Increasing Your Instructional Support Scores

In most Head Start programs, it is the instructional support domain that produces the lowest CLASS scores. As you know, high CLASS scores are important to ensure best practices in the classroom as well as to prepare for a successful CLASS Review event. Consider providing training to your teaching staff specifically on strategies to increase instructional support scores.

We’ve found that successful teacher training in this area includes the following 3 points:

  • Share examples of the dimensions, indicators and behavioral markers.  Review what each part of the instructional support domain is all about.  Describe each dimension, indicator and behavior marker – in terms of the Head Start classroom.  Provide teachers with examples that that they can use every day with children.  Examples can include what to say to children to help them think critically, activities to encourage their creativity and lessons to expand their language.
  • View and discuss videos of “rich” classroom interactions.  Show video clips that demonstrate the interactions and teaching strategies your teachers should display. Take each dimension within the instructional support domain and view videos of what each dimension should look like and shouldn’t look like.  Take time to discuss the video clips.  “What did you see?” and “How can you do that in your classroom?” are good questions to explore.  Seeing videos and discussing them are effective, hands-on learning strategies.
  • Play to all learning styles.  Use a “learning by doing” training methodology.  Be sure that the teaching staff can truly experience each facet of the instructional support domain.  In addition to showing videos and facilitating large group discussions, include other types of learning such as pair and share, make and take, small group activities, role plays and other highly interactive exercises.  This interaction results in high impact learning, in which the teaching staff can take back the information that they learned and implement it immediately.

Looking for highly interactive training for your teaching staff on increasing instructional support scores?  Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at

Starting Out Strong: Training for New Content Area Coordinators

Content Area Coordinators are responsible for ensuring that children and families are linked to all needed services in their content area. They are responsible for ensuring that their content area is and stays in full compliance. It’s also critical that they provide great leadership skills and work in collaboration with the other Content Area Coordinators. What should training for New Content Area Coordinators include?

Begin with the basics.  For new Content Area Coordinators, it’s important to begin with the Head Start Program Performance Standards.  Discuss each of the Performance Standards and Reauthorization regulations that the Coordinator is responsible for meeting.  It’s vital that the Coordinator has this information before they begin to create systems in their content area.  Having a working knowledge of the rules and regulations that the Coordinator must meet and adhere to is the foundation of a successful content area.

Establish effective and efficient systems.  Content Area Coordinators are responsible for setting up and maintaining high quality systems in their content area.  Examples of systems include policies and procedures, written plans and an ongoing monitoring system.  Provide the Coordinator with a template and a sample of these items.  This will provide the Coordinator with guidance as they write policies and procedures and create a written plan.  Encourage your Content Area Coordinators to work together on developing these systems to ensure that they are integrated across content areas.

Put support systems in place.    It’s essential for new Content Area Coordinators to have a multitude of support systems at their disposal.  Share the resources that are available to Head Start staff.  There are websites with helpful information that will assist new Coordinators as they navigate their way through the world of Head Start.  It’s important for new Content Area Coordinators to establish good working relationships with the other Content Area Coordinators.  It’s also important to find Content Area Coordinators (in the same content area) in nearby Head Start programs to have as a resource.

Looking for 1-on-1, on-site training for new Content Area Coordinators? Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at