment records are not allowed. More information in the Preventing Duplicate Child Records section.
  • If a child dis-enrolls in the middle of a checkpoint, yet he/she was present for at least six calendar weeks/thirty program days within the checkpoint window—including standard two-day weekends but not including holiday breaks—teachers should finalize checkpoint ratings but only if the teacher collected enough documentation to make reliable ratings.

In summary, if a child starts late in your program and is present through any  of the remaining checkpoint window when they entered, we expect that the teacher will complete observations and enter complete data. However, when a child leaves early, we make a consideration that the teacher might not have planned opportunities for all observations/curricular components for all areas/objectives. In short, do everything you can to complete checkpoint ratings, finalize the areas you can with accurate information, but do not guess and please do not select “Not Observed.”

Special Instructions: Children Entering Mid-Year

It is important to enter a baseline rating for children with an IEP as soon as initial evidence for each objective becomes available. If teachers and other staff assigning checkpoint ratings truly do not have enough documentation for all objectives from eligibility assessment data, that includes family interview and other sources of information, our guidance is to use “not yet” and finalize the checkpoint data at the checkpoint deadline. This ensures that children who have and IEP will have complete entry data for OSEP reporting later. Note: If teachers and other staff assigning checkpoint ratings finalize any baseline ratings with “not observed” in GOLD® it will interfere with the OSEP baseline calculation of the OSEP Mandated Report.  Please do not select “Not Observed” in GOLD®. See the complete guidance below and in Treating the First Assessment Period as a Baseline (PDF).

Treating the First Assessment Period as a Baseline

The Importance of Capturing True Baseline Data

A child’s very first assessment rating period serves as a baseline for measuring and comparing subsequent progress. This initial portfolio of observations and documentation demonstrates where a child is along the continuum of development before any instruction and intervention has been provided. A true baseline is important for measuring growth, particularly in the context of preschool special education assessment and Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Preschool Outcomes reporting, where child growth is measured from entry to exit of preschool special education services on several outcomes.

To reflect baseline information and subsequently show the greatest amount of progress, ratings for a child’s first assessment period should be based on the earliest observations and information available. Teachers are encouraged to enter ratings in the first period as soon as they have sufficient documentation for any objective. They do not need to wait for the standard checkpoint rating window (i.e., two week-window before the deadline) in the child’s baseline period to finalize their baseline data. This does not mean, however, that teachers should rush to score all objectives in the first few weeks, which is not feasible given the overall number of assessment objectives. Rather, an assessor’s mindset should be to score as soon as baseline evidence becomes available. 

After finalizing ratings in the first checkpoint period, staff can continue capturing documentation to be considered in the following period. For children who have been determined eligible for special education and have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in place, information from formal evaluation reports may be used as documentation and should be entered into the online tool as soon as practicable. As with other formative assessments, special educators and general educators are expected to partner closely to document initial evaluation information into the online system.

Family Communication and Individual Learning Plans

Programs may be concerned with not having the most up to date assessment scores at the time of family conferences that show children’s current development if entry ratings had been finalized early in the Fall. Educators always have the ability to customize the information selected for the conference to include more recent developmental information by using preliminary ratings as new observation data continue to be added after the initial finalization.

Children Placed on an IEP Mid-Year

Children may be placed in preschool with an IEP after the start of the school year, sometimes well into the second or third checkpoint periods. In these  cases, teachers should keep what has already been rated during the period corresponding to the child’s IEP entry date instead of waiting until the following checkpoint rating window, following the baseline guidance above for the objectives that are still un-scored.

What Does This Mean in Practice with GOLD® and CORAdvantage®?

This baseline scoring process means treating the scoring process in GOLD® and CORAdvantage® a bit differently in the first assessment period.

For teachers using GOLD®, it is not just about using preliminary ratings. While preliminary ratings are still helpful, determining the earliest possible baseline score means moving more quickly from entering preliminary ratings to finalization. When preparing for family conferences, teachers could draw from more recent preliminary ratings that do not necessarily need to be converted into new finalized ratings for the period. To learn more about entering preliminary ratings into MyTeachingStrategies, please see Entering Preliminary Levels in the MyTeachingStrategies® Support Portal.

For teachers using CORAdvantage®, this means not entering scores more than one time for the same objective in the baseline period, since the online system stamps whatever the highest rating was within a period regardless of the order in which they were entered (teachers do not “finalize” in this system).

Top of Page