Early Warning Systems

Childrens Learning Institute Texas Education Agency Debut Free Early Warning Platform

The Children's Learning Institute (CLI) at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) have launched CLI Engage, a platform designed to help identify at-risk students in prekindergarten and Head Start.

Free to public school districts, charter schools and Head Start programs in Texas, the platform uses the state's School Ready! progress monitoring assessments to identify students likely to fall behind and suggest supplementary lessons targeted to the students' least developed skills.

CLI Engage will also be home to classroom observation tools and professional development courses featuring video demonstrations filmed in real classrooms.

"Funded by TEA, a pilot version of CLI Engage was launched in three major Texas independent school districts (Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston) in October 2014," according to a news release. "The pilot program has a total enrollment of more than 2,450 teachers and 48,000 children and is currently assessing students in important developmental milestones such as language and literacy, mathematics and social and emotional development. The first sets of assessments, administered in both English and Spanish, were completed in November. The results of these assessments are now being used to help shape specialized instruction and to improve student skills."

"We know that the best thing we can do for at-risk children is to provide quality early learning experiences that target their least-developed skills areas," said Susan Landry, founder and director of the Children's Learning Institute at UTHealth, in a prepared statement. "CLI Engage provides the tools for teachers to incorporate these instructional strategies in their classrooms. Our goal is to disseminate these resources in a way that is cost effective for the state and for local districts."

More information is available at cliengage.org.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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