Race to the top-early learning challenge



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race to the top-early learning challenge
April 2014
Higher Education

Application

Department of Education/Department of Human Services/ Department of Children & Families/Department of Health/ Office of the Secretary of Higher Education

Contents




BACKGROUND 3

Information about the Application 4

APPLICANT INFORMATION 6

1.Training Academy 8

Early Childhood Health Consultant (Nurses) 10

Disabilities Consultant 11

Training Academy at a Glance 11

APPLICATION FOR TRAINING ACADEMY 12

Early Learning Improvement Consortium (ELIC) 13

Inter-Rater Reliability 13

Ratings at a Glance 15

APPLICATION FOR RATINGS 15

Study Design and Procedures 17

Instrumentation 18

Timing 19

Validation at a Glance 20

APPLICATION FOR VALIDATION 20

4.Preschool to Third Grade Initiative 22

First to Third Grade Guidelines at a Glance 23

APPLICATION FOR PRESCHOOL TO THIRD GRADE INITIATIVE 23




BACKGROUND


New Jersey’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant incorporates a prenatal to age eight approach. It reflects the shared leadership, collaboration, input, and long-term commitment across four core state agencies—Education (DOE), Children and Families (DCF), Health (DOH), and Human Services (DHS)—and the New Jersey Council for Young Children (NJCYC), which includes our other public, private, state and local partners. The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education will also play a key role as we begin implementation. Driven by our collective desire to dramatically improve access to high quality early learning and development programs for thousands of low-income, high needs infants and young children throughout the state, senior staff from DOE, DHS, DCF and DOH and our stakeholders have spent the last two years deepening our understanding of the contributions from each agency that form the essential building blocks of our state’s high quality plan. Genuine collaboration and transformational change form the basis of the 2013 NJ Plan for Early Education and Care (2013 NJ Plan).

After submitting our proposal for the 2011 RTT-ELC competition, New Jersey’s public and private partners continued meeting, discussing and planning, through the work of the NJCYC. Over the past two years, NJ has taken the best in program standards and practices from home visiting, state preschool, Early Head Start and Head Start, to develop an effective Tiered Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS). We have also made a commitment to place a greater emphasis on the system of care that supports infants and toddlers and their families, and increases our focus on health and family supports. The 2013 NJ Plan is the culmination of this work, and is specifically designed to strengthen systems, coordinate services, and meet the needs of our diverse population of infants and young children and their families. The 2013 NJ Plan will reach at least 83,300 high needs infants and young children over the four years of this grant.



The overarching goal of the 2013 NJ Plan is to implement an aligned and coordinated high quality system of early education and care with measurable impact for all of the state’s high needs children from pregnancy through age eight.

Central to our effort to design a system to create and sustain high quality, is the implementation of New Jersey’s QRIS, Grow NJ Kids. Grow NJ Kids is a quality improvement and rating system designed to assess early care and education programs, provide support and grants to programs to help them achieve and maintain continuous quality improvements and empower parents to become savvy consumers to choose high quality programs for their children. This system is at the core of the 2013 NJ Plan and will provide the framework for all of the program standards implemented via the other high quality plans described within the 2013 NJ Plan (data, health, family engagement, etc.).

The remainder of the RTT-ELC grant is comprised of projects that are designed to:


Develop a comprehensive, aligned system of early learning and development standards

Address health, behavioral and developmental needs to improve school readiness

Engage and support families

Build an effective career development system for the early childhood educator workforce

Understand school readiness at kindergarten entry

Link data systems to support outcomes for young children

Sustain positive early learning outcomes in 3rd grade and beyond

Information about the Application



Letter of Intent (Due May 2).

Write a letter of intent that indicates projects for which the university (and college) is applying.


Limitations

Entities can apply for any one project (Training Academy, Ratings, or Validation) in addition to the Preschool to Third Grade Alignment initiative. However, each of the three projects - Training Academy, Ratings, and Validation - is mutually exclusive due to the potential conflict of interest. Please note that distinctly separate entities within a university can apply for different projects. Each of these entities must apply separately.


Instructions for submission (Due May 30)

Send complete applications to Vincent Costanza by May 30, 2014. Please submit one electronic file via email to vincent.costanza@doe.state.nj.us in addition to four paper versions to the address below:

Vincent Costanza

Division of Early Childhood Education

NJ Department of Education

PO Box 500

100 Riverview Plaza

Trenton, NJ 08625-0500


Partnerships

For the Training Academy, partnerships are mandatory. Four-year institutions must demonstrate how they will partner with two-year colleges to maximize access to training throughout the state. When establishing these partnerships, please be aware that no more than 49% of the funds can be subcontracted. For colleges and universities planning to partner, applications should be submitted jointly, indicating how responsibilities will be shared.



Announcement

Awardees will be notified on June 20, 2014.


MOU Terms

Training Academy: July 18, 2014 to December 31, 2017

Ratings: July 18, 2014 to December 31, 2017

Validation: January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017

Preschool to Third Grade Initiative: July 18, 2014 to December 31, 2017

APPLICANT INFORMATION



University/college name:
Contact name:
Contact address:
Contact phone number:
Contact email:
Indicate projects for which the university (or college) is applying

PROJECTS

CHECK HERE

1. Aligned Training and Professional Development

Statewide Training Academy






2. Independent Ratings for Program Quality Improvement

The development of the rating system for Grow NJ Kids






3. Validating the Grow NJ Kids QRIS

A validity and reliability study of Grow NJ Kids






4. Preschool to Third Grade Initiative

Develop First to Third Grade Guidelines, and assist in training







Are you applying to be a lead agency for the Training Academy? Indicate Y for Yes, or N for No ___
If relevant (Training Academy, Ratings), with what other colleges/universities will you collaborate? Use the boxes below to get signatures from subcontracting state agencies (feel free to repeat as needed).


Name and Signature of Authorized Individual for Subcontracting Agency
Name of Subcontracting Agency:
Contact Name and Position:

Signature:



Name and Signature of Authorized Individual for Subcontracting Agency
Name of Subcontracting Agency:
Contact Name and Position:

Signature:



Name and Signature of Authorized Individual for Subcontracting Agency
Name of Subcontracting Agency:
Contact Name and Position:

Signature:



Name and Signature of Authorized Individual for Subcontracting Agency
Name of Subcontracting Agency:
Contact Name and Position:

Signature:



Name and Signature of Authorized Individual for Subcontracting Agency
Name of Subcontracting Agency:
Contact Name and Position:

Signature:




Name and Signature of Authorized Individual for College/University Submitting Application

Name and Position__________________________________

Signature_________________________________________

  1. Training Academy


The NJ Early Learning Training Academy (Training Academy) will have at least 3 regional locations (North, Central, South) to ensure easier access to core and supplemental trainings for early learning and development providers across sectors. The Training Academy will provide targeted training opportunities that reflect the components of Grow NJ Kids. The initial focus will be on Child Care, Family Child Care, Early Head Start/Head Start, and Preschool settings. However, the long-range vision for this unified approach to workforce development will be to offer shared training opportunities across sectors to include Home Visiting, Family Outreach Workers, and other community programs that have a focus on families from pregnancy/infancy to age eight.

One entity will be designated as the Lead for the Training Academy. The Lead will coordinate the three regions, ensuring consistency and reliability of trainings throughout the state. The Lead will also coordinate the training of trainers in all three regions.

The purpose of the Training Academy is to create a cadre of certified and endorsed trainers who are experts in the components of Grow NJ Kids as follows:


Health and Safety: National Health and Safety Standards, Preventive Health Measures
Curriculum and Learning Environment: Learning Standards, Curriculum (High/Scope, Creative Curriculum, Tools of the Mind), Assessment (Performance-Based Assessment, Developmental and Behavioral Screening), Quality Measures (Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale, Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale, Classroom Assessment Scoring System)
Family and Community Engagement: Strengthening Families or equivalent, Guidelines for Home Visiting
Workforce Development: NJ Core Competency Framework and Career Lattice, Teacher Evaluation, Infant and Young Child Mental Health Endorsement, Pyramid Model, Cultural Competence, Supporting English language learners, Supporting infants and young children with disabilities
Administration and Management: Program Administration Scale, Data collection and analysis
Throughout the first two years of the grant, 2014 and 2015, Academy staff will receive training in each component. Starting in January of 2015, the Academy staff will use a Train the Trainer model to equip current technical assistance staff in each early care and education setting with the tools they need to work within their settings. These “Quality Improvement Specialists” (QIS) will provide support both in Professional Learning Communities and at the program site. Initial training of the QIS will also include coaching and reflective practice.
*The QIS will consist of:

  • Master teachers from the “former” Abbott preschool programs in school and provider sites

  • Education Coordinators and teams in Early Head Start and Head Start

  • Child Care Resource and Referral Agency staff (working with center-based and family-based child care)

In the subsequent years, the Training Academy will provide professional development opportunities across early childhood systems/programs (e.g., Home Visiting, State Preschool, Child Care, Early Head Start, Head Start).


Timing

Hire appropriate staff

July 2014- September 2014

Training for Training Academy staff in components of Grow NJ Kids

September 2014- March 2015


Academy staff work with Quality Improvement Specialists

January 2015, ongoing


Funds

A total of approximately $7.1 million in grant funds are allocated to the Training Academy. Annual grant funds were estimated as follows:







Year 1

(7 months)

Year 2

(12 months)

Year 3

(12 months)

Year 4

(12 months)

Lead Region Personnel

$414,476

$720,146

$730,015

$740,146

Lead Region Training

$178,000

$90,000

 

 

Region 2 Personnel

$338,115

$585,746

$592,027

$598,474

Region 3 Personnel

$338,115

$585,746

$592,027

$598,474


Included in the above amounts are annual salary and benefit estimates for the following required positions (see descriptions below):

  • 1 Training Academy Leader (only for the Lead)

  • 3 Training Support Coordinators (1 per region)

  • 3 Early Childhood Health Care Consultants (1 per region)

  • 3 Disabilities Consultants (1 per region)

  • Approximately 12 full-time equivalent training consultants (4 per region, per diem, estimated at 90 days per year). [Note that this number of staff and days is an estimate, and may be modified within your proposal. For example, you may wish to propose 8 part-time consultants working 45 days each, instead of 4 full-time consultants working 90 days each.]


Also included in the above amounts are estimates for the following required train-the-trainer series:

  • Curriculum and Assessment (Year 1)

  • Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised, Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised, Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale (Year 1)

  • Classroom Assessment Scoring System for Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers (Year 1)

  • Pyramid Model (Year 2)

  • The Pyramid Observation Tool and The Pyramid Infant Toddler Observation Scale (Year 2)

  • Ages and Stages Questionnaire/Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social Emotional (Year 2)

  • Strengthening Families (Year 2)


Staffing

Training Academy Leader

The Academy Leader will oversee all professional development and training activities across all locations, focusing on the establishment, coordination, and oversight of the regional hubs of the Training Academy. This individual will be responsible for ensuring reliable implementation of each component of the Training Academy.



Training Support Coordinator

Each of the three regions will have a full time Training Support Coordinator who will organize the trainings and coordinate with the other regional staff. The Coordinator will be responsible for hiring the consultants who will assist in the training process, overseeing the work of those consultants, and for maintaining the fidelity of training modules/programs. The Coordinator will also be responsible for training the QIS and other staff.


Early Childhood Health Consultant (Nurses)


Each region will have a Health Care Consultant who is well-versed in the health and safety standards and assists in training and consultation for the QIS and other staff around health issues, such as medication administration, infectious disease control, immunizations, and obesity prevention.

Disabilities Consultant


Each region will have a Disabilities Consultant who assists in training for the QIS and other staff around supporting high quality inclusion practices, and optimal supports for infants and young children with disabilities.

Regional Training-Specific Consultants

Each region will hire up to 4 full-time equivalent consultants to provide training to QIS and other staff. These consultants will have the required expertise (e.g. Performance-Based Assessments, Strengthening Families, Pedagogy/Child Development, Standards) or will receive Train-the-Trainer training from the publisher. They will provide training for the QIS and other staff, as needed. Please note that a list of trainers in the Pyramid model for birth to age eight (also known as Positive Behavior Supports), will be provided to participating entities. Also, please see the note under “Funding” above regarding the distribution of these positions.



Sustainability Plan

All Training Academy staff will be funded through the grant during all four years. After the Training Academy builds its capacity, the four primary participating state agencies will, whenever possible, redirect training contracts to the Academy.



Collaboration among two and four year colleges and universities

Partnerships should be established prior to submission. Four-year institutions must demonstrate how they will partner with two-year colleges to maximize access to training throughout the state. When establishing these partnerships, please be aware that no more than 49% of the funds can be subcontracted.



Training Academy at a Glance


  • Create Cadre of certified/endorsed trainers in Grow NJ Kids components

  • Lead agency to ensure quality of training

  • Training Academy Leader and three (3) full-time Training Support Coordinators (1 per region) Use Train-the-Trainer (TOT) model with embedded supports

  • Regional consultants

  • Work within the existing professional development structure

  • Redirect state training contracts

  • Local districts given funding for professional development will be encouraged to purchase training from the Training Academy instead of from trainers outside the state

  • Collaboration among community colleges and universities required


APPLICATION FOR TRAINING ACADEMY


1a. Experience and expertise- In this section, describe the entity’s experience in providing training in the related content areas that will be covered by the Training Academy as described above.


1b. Capacity- In this section, the entity must describe its plan to meet the staffing needs of the grant.


1c. Indicate area that you plan to cover and how- In this section, the entity must discuss the region or regions it plans to cover and how it will use collaboration to meet the needs of the workforce.


1d. Ability to meet timeline- The applicant will demonstrate that it will be able to work within the timeframe described by submitting a work plan that at least includes activities, timeframes, and responsible parties.


1e. Budget and budget narrative- The above annual budget amounts are estimates. Applicants should submit a budget crafted to meet its specific needs, but must stay within the total project budget amount listed above. Attach a budget and budget narrative describing how funds will be spent. When describing any staff, applicants are asked to use titles in lieu of naming specific individuals, in order to minimize the need for future amendments. Be sure not to subcontract more than 49% of the total funding.




  1. Grow NJ Kids Ratings

Essential to the process of elevating quality, is a rigorous rating and monitoring system, which not only reflects a robust set of measures for validity and reliability, but also provides parents and families with accessible, transparent information about quality. During the grant, NJ is allocating over $2 million toward the development and implementation of the rating system.


Early Learning Improvement Consortium (ELIC)


New Jersey will recreate the ELIC by partnering with Institutions of Higher Education (IHE). The ELIC will be responsible for developing and implementing the Grow NJ Kids rating process, training raters, and conducting ratings. Colleges and universities that apply to be part of the Training Academy cannot apply to conduct the ratings.

Inter-Rater Reliability


Grow NJ Kids will include a robust process for establishing and maintaining an inter-rater reliability.

  • Infant Toddler Environmental Rating Scale-Revised, Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised, Classroom Assessment Scoring System (for infants/toddlers/preschool), and Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale will be part of the rating process.

  • Administration in 50% of rooms at each site, in each age group, as appropriate.

  • Necessary modifications to the Grow NJ Kids Rating Checklist.

  • ELIC will identify Anchor Raters, who will be selected on the basis of their experience with and mastery of the program standards and rating tools, including being trained to reliability on each of the structured observation instruments.

  • New raters begin with a process of guided practice, which includes lessons on developmentally appropriate practices, reviews of completed assessments, and simulated ratings using video clips of real situations.

  • New raters must complete at least three “reliability visits,” in which both they and an Anchor Rater complete a full assessment. Over the course of the three visits, the new monitor takes on increasing responsibility for facilitating the visit (e.g. by the third visit, the new rater conducts the interview).

  • After each reliability visit, new monitors debrief and review scoring with the Anchor Rater.

  • New raters must complete at least three visits in which their assessment scores at greater than 85% reliability with the Anchor Rater.

  • All raters – including Anchors – are monitored for reliability over time to prevent deviation. Each monitor undergoes a reliability check on an annual basis, and any scores lower than 85% require additional practice assessments before returning to the field.

Rating Cycle: Upon entering the Grow NJ Kids system, a program may choose to be assigned a rating of Level 1 (valid license or license exempt) or Level 2 (submission of self-assessment), or can apply to be rated at a Level 3, 4, or 5. Grow NJ Kids sites with Level 1 or 2 designations do not require validation by an outside rater. On-site ratings from the ELIC will occur for the top three levels—Levels 3, 4, and 5. Once assigned to Level 3 or above, programs must be re-rated a minimum of once every three years. The rating assessment will be free of charge; however, assessments will be limited to one free assessment per year.

Timing

Design the rating system

July 2014 to October 2014

Begin conducting the ratings

November 2014, (ongoing)


Funds

A total of approximately $2 million in grant funds are allocated to Ratings. Annual grant funds were estimated as follows:



  • Year 1: $537,990 (including reliability training)

  • Year 2: $500,000

  • Year 3: $500,000

  • Year 4: $500,000


We estimated the following numbers of sites and classrooms needing ratings each year:


Year

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Sites Needing Ratings

491

721

775

459

Classrooms

1,962

2,883

3,098

1,836

Classrooms Needing Ratings

981

1,442

1,549

918


Based on the numbers of classrooms needing ratings each year, we estimated Year 1 costs in the following manner:

  • $212,100 to train 45 raters to reliability on Grow NJ Kids instruments and rating process:

    • Preschool CLASS: $22,575

    • Infant/toddler CLASS: $22,575

    • ECERS: $55,650

    • ITERS: $55,650

    • FCCERS: $55,650

  • $275,400 to administer instruments in half of classrooms

  • $50,490 for mileage (based on 1,836 trips, 50 miles per trip, $.55 per mile)


Costs were estimated to be slightly higher in Year 1 to account for the initial training and reliability needed to conduct the ratings. Although more sites will need ratings in some of the later years, the cost of ratings in Years 2-4 are expected to stabilize as the raters become more familiar with their role.

Ratings at a Glance


  • ELIC will be made up of public colleges and universities to refine the rating processes and to begin conducting the ratings

  • Inter-rater reliability for Grow NJ Kids will include a robust process for establishing and maintaining inter-rater reliability levels of at least 85%

  • Once assigned a Level 3, 4, or 5, programs must participate in a rating cycle occurring once every three years


APPLICATION FOR RATINGS


2a. Experience and expertise- In this section, describe the entity’s experience in using structured observation instruments and designing systems of evaluation, including establishing and maintaining systems of reliability.


2b. Capacity- In this section, the entity must describe its plan to meet the staffing needs of the project in relation to the rating cycle. It will also describe how it plans to work with partners (if relevant).


2c. Ability to meet timeline- The applicant will demonstrate that it will be able to work within the timeframe described by submitting a work plan that at least includes activities, timeframes, and responsible parties.


2d. Demonstrate how reliability will be established (including cross entity)- The applicant will describe the protocol that it will use to meet the high standard of reliability.

2e. Budget and budget narrative- The above annual budget amounts are estimates. Applicants should submit a budget crafted to meet its specific needs, but must stay within the total project budget amount listed above. Attach a budget and budget narrative describing how funds will be spent. When describing any staff, applicants are asked to use titles in lieu of naming specific individuals, in order to minimize the need for future amendments.






  1. Grow NJ Kids Validation (begins year 2 of the grant) NOTE THAT THIS SECTION HAS BEEN REVISED

New Jersey seeks to validate Grow NJ Kids by a) validating whether the levels in the system accurately reflect differential levels of program quality and b) assessing the extent to which changes in quality ratings are related to progress in children’s learning, development, and school readiness. This validation will identify which aspects of Grow NJ Kids are effective at improving quality and the associated impact of quality improvements on children.

DOE will develop an MOU for an independent evaluator to design and implement the multi-faceted evaluation. DOE will be the lead agency on the evaluation. The successful independent evaluator application will address the following requirements to design a multi-year evaluation:



Requirements for a successful validation

  1. Ensures that the sampling is representative and has sufficient power to detect differences across and among subgroups in quality practices and in child learning as a result of Grow NJ Kids, especially for children at risk.

  1. Uses child assessments designed to measure learning across domains that are relevant to New Jersey’s early learning and development standards, are psychometrically valid, proven to discriminate program effects in similar studies, and appropriate for the age range of birth to five.

  1. Uses measures of classroom and family child care quality that are relevant to the Grow NJ Kids indicators (ITERS-R, ECERS-R, FCCRS, CLASS), are psychometrically valid, proven to predict child learning, and appropriate for the settings and age-ranges of Grow NJ Kids (birth to five, child care centers, preschools, Head Start, Early Head Start and family child care homes).

  1. Ensures implementation of effective procedures for tracking children and families longitudinally, and will extract relevant child data from NJ SMART, the state’s longitudinal data system.

  1. Produces timely reports and uses cost-effective procedures using the state’s MOU process.

Study Design and Procedures


Although the details of the plan will be determined by the successful contractor in consultation with stakeholders, the overall design has been established. Specifically, the study design addresses children with high needs by:

  • Measuring the effectiveness of Grow NJ Kids disaggregated by each high needs/special population and age group and informing improvements to the system.

  • Measuring the impact of participation in Grow NJ Kids on each program type and informing improvements in the system, across settings.

The following questions must be addressed:

  1. Does obtaining a higher quality level result in greater child growth and school readiness and do these results apply to all subgroups of children?

  2. Are the quality indicators being used in Grow NJ Kids, efficient and non-duplicative? Do they accurately reflect differential levels of program quality?

  3. Is the technical assistance provided effective in improving quality and moving sites to higher levels?



  1. Is New Jersey’s Early Learning Improvement Consortium using the rating protocol reliably?




  1. What is the impact of incentives?




  1. What are family perspectives on the process and are the ratings influencing their decision making?




  1. Are providers satisfied with the supports that they are receiving?

Annual reports will provide information regarding patterns in the type and characteristics of sites that opt to be rated or not, including but not limited to, the following: auspice and program type, size of program, geographic location, qualifications of leadership and staff, administrative practices and cost data at the program level.

Instrumentation


The final selection of instruments will be determined in consultation with the successful independent contractor; however, the MOU will require the following:

Child and family characteristics

A survey of child and family characteristics; for example, race and ethnicity, age of child and parent, child gender, education level of parents, home language(s), family income, work status, marital status, household density, medical home, insurance, education-related family routines and home environment.



Child outcome measures

Direct assessments and early childhood educator interviews (e.g. standardized questionnaires on social development) will be administered to determine child growth and development. Domains assessed will mirror those included in the existing New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards and in the New Jersey Birth to Three Early Learning Standards. It is likely that a battery of assessment tools (predictive of later development) will be adopted for each age level. It will be expected that the contractor use the New Jersey Kindergarten Entry Assessment as one outcome measure when it is implemented.


Administrative practices

At the center level, early learning and development program administrative practices and site characteristics will be documented via interviews with the site administrators.



Classroom quality

The quality of the participating programs will be assessed using the same instruments as those used for Grow NJ Kids; namely, the ITERS-R, ECERS-R, FCCERS, and CLASS. The purpose for this is to establish reliability of New Jersey’s Early Learning Improvement Consortium and to capture the overall impact of participation in the system.


Timing


Design the validation study

January to September 2015

Begin pre-evaluation - Cohort 1

October 2015, ongoing


Funds

A total of approximately $1.3 million in grant funds are allocated to Validation. Annual grant funds were estimated as follows:



  • Year 2: $435,000

  • Year 3: $435,000

  • Year 4: $435,000

Annual funding was estimated based on the following breakdown:




Annual Tasks/Costs

Approximate Cost

Reliability training

$60,132

Project director, clerical, etc.

$60,081

Mileage

$35,712 (4 visits, 576 classrooms, .31/mile)

Administration of quality measures

$173,700 (576 classrooms at $150 each, times 2)

Administration of child assessments

$45,000 (1,500 assessments at $30 each)

Demographic survey of families

$45,000 (1,500 assessments at $30 each)

Collection of administrative and cost data

$14,400 (144 administrator surveys and interviews at $100 for both survey and interview)


Validation at a Glance


  • Design and implement evaluation

  • Addresses both efficacy and implementation of Grow NJ Kids tool and ratings


APPLICATION FOR VALIDATION


3a. Experience and expertise- In this section, describe the entity’s experience in conducting validation studies of similar magnitude.


3b. Study design- In this section, the entity must propose the study design it will use to answer the questions described above. Additional questions that get at the instrument’s validity can be added. Include the research design as well as the instrumentation, sampling strategy and how the data will be analyzed.


3c. Timeline- The applicant will include a timeline that details when the study activities will occur.


3d. Budget and budget narrative- The above annual budget amounts are estimates. Applicants should submit a budget crafted to meet its specific needs, but must stay within the total project budget amount listed above. Attach a budget and budget narrative describing how funds will be spent. When describing any staff, applicants are asked to use titles in lieu of naming specific individuals, in order to minimize the need for future amendments.



  1. Preschool to Third Grade Initiative


The Division of Early Childhood Education has guidelines for best practice and associated training modules for preschool and kindergarten. To help schools navigate the increasingly complex world of Common Core and higher expectations for accountability, we will next develop guidelines for grades one to three. The following two components will be included in this work:

Guidelines development

To facilitate the development of the guidelines, the DECE is establishing a Guidelines Steering Committee (comprised of school district staff, early childhood experts, higher education experts and staff from the participating state agencies) in April 2014. This committee will be charged with determining the content of the guidelines document, which will include information on pedagogy and young children, best practices in assessment, reading interventions, center- and project-based learning, in addition to specific guidance on implementing and assessing the Common Core using developmentally appropriate instructional practices. Higher education will be invited to assist in creating a draft of the Guidelines, which must be reviewed and field tested by the Fall of 2014.



Module Development and Training Assistance

Like our preschool and kindergarten guidelines, the first to third grade guidelines will be available statewide and will need modules to support their implementation. Higher education will be invited to assist in the development of the training materials. We will invest funding to train teachers and leaders in K-3 settings with persistently low third grade test scores in the Kindergarten and First to Third Grade Guidelines. Higher Education will be invited to work collaboratively with the DECE to provide training in strategies appropriate for early elementary settings (K-3) using the existing technical assistance vehicles for K-12.



Timing

Work Group assembled

May and June 2014

Write the guidelines

July and August 2014

Expert review

Fall 2014

Pilot/Field Test

Fall 2014

Module development

Jan to April 2015

Training

Begin May 2015, ongoing

Funds

A total of $450,000 in grant funding has been allocated for module development and training assistance, as described below.
A total of $43,750 in grant funding is allocated for the development of First to Third Grade Guidelines. Included in this amount is funding for the writing of the guidelines, as well as the expert review and field testing of the guidelines.
We estimated $112,500 in Year 2 to start two years of training for the first cohort of 45 districts. In Year 3, we estimated $225,000 to complete the second year for the first cohort, and to start a new cohort of 45 districts. In Year 4, we estimated $112,500 for the second year of training for the second cohort of districts. In each cohort of 45 districts, we anticipate the need to train approximately 580 staff in groups of 20, for about six days per cohort.

First to Third Grade Guidelines at a Glance


  • Steering Committee for the First to Third Grade Guidelines

  • DRAFT available in September 2014

  • Expert review

  • Field test

  • Module/training series development

  • Training Assistance


APPLICATION FOR PRESCHOOL TO THIRD GRADE INITIATIVE


4a. Experience and expertise- In this section, describe the entity’s experience in writing guidelines and developing associated training. Experience must be relevant for grades first through third. Examples of evidence include training materials for teachers and administrators, articles and books.


4b. Capacity- In this section, the entity must describe its plan to train in the guidelines that are developed, paying close attention to implementing Common Core and evaluation components in a developmentally appropriate fashion. The entity may consider working with partners (e.g., professional organizations, other colleges), although this not a requirement.


4c. Ability to meet timeline- The applicant will demonstrate that it will be able to work within the timeframe described by submitting a work plan that at least includes activities, timeframes, and responsible parties. See the timeline described in this section.

4d. Budget and budget narrative- The above annual budget amounts are estimates. Applicants should submit a budget crafted to meet its specific needs, but must stay within the total project budget amount listed above. Attach a budget and budget narrative describing how funds will be spent. When describing any staff, applicants are asked to use titles in lieu of naming specific individuals, in order to minimize the need for future amendments.



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