Let’s Have CLASS!

It’s not always easy to ace an exam, let alone conquer it on the first try.  That’s what was accomplished when a group of HCHRA staff persons took a CLASS observation training course December 5-7 2018, to become CLASS certified observers/monitors for their Head Start center classrooms.

CLASS stands for the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, an observational instrument developed at the Curry School Center for Advanced Study of  Teaching and Learning that measures the quality of interactions between teachers and students in PK-12 classrooms. Those observations are then rated using a manual of behaviors and responses.  The CLASS can be used to reliably assess classroom quality for research and program evaluation and also provides a tool to help new and experienced teachers become more effective.

According to the CLASS trainer, nearly all the teachers passed the CLASS Reliability exam on the first try with high scores ranging from 90 to 95. The agency invested in 34 staff persons to attend the training — 17 became CLASS Reliable, 5 of which were center administrators.  The remaining 17 will become CLASS Reliable in the spring.  According to Chelsea Luster, HCHRA’s associate vice president of Head Start and Early Head Start Programs,  “Our teachers are now qualified and certified to observe other teachers’ interactions with students.  The training will also help organize teachers’ expansion of the students’ knowledge and regard for the students’ perspectives.  It is great to see our staff elevate to a new level of reaching our students in the classroom.”