Assessment is the ongoing process we use to find out what every child knows and can do. It helps us discover each child’s strengths, skills, interests, and needs so we know how to help every child experience success. Our assessment system also enables us to share information with families so, together, we can ensure that your child is progressing.
The assessment system we use does not involve testing children. We learn about children by carefully observing what they do and say as they participate in everyday activities in the classroom. We know that each child is an individual, with different interests, skills, strengths, and needs. The more we learn about each child, the better we can plan experiences that are just right: sufficiently challenging and engaging.
The Early Learning Assessment (ELA) is a part of Ohio's Ready for Kindergarten Assessment System, a joint project of Ohio's Department of Education and Department of Job and Family Services.
The assessment is designed to aid teachers in determining where children are in their readiness for kindergarten. The Early Learning Assessment will provide information for teachers about children from early preschool to kindergarten. Our program uses the Early Learning Assessment to improve and support the growth and development of children.
Our program uses 38 Objectives for Development & Learning adapted from Teaching Strategies and is directly aligned with Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS). Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards (birth to kindergarten entry) are the basis for the Early Learning Assessment. The assessment focuses on seven areas of a child’s growth and development:
- Social Foundations (including social and emotional development, and approaches toward learning)
- Social Studies
- Language and Literacy
- Physical Well-being and Motor Development
- Fine Arts
Ohio’s Early Learning Assessment (ELA) is directly aligned to Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS) through 38 Objectives for Development & Learning adapted from Teaching Strategies and is required to be used for assessment and progress-monitoring twice annually for Preschool Special Education (PSE) and Early Childhood Education (ECE) grant funded children. The Ohio ELA is a comprehensive assessment and may be used in its entirety in any preschool program to meet the Step-up-to-Quality (SUTQ) assessment requirements.
How Assessment Works
When we say that Early Learning Assessment (ELA) online is an authentic, ongoing, and observation-based assessment system, it means we:
- observe your child during regular, everyday activities;
- document what we see and hear by taking notes, collecting samples of your child’s drawings and writing attempts, or taking photos, audio recordings, or video clips;
- exchange information with you to gain a more complete picture of what your child knows and can do;
- compare the information collected to research-based, widely held expectations for children of similar ages or grades; and
- use the information to plan experiences that support your child’s learning and meet individual needs, both at home and at school.