Getting to know your child
The first phase of building the parent and teacher partnership is the process of getting to know each child. Teachers spend the first several months gathering information from the family through the home visit, classroom visits, classroom observations, intake forms completed by families and listening to family’s needs and desires for their children.
The Lead and Associate teacher of each classroom has a set group of children they track, document and communicate the growth and development of for the program year. They are considered point teachers as they are the families’ main point of contact for parent/teacher conferences, discussion of development and specific concerns related to their child’s experience at UNOW. Even though the point teacher may have specific information on a set of children, that information is shared with the teaching team. All the classroom staff are available to all children equally while in the classroom and the teachers all work together to be sure the needs of all children are met. Families may touch base with any classroom staff to inquire about a child’s day or relay day-to-day information. However, the child’s point teacher would be the person to discuss topics more in depth.
Parent and Teacher Conferences
Families have three formal opportunities to collaborate with teachers and learn about their child’s development and experiences during the course of an academic year. Conferences are an opportunity for parents and teachers to share observations, both from home and at UNOW and partner together to create individual plans for their child. It is also an ideal time to share insights and discuss any questions or concerns. Conferences will be scheduled during the day and some early evening hours to accommodate the needs of families. At the end of each program year, a copy of the child’s developmental assessments will follow the child into the next age level classroom until they leave the program.
Fall conferences are usually scheduled in late October or early November. Teachers and families will share their observations of their child’s adjustment to the classroom and together establish short term goals addressed over the next several months.
Mid-year conferences usually occur between February and March of each year. This is a good check point on progress made on previous goals and any additional goals children may be ready to tackle or grow into.
A written year-end communication of growth and development will occur in May or June of each year. Included may be a list of suggestions of continued activities and experiences that will support the child’s transition through the summer and into the next level of development. A conference may also be scheduled upon request
UNOW Developmental Assessment Tool
Teaching Strategies GOLD is a nationally recognized assessment tool used to denote individual early childhood development. Teachers will use actual observations, examples of their play and photos depicting developmental milestones and record them on the assessment tool. The tool will be used to communicate with families and to inform teachers of the child’s progress and next steps with individualized curriculum planning. GOLD is the tool used in conjunction with the UNOW’s chosen play based curriculum, The Creative Curriculum.
ASQ Developmental Screening Tool
The Ages & Stages Questionnaire® Third Edition (ASQ-3TM) is a formal developmental screening to be completed by families in the fall of each year. Because your child’s development in the first 5 years is so important, we dedicate ourselves to helping you give your child the best start. As part of this service, we provide this questionnaire to help you work with UNOW teachers to keep track of your child’s development.
The questionnaire will be provided to consenting families in the Fall of each year. Families are asked to answer questions about specific tasks the child can and cannot do. Families know their children best and are able to answer questions that cover developmental tasks in the areas of communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social skills. Families are asked to return the questionnaire to their child’s teacher. Teachers are trained to interpret the results and will then discuss with families during the Fall conference.
If the questionnaire shows that the child is developing as expected we will provide some suggested activities and experiences to continue to support your child’s development. If the questionnaire shows that your child may benefit from continued monitoring but does not yet warrant further evaluation, we will provide some suggested activities and experiences and request your consent to complete an additional questionnaire at a later date.
If the questionnaire shows that your child may indeed benefit from further evaluation we will still provide some suggested activities and experiences to continue to support your child’s development and also provide you with a list resources for seeking that further evaluation. The ASQ-3TM is not a diagnostic assessment but rather a screening tool that helps us know the child’s developmental needs and may indicate the need for further evaluation. Teachers may provide a list of resources for families to follow up with further evaluation. Teachers will not share any information with outside agencies without the written consent of the parent/guardian.
Vision, Hearing and Speech Screening
Additional voluntary screenings will be scheduled on site each year for children 2 ½ to 5. In any screening the evaluator may identify concerns that may require further evaluations and services. All screenings require the written consent of the parent/guardian.
Including Children with Special Needs
Sometimes a child comes to UNOW with an identified need or during the course of their time at UNOW a child may be diagnosed with a disability. UNOW staff are not qualified to diagnose any child with a disability or developmental delay. If a child is determined to have a diagnosed disability and the parents provide written consent, then UNOW will work with families and specialists to support their child and seek the best environment for their child. If the best environment is UNOW every effort will be made to give the child, the staff and the other children in the classroom the most optimal experience. The communication between teachers and parents can be so helpful when supporting children with any diagnosed special needs in a classroom. With written parental consent, teachers can review Individual Education Plans (IEP) or Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) for children under the age of 3, and participate in group meeting with other specialist. Any information written or spoken will be kept confidential at all times. Confidential papers are kept in a locked file and remain on site.
We treat information about children and families with confidentiality and we ask that you do the same if you spend time in the center. This means that we may share information about a child
ONLY with that child’s parents or guardians, unless specific written permission has been obtained to do so with others. Information may be shared with UNOW staff on a need-to-know basis, which usually means only those staff who work directly with the child and the program coordinator or Director/Associate Director. Other than UNOW Staff and Administration, licensing or accrediting representatives are the only people other than parents/guardians who have access to children’s confidential information. You may have access to your child’s file at any time by coming to the office and asking the Director or Executive Assistant. We are happy to forward copies of children’s files to their next school or to other agencies with your written permission.