Acelero Learning Inc. is a for-profit organization that was founded in 2001. Comprised of four delegates, Camden/Philadelphia, Monmouth/Middlesex and Las Vegas, Acelero Learning provides Head Start services to over 4000 children and their families. In 2010, Acelero became the permanent grantee of a head start program in Philadelphia that serviced 536 children. Along with providing educational services to prepare young children for success in school, Acelero also works to empower the families that take part in the Head Start services. Family goals are set annually regarding issues such as unemployment and high school completion. Family Services and the Education service areas work together to provide quality service for the children and their families. The ultimate goal of Acelero Learning is to support a successful future for the children and families served through the program. In order to do this, it is important that data is collected and analyzed continuously so that planning for improvement is effective.
According to Bernhardt (2004), a system has to be created that will lead to desired results the results are reviewed and reflected on so that all aspects of the system in improved upon (p14). The Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Model looks at improvement not only success in the classroom but at success of the school. It can be adapted to a program when seeking school improvement through the establishment of goals, identifying methods used to achieve goals, collecting data and evaluating it. Currently, the assessments used in the school revolve around student achievement. While data is gathered regarding family goals, at this point educational assessments are the only ones available to a school system where the classrooms are all mixed aged (3-5) Head Start students and the results are visible to the teaching teams that serve them. Data is collected through these assessments and used to differentiate instruction for each child. Work Sampling Online Assessment Tool
Focusing only on the Philadelphia section of the overall program, the data below corresponds to the results of the Work Sampling checklists for children transitioning out of the program during the fourth quarter of the 2011-1012 school year. The domains identified by the Work Sampling tool align with both the Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Childhood: Prekindergarten and the organizations School Readiness Goals (SRGs). While all domains are assessed, Acelero Learning focuses only on Social-emotional development, language and literacy, and math and science for the purposes of kindergarten readiness.
Although the children passed the screening, some concepts within the developmental areas need to be addressed. This data will be used to individualize small group instruction for that particular child. Conclusion
Prior to implementing a strategic plan for improvement, it is crucial that data is collected and analyzed. Dooley(1997) stated in his article that “quality improvement involves problem solving and learning” Looking at Acelero Learning Philadelphia’s educational data from the end of the previous school year and those collected at the beginning of the current academic year it is evident that improvement in the major developmental domains is needed for children transitioning to kindergarten. The next step is to analyze the environment and even the instructional efficiency of the teacher. Once these have been examined, a plan of action can be set it place in attempt to reach desired goals. If it does not work, the cycle begins again until improvement is made.
Bernhardt, V. L. (2004). Getting started with data analysis. Data analysis for continuous school improvement (2nd ed. p14) Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education Dooley, K. (1997). Use PDSA for crying out loud. Quality Progress,30(10), 60