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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

IMPLEMENTATION PILOT:

1. KIDS process and selection of KIDS Instrument:
After hearing from national experts and administrators in other states, and engaging in much research and discussion, the Kindergarten Readiness Stakeholder Committee—
comprised of school administrators, teachers, university faculty, researchers, and education advocates representing all parts of the state— recommended the Illinois Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) process.  For more information, refer to http://www.isbe.net/KIDS/pdf/KIDS_report.pdf and http://www.isbe.net/earlychi/html/kindergarten_corner.htm.

2. Why does the instrument say Desired Results Developmental Profile?
During the selection process by the state, the assessment instrument chosen was the Desired Results Developmental Profile-School Readiness©. The Illinois State Board of Education is working with WestEd to adapt the DRDP-SR©. In 2015, a final KIDS instrument will be available. For more information on the selection process, refer to http://www.isbe.net/KIDS/pdf/KIDS_report.pdf and http://www.isbe.net/earlychi/html/kindergarten_corner.htm.

3. What is the purpose of KIDS?
KIDS promotes the success of every child, guides professional development for teachers, supports alignment of early childhood and elementary school systems, documents the importance of birth-to-five programs in preparing children for elementary school, and enables the state to respond to district, school, teacher, and student needs over time.

4. Is KIDS a paper/pencil assessment or is it given electronically?
KIDS is an observation-based assessment in which evidence is collected over time for each student. The teacher then reviews and reflects on the evidence and enters a level of mastery into KIDStech©. KIDStech is available to allow for completion of the assessment electronically.

5. How often is the evidence collected?
KIDS is an observational formative assessment. Children are observed and evidence can be collected daily throughout each rating period. This evidence is then used to complete the assessment for that period. The assessment is completed three times per school year. For example:
• 1st rating is due within 40 days of attendance; the evidence used is from attendance days 1-40
• 2nd rating is due within 105 days of attendance; the evidence used is from attendance days 41-105
• 3rd rating is due within 170 days of attendance; the evidence used is from attendance days 106-170

 

6. When will all kindergarten students be assessed using the KIDS instrument?
The 2015-2016 school year is the target date for all kindergarten students in Illinois to be assessed using the KIDS instrument. 
 

INSTRUMENT:

7. Can teachers who did not attend the official KIDS implementation training be expected to complete the assessment? Can a teacher or coach that attended the training train the teacher? 
All teachers participating in the pilot should have attended KIDS implementation training provided by WestEd. If a teacher enters mid-year or has not received training they can take the online courses and sign up for the next KIDS training. Coaches are available to support teachers on the use of the assessment instrument.

8. Is the teacher the only one that can do the assessment?
The classroom teacher who has been trained on KIDS will make the final decision for rating and will enter the data. Teaching assistants, coaches, volunteers, and others (e.g., reading specialist, special education teacher, speech/language specialist, ELL teacher, PT) can provide evidence to the teacher to be used in determining the rating.

9. Is it assumed that this instrument is used in a play-based kindergarten, as opposed to academic kindergarten?
This assessment instrument is for kindergarten students, regardless of the curriculum that is being used or how the classroom is set up and structured.

10. What is the average amount of time it takes for a teacher to complete the assessment?
This depends on the teacher and how well they know the assessment instrument. As teachers become more familiar with the assessment and observe more individual students, their proficiency will increase. In the development field study, teachers reported that the tool was user friendly and expressed that the assessment became easier to complete with the second and third ratings.

11. Is KIDS implemented differently in a half day program versus a full day program?
The KIDS assessment must be completed for all students during the specified assessment period, regardless of the type of program.

12. During our first year of completing the assessment we would like to do only one or two of the domains.
The KIDS assessment must be completed for all students and all domains during the specified assessment period, regardless of the circumstances.

13. Will this assessment be used or modified for students with IEPs?
KIDS is for all children. KIDS is based on observations of the student in typical everyday activities with familiar people. Any adaptations noted on the student’s IEP should be used. Adaptations are changes present throughout the student’s day and are available for all routines and activities, not introduced solely for the purpose of the assessment. For example, a student who wears glasses, or uses an alternative communication system, should have those items available at all times.

14. What is the purpose of the ELD measures?
The four measures in the ELD domain are completed for students for whom a language other than English is spoken in the home, as indicated on the Home Language Survey. It is not limited to students classified as Limited English Proficiency (LEP). It is important for teachers to have this additional information to support English language development in the classroom.

15. Some students come speaking only Spanish but are put into regular English classrooms. How are they assessed?
Use all of the child’s responses, regardless of the language the child speaks. Ask for assistance when necessary to translate the child’s language. Use all responses from the child including work samples, gestures, and interactions with others as well as language. Students may master levels in English, their home language, or both. The ELD measures are used with students who are learning to speak English (ELL) to assess English language development. Consider only responses to or communication in English when rating ELD measures.

16. What should be done if a student enters my class midway through an assessment period?
Every effort should be made to collect evidence on a new student whenever they enter a classroom. Assessments need to be completed per the timelines stated.

17. What should be done if a student moves out of the school/district mid-year?
If a student moves out of a school his/her data information would be available to the new school once they are updated in the SIS system, provided the receiving school is implementing KIDS. It would be a local decision whether to send previously gained evidence to the new school.

18. Can previous ratings be seen as the second and third assessments are completed?
No, each time the teacher completes KIDS they should be looking at it with “fresh eyes.” Research shows that teachers are most objective when they look at the evidence and documentation, then rate the measure. When referring to previous ratings, teachers may rate the child higher or lower than their true developmental level because of their expectations of growth since the last rating. However, teachers can always review the reports from KIDStech to see the child’s progress and past ratings. 

19. How is the rating done if a student is between developmental levels, as evidenced by observations and work samples?
Ratings should indicate the developmental level that the student has mastered at the time of the assessment, based on the student’s behavior; mastery is shown when a child demonstrates their ability easily and confidently, consistently over time, and in different settings. Students should be rated at the highest level mastered; if a child is in between developmental levels they should be rated using the earlier developmental level, as this is the level that has been mastered.

KIDS AND COMMON CORE:

20. Will there be a statewide report card that reflects the new Common Core Standards?
No, although the Common Core Standards have been adopted in Illinois, the decision regarding report cards is a local decision and must be made at the district level.

21. Is KIDS aligned with the Common Core Standards?
The Common Core Standards for language arts and math have been aligned to the language and literacy development and math domains from the KIDS instrument. In addition, a research study is being conducted to ensure that the alignment reflects Illinois children; any adjustments will be made as needed. The Illinois Social and Emotional Learning Standards will continue to be used and are aligned to the self and social development and self-regulation domains.

22. Will patterning be eliminated from KIDS since it is not on the Common Core State Standards?
Patterning is the foundation for algebraic thinking, sequencing, counting, ordering, and so much more.  Although it is not a standard, it is good practice to attend to patterning if we want students to meet that standard in the third grade.  It will not be eliminated from KIDS.

23. Are SSD and REG aligned to the Common Core Standards?
The Illinois Social and Emotional Learning Standards parallel the SSD and REG domains. According to the CCSS Key Design Considerations, “While the ELA and content area literacy components described herein are critical to college and career readiness, they do not define the whole of such readiness. Students require a wide-ranging, rigorous academic preparation and, particularly in the early grades, attention to such matters as social, emotional, and physical development and approaches to learning.” (www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/introduction/key-design-consideration)

OTHER ASSESSMENTS:

24. Are results from DIBELS, AimsWeb, or MAP for the reading and math assessment applicable as evidence for KIDS?
Assessments that are currently being completed may also be used as part of the evidence for rating measures for the KIDS assessment; however, more than one piece of evidence is required to complete each measure. The rating is for mastery, which means behaviors that are done easily and confidently, consistently over time, and in different settings. 

25. Is the expectation that the KIDS assessment be done in addition to other assessments, such as the DIBELS, DIBELS Next, AIMSweb, and mCLASS?  Is completion of all of these assessments a requirement?
The KIDS assessment is required by ISBE, use of the other assessments is a local decision. Please follow up with your local administrators.

26. What kind of additional support throughout the school year will be provided for teachers in the pilot year? 
There will be support for teachers who are in the second year of implementation as well as newly trained teachers. Regional coaches are available for support and site visits. Online tutorials, Webinars, and modules will be available on the Illinois KIDS website (www.illinoiskids.org).

DOCUMENTATION:

27. What happens to documentation that is gathered as evidence?
Documentation does not need to be uploaded to KIDStech. Each school/district will make the decision about what happens to documentation that is gathered as evidence. Please ask your local administrator what the policy is in the district.

28. We are not a play based Kindergarten. How do I find evidence for SSD and REG? Documentation for self and social development and self-regulation can be found in a variety of ways in kindergarten. Observe how students interact as they work together and share materials within the classroom; observe how they interact with adults throughout the day.

FAMILIES:

29. Do we need parent permission to administer KIDS?
No, you do not need parent permission to administer KIDS, but it would be beneficial to inform parents about the KIDS assessment.

30. What kinds of parent materials are available?
On the home page of the KIDS website (http://www.illinoiskids.org/) there is a link on the left-hand side labeled Families. Selecting the Families link will lead you to resources that include an explanation of KIDS, as well as other support materials for families.

31. How do parents access their student’s report?
Parents may not access KIDStech. However, teachers may download a report, such as the Individual Progress Report, to share with parents.

32. What do you do if a parent over-reports the skills and knowledge that a student demonstrates?
Explain to parents that students often do things at home that they have not yet done at school; now that you know, you will look for it in the classroom.

TECHNOLOGY:

33. What is KIDStech© - formerly known as DRDPtech©?
KIDStech is a server-based computer support system for the KIDS assessment instrument. KIDStech is designed to allow teachers, program administrators, and other designated staff to enter the results of assessments using the KIDS instrument and to produce a variety of reports about the results for individual children and groups of children.

34. Do I have to enter my students into KIDStech?
Teacher and student names are automatically populated into KIDStech once the School Information System (SIS) and KIDStech are connected.

35. How do I get started with KIDStech?
Once KIDStech and SIS have been connected you will receive an email with your password. KIDStech Webinars are available every month to familiarize you with navigating through KIDStech.

36. Do I have to change my password?
You will need to change the temporary password that you receive from KIDStech.

37. What are the components of the online training for KIDStech?
KIDStech Webinars demonstrate how to login to KIDStech, how to complete the assessment online, and how to access individual and group reports. Ratings are entered online for your students. During the Webinar, sample reports are shown and reviewed. Go to www.illinoiskids.org to register for a Webinar.

38. Can you put part of the information for your students into KIDStech, save it and come back to it later?
Yes.

39. Will we be able to edit ratings for students in KIDStech?
You may edit ratings for only the current assessment period. However, once the student record is locked you will be unable to make any changes.

40. Will the state prompt or remind teachers when it is time to enter their data?
Yes, an email will be sent to teachers informing them when the window for their district is open and when it will close.

41. When we are entering data can we modify the page so we don’t have to view the descriptors?
No, reviewing the descriptors is an important step for determining a rating for a student. If a descriptor includes the word OR, a student does not need to demonstrate all of the tasks in the descriptor.  However, if the descriptor includes the word AND, a student needs to be able to demonstrate mastery of all the skills mentioned in the descriptor.

42. Is a fee charged to the district for the online data-reporting program?
No, there is no fee.

43. What are the computer requirements (system) for KIDStech?
KIDStech is a web-based program that should work on any computer.

44. Can evidence be added to KIDStech? 
Evidence/documentation is used to complete the assessment; however, documentation is not stored in KIDStech. You can download the Illinois KIDS Observation application from the App Store for organizing and storing evidence.

45. Will a district level administrator or principal have access to a teacher’s KIDS data on KIDStech?
Yes, there will be valuable information for teachers, principals, administrators, and ISBE to utilize for planning and program improvement.

46. Will the KIDStech system be compatible with an iPad? 
Yes.

47. Is there an iPad application designed to attach documentation (video/audio/photo) for storage? 
The Illinois KIDS Observation application can be downloaded free from the App Store.

48. How should computer/technical difficulties be addressed?
In case of technical difficulties, work with local tech staff, the Student Information System (SIS) helpdesk (217-558-3600), or KIDStech (630-652-7400 or kids@wested.org).

DATA:

49. How will data be disaggregated? 
Data can be disaggregated in a variety of ways. Programs can choose how to disaggregate the data to produce a variety of reports.

50. What happens to the data when a student is promoted or moves out of the district?
The student’s information is housed in the Student Information System (SIS). This data is available to the child’s future teachers provided they are connected to KIDStech.

 

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