C. Gathering and Using Assessment Information

Determine if the intervention was implemented

The team should consider first whether the strategies to support Tamiya’s adjustment to the classroom were implemented as planned. To see one example of how Tamiya’s teachers supported her adjustment, view Handout 2.13 Examples of Classroom Arrangements to Support Tamiya’s Adjustment in the classroom. Also, the team should verify that the activities listed on the Transition Activities Worksheet were completed by the anticipated completion date.

Determine if the intervention was effective

In addition, the team will need to gather information to help them know if Tamiya is adjusting to the classroom and able to engage and adapt so she can continue to learn new skills. What behaviors will show that Tamiya has successfully adjusted? How much information should be gathered and by whom? What specific assessment tools or methods (observations, checklists, and parent interviews) will be used to evaluate Tamiya’s adjustment? To see one example of how another child’s teacher gathered information as part of an assessment plan, view the Handout 1.14: Observation Form.

Summarize and use assessment results

Once assessments have been conducted, a key task will be to compile and summarize the information. A helpful method for compiling assessment information is to develop a portfolio—a collection of products, records, or other sources of evidence of a child’s adjustment over time. The team can meet weekly to review the assessment results as evidence of whether or not Tamiya has adjusted to the classroom environment.

Important Considerations

In gathering assessment information on young children like Tamiya, the following principles of assessment are helpful:

  • Use multiple sources of information (parents, teachers, therapists).
  • Use multiple methods of gathering information (direct observation, family interviews, rating scales, anecdotal records, work sampling, portfolio assessments, standardized assessments).
  • Consider the child’s performance in different contexts and situations (at home, at school, alone or with peers).
  • Gather assessment information over multiple points of time (before, during, and after an intervention has been implemented).
  • Determine if the practice or intervention was implemented in the way it was intended.
  • Involve the entire team (family, teacher, therapists) in planning, conducting, and interpreting assessment results.
  • Use assessment results to modify interventions if needed.

Supplemental Materials

The 2014 DEC Recommended Practices in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education.  See p.7 on Assessment practices.  More…