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Northern Panhandle Head Start

Serving Pregnant Women & Families With Children, Birth to Five Years Old in Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall & Wetzel Counties of West Virginia.



CLASS™ Classroom Assessment Scoring System

 “Teaching is an extraordinarily hard job, and managing the complex and dynamic classroom environment can be overwhelming. What we do is provide tools to give teachers a frame for working in that environment and a sense of the various ways that they can impact the countless interactions that make up their day in a way that maximizes learning opportunities for every student.”
–Bob Pianta, Dean, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia and Teachstone co-founder

What is the CLASS™ Tool?

  • Northern Panhandle Head Start uses the Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ (CLASS™), an observational tool that provides a common lens and language focused on what matters—the classroom interactions that boost student learning. CLASS focuses on effective teaching and helps teachers recognize and understand the power of their interactions with students.
Data from CLASS™ observations are used to support teachers’ unique professional development needs, set school-wide goals, and shape system-wide reform at the local, state, and national levels.
The CLASS™ tool works. CLASS™-based professional development tools increase teacher effectiveness—and students in classrooms with higher CLASS™ scores achieve at higher levels than their peers in classrooms with lower CLASS™ scores
CLASS is a tool that helps assess the quality of teacher-child interactions and can help strengthen the qualities of our programs by focusing on something that we know is so important to a young child’s life—supportive relationships built on quality interactions.  –Amanda Bryans, Director, Educational Development and Partnerships Division, Office of Head Start
CLASS™ Observations
CLASS™ Observations break down the complex classroom environment to help educators focus on boosting the effectiveness of their interactions with learners of all ages. Observations rely on categorizing interactions within the CLASS™ framework.
The CLASS™ tool organizes teacher-student interactions into three broad domains:
  • Emotional Support
  • Classroom Organization
  • Instructional Support
Within each of these domains, interactions are further organized into multiple dimensions. Dimension examples include:
  • Positive Climate—focuses on how teachers interact with children to develop warm relationships that promote children’s enjoyment of the classroom community.
  • Concept Development—focuses on how teachers interact with children to promote higher-order thinking and cognition.

The Creative Curriculum for Early Childhood

The Philosophy
The philosophy behind our curriculum is that young children learn best by doing. Learning isn't just repeating what someone else says; it requires active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work and to learn firsthand about the world we live in.
In their early years, children explore the world around them by using all their senses (touching, tasting, listening, smelling, and looking). In using real materials such as blocks and trying out their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes, and colors and they notice relationships between things.
Play provides the foundation for academic or "school" learning. It is the preparation children need as they learn highly abstract symbols such as letters and numbers. Play enables us to achieve the key goals of our early childhood curriculum. Play is the work of young children.
The Goals of Our Curriculum
The most important goal of our early childhood curriculum is to help children become enthusiastic learners. This means encouraging children to be active and creative explorers who are not afraid to try out their ideas and to think their own thoughts. Our goal is to help children become independent, self-confident, inquisitive learners. We're teaching them how to learn, not just in preschool, but all through their lives. We're allowing them to learn at their own pace and in the ways that are best for them. We're giving them good habits and attitudes, particularly a positive sense of themselves, which will make a difference throughout their lives.  Our curriculum identifies goals in all areas of development,
  • Social: To help children feel comfortable in school, trust their new environment, make friends, and feel they are a part of the group.
  • Emotional: To help children experience pride and self- confidence, develop independence and self-control, and have a positive attitude toward life.
  • Cognitive: To help children become confident learners by letting them try out their own ideas and experience success, and by helping them acquire learning skills such as the ability to solve problems, ask questions, and use words to describe their ideas, observations, and feelings.
  • Physical: To help children increase their large and small muscle skills and feel confident about what their bodies can do.
The activities we plan for children, the way we organize the environment, select toys and materials, plan the daily schedule, and talk with children, are all designed to accomplish the goals of our curriculum and give your child a successful start in school.
The Family's Role
Home and school are a young child's two most important worlds. Children must bridge these two worlds every day. If home and school are connected in positive and respectful ways, children feel secure. Teachers can build a true partnership when they truly value the family's role in a child's education and recognize how much they can accomplish by working with families. Working together, parents and educators can do a lot to support the development of these important life skills. Parents will receive handouts explaining what children learn in each of the classroom areas and what they can do at home to develop their child’s mind and bodies.

The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale, Revised Edition (ECERS-R)

ECERS-R is used to assess NPHS Prek programs and to support all sites in setting up their classrooms in ways that are conducive to children’s development and learning.
The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale, Revised Edition (ECERS-R) provides an overall picture of the surroundings that have been created for the children and adults who share an early childhood setting. The ECERS consists of 43 items that assess the quality of the early childhood environment including use of space, materials and experiences to enhance children's development, daily schedule, and supervision. This 43 item scale covers seven categories:
  • Personal Care Routines
  • Space and Furnishings
  • Language-Reasoning Activities
  • Interactions
  • Program Structur
  • Parents and Staff

Each item is ranked from 1 to 7. A ranking of 1 describes inadequate conditions while a ranking of 7 describes excellent conditions. The ECERS scale indicates areas for emphasis in training and learning.

For more information please contact:

Cheche Price, MS, Education/Training Manager

1 Orchard Road, Suite 1
Wheeling, WV  26003
304-233-3290, Extension 5019


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