Preschool Special Education

Program Self-Assessment & 
Quality Improvement Guide

August 2003

 

The University of the State of New York
The State Education Department
Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities

 


Program Self-Assessment & Quality Improvement Guide

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THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Regents of The University

Robert M. Bennett, Chancellor, B.A., M.S. ....................................................................................

Tonawanda

Adelaide L. Sanford, Vice Chancellor, B.A., M.A., P.D. .............................................................. Hollis
Diane OíNeill McGivern, B.S.N., M.A., Ph.D. . ............................................................................... Staten Island
Saul B. Cohen, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. ..................................................................................................... New Rochelle
James C. Dawson, A.A., B.A., M.S., Ph.D. ..................................................................................... Peru
Robert M. Johnson, B.S., J.D. .......................................................................................................... Huntington
Anthony S. Bottar, B.A., J.D. ........................................................................................................... North Syracuse
Merryl H. Tisch, B.A., M.A. ............................................................................................................. New York
Geraldine D. Chapey, B.A., M.A., Ed.D. ......................................................................................... Belle Harbor
Arnold B. Gardner, B.A., LL.B. ......................................................................................................... Buffalo
Harry Phillips, 3rd, B.A., M.S.F.S. .................................................................................................... Hartsdale
Joseph E. Bowman, Jr., B.A., M.L.S., M.A., M.Ed., Ed.D ............................................................. Albany
Lorraine A. Corts-VŃzquez, B.A., M.P.A. ..................................................................................... Bronx
Judith O. Rubin, A.B. .......................................................................................................................... New York
James R. Tallon, jr., B.A., M.A. .......................................................................................................... Binghamton
Milton L. Cofield, B.S., M.B.A., Ph.D. ............................................................................................... Rochester
President of The University and Commissioner of Education
Richard P. Mills
Chief Operating Officer
Richard H. Cate
Deputy Commissioner for Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Lawrence C. Gloeckler
Coordinator, Policy, Partnerships and Planning
Douglass Bailey
Manager, Research, Partnerships and Planning
Rita D. Levay

The State Education Department does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, gender, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or sexual orientation in its educational programs, services and activities. Portions of this publication can be made available in a variety of formats, including braille, large print or audio tape, upon request. Inquiries concerning this policy of nondiscrimination should be directed to the Departmentís Office for Diversity, Ethics, and Access, Room 530, Education Building, Albany, NY 12234. Requests for additional copies of this publication may be made by contacting VESID-Special Education Policy Unit, Publications, Room 1624 OCP, Albany, NY 12234.


THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT /
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER FOR THE OFFICE OF VOCATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
Tel. (518) 474-2714
Fax (518) 474-8802

August 2003

Dear Preschool Special Education Program Providers:

Preschool students with disabilities are receiving their first formal instruction by individuals trained in early childhood special education and/or related services. It is also a time when the foundation for learning is set. It is essential that programs providing these experiences for children and their families are effective and of the highest possible quality.

The purpose of the Preschool Special Education Program Self-Assessment and Quality Improvement Guide is to promote continuous self improvement activities for preschool special education programs funded under section 4410 of the Education Law. This Guide was developed as part of the Quality Indicator Study conducted by MAGI Educational Services. It is composed of quality indicators in seven major areas including program administration, program personnel, family relationships, teaching and learning, program environment, stakeholders/partners and program evaluation. The indicators were derived from a review of the literature and then reviewed by national and state-level experts in the field of early childhood education and early childhood special education.

The Guide is designed to assist providers in achieving a better understanding of current program functions, identifying areas of strength as well as areas in need of improvement related to program quality. If used consistently, the Guide will help providers assess progress regularly and promote communication and teamwork among staff and all stakeholders, including families, Boards of Directors and Committees on Preschool Special Education. I encourage programs to become familiar with the preschool program quality indicators and to use this self-assessment on a regular basis to promote continuous quality improvement.

If you have specific questions regarding the Preschool Special Education Program Self-Assessment and Quality Improvement Guide, please direct your inquiries to the Research, Partnerships and Planning Unit at (518) 486-7584. This publication is also available on the web at www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/home.html

Sincerely,

 

Lawrence C. Gloeckler


The New York State  
Preschool Special Education Program Self-Assessment and Quality Improvement Guide

Table of Contents

Introduction

Purpose 

Directions for Use 

Recommended Steps 

I. Program Administration 

Component A: Governance and Management 

Component B: Communication 

Component C: Record Keeping/Reporting 

Component D: Fiscal Resources 

II. Program Personnel 

Component A: Staff Qualifications 

Component B: Professional Development 

Component C: Staff Evaluations 

Component D: Staff Structure 

III. Family Relationships 

Component A: Family Involvement 

Component B: Family Education 

Component C: Diversity 

IV. Teaching and Learning 

Component A: Curriculum 

Component B: Instruction 

Component C: Integration of Related Services 

Component D: Assessment 

V. Program Environment 

Component A: Physical Setting 

Component B: Materials 

VI. Stakeholders/Partners 

Component A: Relationship with Service Providers/Community and Government Agencies 

Component B: Relationships with CPSE 

Component C: Relationships with Transition Partners 

VII. Program Evaluation 

Component A: Evaluation Design & Execution 

Component B: Reporting & Use of Evaluation Results

Summary Form 

References 


The New York State

Preschool Special Education Program Self-Assessment and Quality Improvement Guide

Introduction

he New York State Preschool Special Education Program Self-Assessment and Quality Improvement Guide is designed to help preschool special education program providers create a snapshot of where they are relative to quality early childhood special education service delivery, and to progressively move toward refining and improving outcomes for preschool students with disabilities.

The self-assessment is structured around the preschool special education program quality indicators, which were developed through a comprehensive, collaborative process involving input from national and state experts in early childhood special and general education, local program providers, and representatives from state advocacy organizations. Altogether, 114 program quality indicators organized into 22 component areas are included in the instrument; they address seven clusters of quality preschool special education programming:

Purpose

he major purpose of the New York State Preschool Special Education Program Self-Assessment and Quality Improvement Guide is to promote continuous improvement that will result in positive outcomes for preschool children with disabilities. This means that local program providers can use the self-assessment as a working tool to:

It is designed to facilitate communication and sharing among and within programs based on a common understanding of how an effective preschool special education program can operate. This shared frame of reference will help build commitment and focus for setting priorities and improving preschool special education. Outcomes for preschool special education include students being prepared for successful learning in kindergarten. For an understanding of the literacy skills that students will need to have at the next learning levels, readers should reference Essential Elements of Reading and Early Literacy Guidance (Kindergarten - Grade 3).


Directions for Use

The New York State Preschool Special Education Program Self-Assessment and Quality Improvement Guide asks program providers to rate their programs in 22 component areas. The ratings take into consideration the specific quality indicators that define each component. The five-point rating is described below.

Rating

Rubric

1
No Implementation

None or very few of the indicators in this component area have been implemented by our program.

2
Minimal
Implementation

Our program is implementing some of the indicators in this component area, but weaknesses and gaps exist. Substantial work is needed to improve our approach.

3
Moderate
Implementation

Our program is implementing most of the indicators in this component area, but some gaps in implementation exist and improvements could be made.

4
Complete 
Implementation

Our program is implementing most of the indicators in this component area. Our approach is systematic with no major gaps.

5
Exemplary
Implementation

Our program is implementing all or nearly all indicators within this component area. We have a sound, systematic approach that could serve as a model for other programs.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Recommended Steps
The following steps are recommended to conduct the program self-assessment.
  1. Determine who will complete the tool. One approach is to have a representative team of program administrators, teachers, related service staff, paraprofessionals and parents complete one or more sections of the instrument as a group. Another is to have individual stakeholders fill out the tool separately, and then have the individual results compiled for group discussion and tool completion. Still another way is to have the instrument completed by one or two people who are most knowledgeable about the program. Whatever approach is used, it is important to enlist input from all key stakeholder groups.
  1. Determine the areas of program functioning on which to focus. Because the self-assessment tool is quite comprehensive, it may be useful for program staff to complete it in stages, focusing on only one or two areas at a time. The first areas selected for self-study may be those that have been particularly challenging, or for which staff feel the need to improve.
  1. Determine sources of supporting information. Determining where to find information to support the self-assessment is a critical next step. Sources of information can include strategic plans, reports, minutes of meetings, mission/vision statements, policies, products, organizational charts, needs assessment results, interagency agreements, training agendas and so forth. A facilitator should be identified to ensure that background materials are organized and distributed, necessary meetings held and a timeline is established to review all information and complete the assessment tool. The importance of reviewing background information cannot be stressed enough: data/evidence should drive all rating decisions.
  1. Complete the self-assessment. Carefully read each quality indicator within the component areas. If your program has implemented the indicator, place a checkmark (3) in the column provided. If you feel that your level of implementation is systematic, without significant weaknesses or gaps, circle the checkmark (3). Then review these individual assessments and decide on a final rating for the component area. Fill in the appropriate circle at the bottom of each component. Once you have rated all of the component areas, transfer your ratings to the Summary Form on page 26. This will provide you with an "at-a-glance" assessment of program functioning for each major area. By completing this Summary Form, your program will have a quick reference guide to focus continuous improvement of preschool special education activities and initiatives.

Preschool Special Education Program Self-Assessment & Quality Improvement Guide


I. Program Administration

II. Program Personnel

III. Family Relationships

IV. Teaching and Learning

V. Program Environment  

VI. Stakeholders/Partners  

VII. Program Evaluation  


SUMMARY FORM

Preschool Special Education Program Self-Assessment and Quality Improvement Guide

Directions: Transfer your ratings of program components onto this page to help direct your focus and analysis of program activities and initiatives.

Rating for Level of Implementation

No

Minimal

Moderate

Complete

Exemplary

I. Program Administration

  1. Governance and Management

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Communication

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Record Keeping/Reporting

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Fiscal Resources

1

2

3

4

5

II. Program Personnel

  1. Staff Qualifications

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Professional Development

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Staff Evaluations

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Staff Structure

1

2

3

4

5

III. Family Relationships

  1. Family Involvement

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Family Education

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Diversity

1

2

3

4

5

IV. Teaching and Learning

  1. Curriculum

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Instruction

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Integration of Related Services

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Assessment

1

2

3

4

5

V. Program Environment

  1. Physical Setting

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Materials

1

2

3

4

5

VI. Stakeholders/Partners

  1. Relationships with Service Providers/Community and Government Agencies

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Relationships with CPSE

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Relationships with Transition Partners

1

2

3

4

5

VII. Program Evaluation

  1. Evaluation Design and Execution

1

2

3

4

5

  1. Reporting and Use of Evaluation Results

1

2

3

4

5


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Footnotes:

1- These documents may be obtained from the New York State Education Department's web site at www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai or by contacting the Publications Sales Desk, New York Sate Education Department, 3rd Floor EB, Washington Avenue, Albany, NY, (518) 474-3806.

2- This document may be obtained from the New York State Education Department's web site at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publicaitons/home.html .