Sharing assessment data gives families and teachers the opportunity to identify and address a child′s specific needs. Together, you can brainstorm activity ideas and materials that could be used to promote development.
This interaction should be viewed as a conversation, an opportunity to share information, discuss goals and expectations, and bridge cultural gaps. The goal is for families and teachers to walk away with a better understanding of the child′s specific needs and a plan for how those needs can be met.
Teachers should consider communicating data with families through:
- Emails and/or phone calls.
- Daily or weekly reports.
- Quick drop-off or pick-up conversations.
- Family-teacher conferences planned 2-3 times a year and scheduled as needed.
Zero to Three recommends these guidelines for family-friendly communication:
- Build trusting relationships with families can build on family strengths.
- Choose authentic assessment measures to describe the child′s capabilities and needs.
- Use the program′s core curriculum to link assessment and goal planning.
- Orchestrate the team assessment with families as integral partners.
- Identify strategies to communicate regularly, collaborate, and reach a consensus.
- Identify developmentally appropriate curriculum goals that promote family priorities.
- Be honest and maintain confidentiality.
- Collect progress data throughout the year.
- Maintain ongoing communication and family involvement.
For conversations about assessment results to be productive, it is important for teachers to:
- Be prepared with copies of the results for everyone.
- Outline the context of the assessment.
- Review the results, and outline the context of the results in terms of child development.
- Make sure to use terminology that is easily understood.
- Discuss patterns of skills and behaviors observed at school and home.
- Share ideas to strengthen skills in all environments.
- Acknowledge ideas generated by the family. Include these ideas when appropriate. If the ideas do not represent best practices, see if a compromise or modifications can be made.
Sign up for PROF110: Family-Teacher Conferences to learn more about communicating assessment results with families.