The Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County (CSC) has recognized the need for assessment data in early childhood education to be used in ways that benefit the children and families. As a result, CSC has provided the vision and support necessary to launch the Teaching Strategies GOLD (GOLD) project which is now in its third year with early care and education centers and family child care homes. GOLD is an authentic and formative early childhood assessment tool. It is delivered as a web-based application that supports early education practitioners to observe and document demonstrated abilities of children from birth to Kindergarten. GOLD is strongly aligned with state and national learning standards (birth-3, Pre-K, Head Start and Common Core). It is designed to support a cycle of ongoing observations, documentation, planning, portfolio-building, and reporting. The GOLD online system can be used to generate reports for use at the provider level and can provide neighborhood/zip code/county-wide information for planning purposes. The ongoing collaboration between CSC and the Coalition is to support the implementation of GOLD has increased the chances of success for this assessment tool to provide accurate child level data which can reveal strengths and challenges faced by individual students, as well as groups of children in 0-5 classroom settings.
For us at Opportunity Early Learning Center in West Palm Beach, we’re always looking for ways to improve learning for our children.
Our participation in the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County’s Teaching Strategies GOLD pilot program has made a tremendous difference. It’s really helped us design and implement a stronger curriculum.
GOLD has allowed our teachers to quickly and easily create a permanent record of meaningful events happening throughout each day and, as a result, that’s expanded and created more meaningful child portfolios.
In assessing the portfolio content through GOLD, we’ve received critical developmental data, and our teachers have used it as the basis for targeted and individualized lesson plans. Also, the lessons and activities based on current child strength and growth areas have allowed us to meet the current needs of all children and increase the gains children make each year. Plus, we’ve been able to cherish the memories of quality interactions so they can be used as a foundation for further learning.
As we continue the GOLD pilot, and become more immersed in the additional features of GOLD, we expect to see more and more benefits for our children.
-Alice M. L. Eger, Director of Education and Curriculum
-Cyndy Sanders, VPK teacher
At the annual One Goal Conference, Dr. Barbara Becraft - GOLD Consultant, was given the opportunity to present the most recent accomplishments of the Coalition’s Strong Minds/GOLD team. Watch the following video clip to view an excerpt from Dr. Becraft’s presentation, as well as a testimonial offered by a Director of a local early childhood and education center about the value of the program to children, teachers, and schools.
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