Kansas preschool programs focus on literacy support

Program aims to identify children who may need more instructional literacy intervention

kansas-literacyTo ensure young children are reaching important achievement standards and school readiness goals, the Kansas Preschool Programs (KPP) are integrating structures necessary for implementing a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS).

The Kansas MTSS framework is based on a systematic, evidence-based approach to curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices for influencing positive educational outcomes. Working within this framework, the Kansas Inservice Training System (KITS), a program of the Kansas University Life Span Institute at Parsons, initiated training to reinforce assessment, planning, and intentional instruction by the KPP.

“Our goal is to support educators at the classroom, school and program level working together to inform instruction and make data-based decisions for improving programs as a whole and educational outcomes for individual children,” says David Lindeman, Ph.D., Kansas University, KITS Director.

Next page: The core of the literacy support program

At the core of the Kansas MTSS framework, is the identification of children who may need additional instructional support in the area of early literacy, beyond what the core curriculum provides.

The myIGDIs assessments were selected to provide early childhood educators with ongoing universal screening and progress monitoring information useful for making instructional decisions for groups and/or individual children.

“As an evidence-based approach to differentiating instruction and targeting intervention, myIGDIs are perfectly suited for decision-making frameworks such as MTSS. We’re thrilled to be working with the KPPs, together striving to improve child outcomes,” says Steve Johnson, President of Early Learning Labs.

Funded by the Children’s Cabinet and administered by the Kansas State Department of Education, leadership teams of the 12 KPPs were trained last year on using myIGDIs data to identify potential gaps in the program curriculum, need for staff professional development, as well as the instructional needs of the children in the area of early literacy development. This April, additional training will be provided to focus on fidelity and incorporate practices for monitoring early numeracy development.

“We were looking for an assessment that was fast, predictive of later academic success and sensitive to growth. We selected myIGDIs because it was supported by research, and very similar to assessments used by elementary schools in Kansas implementing MTSS with older children,” adds Misty Goosen, ED.S. KITS, Project Coordinator.

According to Goosen, leadership teams are increasing their understanding of how to use the data, collaborate, and help them focus their work in ways that have not happened in the past. The teams’ discussions are evolving and include a higher degree of problem solving and proactive planning. Before using myIGDIs, collaborative meetings between the various early childhood programs were more often a reporting out of activities each one was involved. The collection of myIGDIs universal screening data has provided an opportunity for these collaborative programs to look at a set of data and make hypothesis about
what is needed across all of their programs to improve quality.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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