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Texas School Ready Resources to Fulfill the High Quality Prekindergarten Grant Program Requirements

The Children’s Learning Institute at UTHealth has managed the ongoing implementation and enhancement of the Texas School Ready (TSR) Project since its inception in 2003. The following information was prepared for Texas school districts and charter schools who received additional funding through the Texas Education Agency’s High Quality Prekindergarten Program, a grant program established by House Bill 4, 84th Texas Legislature, 2015.

TSR is implemented in Texas through three delivery models: TSR Online, TSR Online+, and TSR Comprehensive. Through TSR Online, we are able to offer free access to TSR’s child progress monitoring system and reporting, online professional development courses, classroom activities, and classroom observation tools to ALL Texas public school districts and charter schools. All TSR Online resources are freely-accessible to Texas public schools through the Children’s Learning Institute’s online platform CLI Engage. Additional services are available to school districts and charter schools who apply for TSR Online+.

We encourage all school districts and charter schools that received additional funding through the grant program to consider these resources, available to your teachers at no cost through a partnership between the Texas Education Agency and the Children’s Learning Institute.

Click the links below to jump to specific information: 

TSR Online Training and Support    |    Supplemental Curriculum    |    Progress Monitoring Instruments    |    Professional Development
Coaching Support    |    Family Engagement    |    Partnership/Collaboration Classrooms

Questions about information on this webpage? Please contact cliengage@uth.tmc.edu.

This information was updated on December 14, 2016.

 

TSR Online Training and Support

The Children’s Learning Institute provides many resources to support TSR Online participants in using and implementing the free tools available on CLI Engage. All training and support resources are available for free, including many technical help documents and videos available on the “Resources” page on CLI Engage.

All TSR Online participants are encouraged to view the CLI Engage Training Calendar, and register for free training webinars at: www.cliengage.org/calendar. These training webinars are open to all TSR Online participants, but many are designed to support specific audiences, including teachers and district administrators. Both upcoming and previously recorded webinars are available on the CLI Engage calendar page, including “A Closer Look at Analyzing CIRCLE Progress Monitoring Data,” “Facilitating eCIRCLE Professional Development (parts 1 and 2),” “Observing in the Classroom – Teacher Observation Tools (parts 1 and 2),” and many other related topics. All sessions are recorded and available for later viewing.

There are many resources to support school districts and charter schools planning to implement the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System (C-PM) during the school year. These resources, available for free to all TSR Online participants, include:

Additionally, the Children’s Learning Institute will host a Coaching Institute for school district, charter school, and education service center staff in Spring 2017 in Houston. This week-long training will provide an in-depth introduction to coaching best practices, as well as recommendations for utilizing TSR Online’s free classroom observation tools and coaching resources with teachers in your schools. More information will be available soon!

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Curriculum

To augment the use of the district/charter’s chosen curriculum, consider the use of the CIRCLE Activity Collection for supplemental classroom activities and lessons. The CIRCLE Activity Collection is available for free to all Texas public schools through TSR Online; the activities are accessed through the online platform that houses TSR Online tools and resources, CLI Engage.

Currently, all preschool activities in the CIRCLE Activity Collection are aligned to the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines (2008). All activities will be re-aligned to the child outcomes in the newly-adopted Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines (2015) before August 1, 2016.

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Progress Monitoring Instruments

On March 10, 2016, the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System was approved for the 2016-2017 Commissioner's List of Approved Prekindergarten Progress Monitoring Instruments. Texas school districts and charter schools applying for the High Quality Prekindergarten Grant Program may use the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System to meet grant requirements.

Review the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring-HB4 Alignment document for recommendations for measures that could satisfy the minimum grant requirements.

The CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System was developed and validated by the Children’s Learning Institute at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Previously known as C-PALLS, the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System has been used in Texas preschool classrooms for over 10 years. Refined and expanded through a series of federal and state grants, the tool is now known as CIRCLE Progress Monitoring and is a comprehensive progress monitoring tool including all required developmental domains for the High Quality Prekindergarten Grant Program (and aligned to the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines). CIRCLE Progress Monitoring reports are available for student, class, school, and district-wide, as well as automatically generating small group recommendations based on student scores with direct links to targeted lessons in the digital CIRCLE Activity Collection, also housed on CLI Engage with the assessments and reports.

Refer to the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring User Guide for detailed information on each assessment, and to determine the assessments that your district/charter will implement next year.

If additional information about the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System is needed for your district/charter’s grant application, please contact us at cliengage@uth.tmc.edu.

Note about kindergarten readiness instruments:
The Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment (TX-KEA) will be available for free to all Texas school districts and charter schools in Fall 2017 on CLI Engage. The assessments, reports, and training materials will be available on CLI Engage before the start of the 2017-18 school year.

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Professional Development

The Children's Learning Institute professional development model is designed to encourage teachers to review new information, reflect on what they have learned, and provide opportunities for practical application. Specifically, the online professional development courses available on CLI Engage provide opportunities for:

In addition to being certified to teach in the state of Texas (under TEC Chapter 21, Subchapter B), each teacher must also have additional training or credentials in order for the program to qualify for funding. The application for the grant program specifies six mechanisms for satisfying the additional education requirements. Texas School Ready provides avenues for teachers to meet three of these requirements:

Please download and review the comprehensive TSR-HB4 Training Alignment for more information about each of these options.

COMPLETION OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

If your teachers do not have one of the additional credentials to qualify for the grant program, they may also qualify by participating in high quality professional development opportunities. Through TSR Online, teachers at school districts and charter schools have an opportunity to complete the required 30 hours of training (all aligned to the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines) for free during the 2016-17 school year. CLI Engage houses all 16 eCIRCLE online courses, used in TSR classrooms for over ten years; these courses have been proven to improve teachers’ content knowledge in these important skill areas, and can be completed self-paced or through facilitated, face-to-face sessions. Additionally, Texas school districts can apply for their teachers to receive free CIRCLE Two-Day Training, a well-known face-to-face training aligned to the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines (2015).

Coaching to Support Professional Development: The eCIRCLE online courses were developed using CLI's professional development model, including experiential learning, practical application, and direct interaction. Additionally, when these courses are facilitated, course facilitators have access to customized mentoring tips. These are useful for follow-up contact in classroom with teachers to both support the course material learned and promote reflective practice on their learning as synthesized into classroom practice. Other components on the platform such as the Classroom Observation Tool or the CIRCLE Activity Collection are referenced as a resource for supporting focused content with data. 

Below are several examples for your teachers to utilize TSR’s free trainings to meet the grant program’s requirements, but the opportunities are not limited to these proposed implementations. We encourage your district/charter to review the more detailed information in our TSR-HB4 Training Alignment. Consider these sample training plans and how TSR's training options might fit into your district/charter’s established early release days, waiver days, or new teacher academies.

Sample Training Plan 1 – Teachers complete 15 hours of face-to-face training through the CIRCLE Two-Day Training, and additional hours of online, self-paced training using eCIRCLE courses to meet the minimum requirement of 30 hours. (Your district charter is encouraged to apply for your teachers to receive free CIRCLE Two-Day Training through TSR Online+.)

Sample Training Plan 2 – Teachers complete 15 hours of face-to-face, facilitated training of eCIRCLE courses, using free facilitation guides provided by TSR to your district/charter. Teachers will also complete at least 15 additional self-paced training using the eCIRCLE courses online.

Please download and review the comprehensive TSR-HB4 Training Alignment for more information about the free TSR training available to school districts and charter schools through TSR Online and TSR Online+, including sample training plans and course/training descriptions.

CIRCLE CDA TRAINING PROGRAM

Beginning in Fall 2016, TSR has offered the CIRCLE CDA Training Program to all TSR Online participants. Through the CIRCLE CDA Training Program, preschool teachers can earn all 120 training hours needed to apply for the CDA-Preschool Endorsement for free. All courses will be housed on CLI Engage, our online platform. The CIRCLE CDA Training Program utilizes eCIRCLE courses, supplemented with additional online courses to fulfill all content knowledge required to successfully achieve a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™. Like the eCIRCLE online courses, the CIRCLE CDA Training Program could also be facilitated through face-to-face sessions using TSR-provided facilitation guides. 

Please download and review the comprehensive TSR-HB4 Training Alignment for more information about the CIRCLE CDA Training Program, and the schedule of courses that will be available to all Texas public school teachers at no cost.

The online courses and assignments for the CIRCLE CDA Training Program were developed using CLI's professional development model, including experiential learning, practical application, and direct interaction. Additionally, through the CIRCLE CDA Training Program, teachers will complete at least 20 hours in preparing their detailed professional portfolio through the CIRCLE CDA professional portfolio course, similar to a capstone project. The CDA Professional Portfolio includes: 

COMPLETION OF TEXAS SCHOOL READY TRAINING PROGRAM (TSR COMPREHENSIVE)

Teachers who previously participated in Texas School Ready may contact the Children’s Learning Institute to confirm their TSR completion. The Children’s Learning Institute is able to confirm TSR completion from 2008-present; we will provide a certificate of completion to each teacher upon their request. 

EACH TEACHER who previously completed at least two years in Texas School Ready must apply for a certificate to confirm their TSR completion. Staff at the Children's Learning Institute will review the information submitted through this survey. If a teacher's completion can be confirmed, a certificate will be emailed to the teacher for their records. It will take approximately 10 days to confirm participation and award the certificate. We may contact you during that time if more information is needed.

Click here to apply for a TSR completion certificate.

Teachers may have completed TSR Comprehensive under a different name:

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Coaching Support

Coaching can significantly improve early childhood teachers’ instructional quality, and in turn child outcomes, when it provides sustained opportunities for individualized practice and feedback with an expert and/or mentor. Effective coaching models use systematic observation of specific language and literacy teaching practices to identify priority areas to set goals, and track progress toward reaching goals.

TSR Online provides a series of tools for school districts and charter schools interested in supporting their teachers through mentoring and coaching, from beginning classroom observation to implementing a program to support your teachers.

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Family Engagement

Comprehensive resources for parents are available on the CLI Engage platform at no cost to schools or parents. A dedicated tab in the website’s navigation is designed to allow parents to easily access the tools. Throughout the year, the Children’s Learning Institute will post additional resources for parents on the CLI Engage website: https://cliengage.org

Download a customized user guide for parents and guardians to learn more about each of the tools below, and how families can access these resources for free on CLI Engage. There are also several how-to guides for school staff to support sharing these resources with families on the CLI Engage Resources page, including:

In responding to question 4 in High Quality Prekindergarten Grant Program application, please consider including the following information in your response. CLI Engage features a series of resources for parents and families, all available at no cost:

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Partnership/Collaboration Classrooms

If your district/charter is considering partnerships with child care programs as part of your application, we encourage you to review the Community-Based School Readiness Integration Partnerships: Promoting Sustainable Collaborations toolkit. This toolkit may serve as a guide and provides information on collaboration and partnership models for early childhood programs in Texas, from initial assessment and set-up to sustainability.

In your district/charter is exploring collaborations, programs participating in Texas School Ready Comprehensive are eligible to be included in your grant application. A list of programs currently participating in TSR Comprehensive is available on this webpage.

The following four partnership models are the most common in Texas communities. Please refer to the partnership toolkit for more detailed information about these partnership models, and how to set-up and sustain a partnership in your community.

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