All public preschools are monitored on a tri-annual basis. Every district with a public preschool program must meet all Chapter 124: Basic Approval Standards for Public Preschool Programs.
At least two weeks in advance, an email will be sent from the Early Childhood Monitor (ECM) requesting dates to visit the preschool classroom(s). This visit will occur between December and June of the current school year.
The following documents will be reviewed before or during the monitoring visit. Please send these via email to firstname.lastname@example.org at least one week before the scheduled visit:
- Copy of daily schedule(s) for the classroom(s)
- 3 or more prior week’s curriculum plans and alignment with MELDS
- List of any/all special education accommodations/modifications
- Copy of the home language survey
- Copy of the district’s preschool enrollment policy
- Copies of all certifications/authorizations for teaching staff
- Copies of Maine Roads to Quality Registry Levels (register here at no cost)
- Copy of most recent preschool menu (if meals are provided)
- Copy of Parent Handbook
- Sample student assessment data and alignment with MELDS (identifying details should be removed)
- Copy of PEPG model and schedule/teacher observation
- Copy of Family Engagement Policy
- The Early Childhood Monitor (ECM) will arrive in the preschool classroom just prior to student arrival.
- The ECM will remain with the class for approximately 2.5-3 hours, attending and observing all regularly scheduled activities. The classroom teacher should not alter the daily schedule in preparation for the visit.
- During this time, the ECM will conduct a 2 hour CLASSTM. CLASSTM is a research-based tool that is used nationally to assess process quality in a preschool classroom and correlates to child outcomes, especially in the domain of Instructional Support-Concept Development, Quality of Feedback and Language Modeling. The preschool staff at the Maine DOE who conduct these observations have undertaken intensive training from the authors of the CLASSTM tool and have completed a rigorous certification process to ensure reliability. CLASSTM observers must recertify annually.
- Information on CLASSTM
- Attached is a blank copy of the written report that the district will receive. This is meant to guide a conversation between the teacher and administrator in terms of strengths and opportunities to improve classroom interactions.
- CLASSTM is not used as a teacher evaluation tool by the Maine DOE, nor should it be used as one at the district level. All scores are collected in aggregate and individual classroom observation forms are shredded once the final report has been reviewed and sent to the district. The Maine DOE does not save any individual scores. This practice is strictly used to report on the quality of preschool in Maine and to assist the DOE when offering voluntary professional development opportunities to districts.
- The ECM will not disrupt or disturb the regular classroom environment and will not interact with children or teachers during the two-hour CLASSTM
- The ECM will conduct a district debrief meeting at a mutually convenient time after all classroom observations have been completed to discuss the program in accordance with Chapter 124.
- Minimally, the teacher(s) and principal(s) should be present. However, any other staff that has an interest in the preschool program may be invited (superintendent, special education staff, curriculum director’s, etc.). Download Monitor Protocal Form
- This meeting is the time to share results of the observation, discuss strengths and ask questions about special education practices, transition strategies, recruitment and enrollment policies, current and future goals of the preschool program etc.
- Two hours should be reserved for this meeting.
- The ECM will compile all notes into a written report and the ECM will make every effort to have it finalized within two weeks of the debrief meeting.
- Strengths and/or recommendations will be highlighted after each section.
- Sign and return the last page of the report to the ECM within 30 school days.
- If Findings were observed, a written correction plan is required from the district within 30 school days.
Early Childhood Specialist
Maine Department of Education