Guest Author: Elizabeth Gouthro, Director of Learning Services, Calgary Board of Education – Early Years Evaluation – Teacher Assessment (EYE-TA) – What has the Calgary Board of Education learned? Since 2011, the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) has used the EYE-TA in Kindergarten to assess children’s development in five domains. The EYE-TA ensures that Kindergarten teachers look at each child in a holistic, developmental way and emphasizes the importance of providing programming in all areas of development. All Kindergarten children are assessed in the fall of their Kindergarten year, then again in the spring if the fall results indicate that a child had some or significant difficulty in a domain.
With a large Kindergarten population of over 9,000 children, the Calgary Board of Education is rich in diversity. The EYE-TA provides us with a common language to discuss children and their learning and a framework for a consistent response to instruction.
We have found other benefits to the EYE-TA such as:
- it provides a clear picture of each child’s unique strengths and next steps in learning;
- an emphasis on collaboration which supports inclusion, advocates collective responsibility for all children, increases professional capital, develops comprehensive supports and services and supports a wrap-around model;
- data which is helpful to inform decisions at the classroom, school and district level.
In using the EYE-TA, we have learned that we need to:
- continually refine and clarify processes;
- promote the EYE-TA as one aspect of embedded, comprehensive assessment practices;
- ensure the on-going use of the data to inform instructional decisions; and,
- continue to strengthen the collaborative model.
When teachers have the information necessary to attend to all areas of development, as provided by the EYE-TA, they are better able to support the unique learning needs of each child and contribute to the mega-end of the Calgary Board of Education, in which: