As part of revisions to the Great Start to Quality rating process, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System or CLASS, will replace the Program Quality Assessment (PQA) tools for on-site observations. During the pilot in April 2021, programs volunteered to have a CLASS observation to gather data. This data will inform decisions about how CLASS scores will be used in determining ratings. The Great Start to Quality Assessment Team will also have the opportunity to use the tool in various child care program types to help inform those decisions.
CLASS is a nationally recognized tool for measuring adult-child interactions. Children in classrooms with higher CLASS scores have been proven to have better social-emotional, cognitive, and academic outcomes. CLASS is used across the country in Head Start programs, Quality Rating and Improvement Systems like Great Start to Quality, and in all child care program types serving a variety of age groups. Learn more about why CLASS is a great tool for program quality improvement.
When HighScope revised the Preschool PQA to the PQA-R, it was determined by independent consultants, that scoring thresholds could not be determined in order to support the calculation of ratings. Given that Michigan is the only state currently using the PQA tools as part of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS), and aligning with national trends and research, the shift to CLASS. As other revisions are made to Great Start to Quality, CLASS will better support quality improvement with the specific goal of improving child outcomes. CLASS measures adult-child interactions effectively in any program type using any curriculum.
Supporting Providers with CLASS Training
The Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) implements the rating process for Great Start to Quality and is committed to providing information and training for providers prior to the shift to CLASS from the Program Quality Assessment (PQA) taking place. Beginning in summer 2021, informational sessions will be provided through MiRegistry. More information will be shared here once the opportunities are available.
Resource Center staff will also be trained and ready to support providers as they prepare to use CLASS in the future.
Save the Date
Our first training opportunity for providers ro receive an introductory overview of CLASS and Great Start to Quality will be offered through MiRegistry site. It is scheduled for Tuesday, August 31 at 1 p.m. and will be one hour in length on Zoom. There will be ample time for Q&A as well. Once all is set-up in MiRegistry, we will share registration link here. An opportunity to support GSRPs will take place seprately, as it will only focus on the Pre-K tool, be communicated directly to GSRPs.
More to Come
The shift to CLASS is tentatively scheduled to take place in the fall of 2022, along with other improvements that are currently underway. Communication, information, and updates will be shared over the coming months as decisions are made by the Michigan Department of Education-Office of Great Start based on provider and stakeholder feedback. Check this webpage for updates along with our Facebook page and sign up for our listserv.